Skip to main content

by Drs. Deborah Ekstrom & Juris Bunkis

What better time to think about lips than on Valentine’s Day!

What better time to think about lips than on Valentine’s Day! Lips represent one of the most sensuous parts of a body but the sense of beauty certainly various between species and cultures. People from the Ubangi tribe use various tissue expander techniques to stretch earlobes and lips to achieve a level of beauty adored in their culture.

Camels apparently also have beauty standards. A camel beauty pageant in Saudi Arabia draws thousands of spectators and rewards 66 million dollars in prizes to the most beautiful camels – judges look for long, droopy lips, a big nose and a shapely hump. Apparently some of the people entering their camels in the shows “cheated” by enhancing their camels’ appearance with Botox injections and other cosmetic enhancements.

Urine tests, ultrasound exams and other sophisticated tests led to the disqualification of 40 camels from the pageant for artificial enhancements!

Human standards of beauty vary from culture to culture and change over time.

We frequently get requests to help patients improve the appearance of their lips. At any age, by far the most frequent lip request is to add volume with a filler. We can provide very pleasing results with the various hyaluronic acid fillers like Restylane Kysse® or one of the Juvederm® products. Not everyone prefers a series of repeated treatments and some seek a more permanent improvement.

Patients undergoing surgery will frequently ask to have their lips enhanced with microfat grafts which potentially provides a more permanent solution and is our preferred method of lip enhancement if the patient will already be asleep for another procedure.

65 year old female, before and after a phenol peel around her mouth (actual patient of Dr. Bunkis)

Transferred fat cells follow the same rules as other fat in our bodies and will increase or decrease in size with weight gain or loss. Some patients’ main concern are vertical lip lines and these are best addressed with a skin resurfacing procedure such as a laser or a deeper phenol peel.

And finally, as we age, our upper lips tend to lengthen and we show less upper teeth when smiling – a lip lift procedure will address this concern nicely. This too can be done in the office under local anesthesia, but more frequently, is added to a facial rejuvenation procedure like a facelift and done in an operating room.

Examples of all of these approaches are available on our websites.

If you would like to contact Dr. Ekstrom or Dr. Bunkis,

For CA, please call 949-888-9700 or visit our websites at:

Or for MA location, call 508-755-4825 or visit

You can respond on the blog page on our websites or write to Dr. Bunkis at or Dr. Ekstrom at