Inverted lips refer to a condition where the lips turn inward, possibly due to clinical causes such as aging, physical trauma, surgery, or neurological disorders. Aging leads to the loss of skin elasticity and volume, while trauma or surgery might result in scar tissue that pulls the lips inward. Neurological conditions can cause muscle weakness that leads to lip inversion. Non-clinical factors such as smoking, dehydration, malnutrition, and improper use of dentures can also contribute to lip inversion. Treatment options are available and consulting a dermatologist or plastic surgeon is recommended for individuals facing this condition.


Inverted lips refer to a condition where the lips turn inward instead of outward. While this condition might not be as well-known or common as others, it can pose significant aesthetic or functional problems for those who have it.

Clinical Factors

Clinically, inverted lips can result from a variety of causes. These include:

  1. Aging: As people age, they naturally lose collagen and elastin, the proteins that maintain the skin’s firmness and elasticity. This can lead to changes in the shape and structure of various facial features, including the lips. The loss of volume can cause the lips to invert.
  2. Trauma or surgery: In some cases, lips may invert due to physical trauma or as a result of surgery. Scar tissue, which may develop after injury or surgery, can contract and pull the lips inwards.
  3. Neurological disorders: Certain neurological conditions, such as Bell’s palsy or other conditions that affect facial nerves, can result in muscle weakness or paralysis that leads to lip inversion.

Non-Clinical Factors

Non-clinical factors may also contribute to the development of inverted lips. These include:

  1. Smoking: The repeated action of puckering the lips to inhale cigarette smoke can, over time, cause the lips to become inverted. Furthermore, smoking can decrease blood flow to the skin, contributing to premature aging and potential lip inversion.
  2. Dehydration and malnutrition: Lack of proper hydration and nutrition can lead to dry and chapped lips. Over time, severe malnutrition can alter the structure and appearance of the lips, potentially causing them to turn inward.
  3. Improper use of dentures: Ill-fitting dentures or the lack of teeth to support the lips can cause the lips to invert.

It’s important to note that if you or anyone else is dealing with this condition and is looking for ways to correct it, consulting with a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon would be a good first step. There are several treatment options available, including non-surgical solutions like fillers to restore volume or surgical solutions for more permanent results.



Symptoms of inverted lips can vary depending on the underlying cause but generally include:

  1. Aesthetic Changes: The most noticeable symptom is the visible inversion of the lips, where the lips turn inwards instead of outwards. This can lead to an altered facial appearance.
  2. Difficulty with Oral Function: Individuals may experience difficulty with functions such as speaking, eating, and drinking. This is particularly true in severe cases of lip inversion.
  3. Dry and Chapped Lips: Due to the inward turn, the inner mucosa of the lips may be exposed to air, leading to drying, chapping, or even cracking and bleeding in severe cases.
  4. Increased Salivation: In some cases, inverted lips may contribute to drooling or increased salivation, particularly in those with neurological conditions.


In terms of diagnosis, a consultation with a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon would generally be the first step. A detailed medical history would be taken, and a physical examination performed to evaluate the severity of the inversion and identify any potential underlying causes.

In cases where a neurological condition is suspected, a referral to a neurologist might be necessary. If the inversion occurred after trauma or surgery, examining any available medical records related to these events could also be beneficial.

If aging is identified as a cause, this is typically done through a simple visual assessment and discussion of symptoms with the patient. In some cases, a biopsy might be necessary to rule out any potential skin conditions or diseases.

For those cases where the cause is not readily apparent, further diagnostic procedures may be required, such as imaging studies to view the facial structure and rule out any abnormalities or problems with the facial bones or muscles.

Prognosis and Impact


Prognosis of inverted lips largely depends on the underlying cause. If the inversion is due to a temporary or treatable cause, such as dehydration or malnutrition, then the prognosis is typically excellent. Once the underlying issue is addressed, the lips often return to their normal position.

For cases caused by aging or long-term habits such as smoking, the lips may not naturally return to their outward position, but there are several treatment options available. The use of dermal fillers or cosmetic surgery can often successfully restore the lips to a more normal appearance, providing a good prognosis for aesthetic concerns.

In cases where inverted lips are caused by neurological conditions, the prognosis is tied to the management of the underlying condition. In some instances, as the neurological condition is treated or managed, lip appearance and function can improve.


The impact of having inverted lips can be multifaceted. It can lead to functional issues such as difficulties in speaking, eating, and drinking. These difficulties can, in turn, impact the individual’s nutritional status and social interactions.

From an aesthetic perspective, the inversion of the lips can alter a person’s appearance, potentially affecting their self-esteem and psychological well-being. It’s important to note that these psychosocial impacts can be significant, and addressing the physical symptoms should ideally be accompanied by psychological support if necessary.

With the right medical approach and potentially psychological support, the impact of inverted lips can be managed and reduced, leading to a better quality of life for the individual.

Treatment Options

  1. Dermal Fillers: These are injectable substances used to add volume to the lips. They are a common choice for treating inverted lips resulting from aging or collagen loss. Hyaluronic acid is a popular filler due to its safety and efficacy. The results are temporary and may last from 6 months to a year or more.
  2. Lip Lift or Augmentation Surgery: For a more permanent solution, lip lift or augmentation surgery can be an option. These procedures adjust the shape and position of the lips to achieve a more outward appearance. They are often considered when the lip inversion is due to structural issues, significant aging effects, or scar contracture from previous trauma or surgery.
  3. Addressing Underlying Conditions: If the lip inversion is due to a neurological condition, treatment should be directed at managing the underlying condition, possibly in conjunction with a neurologist. Similarly, if the inversion is caused by dehydration or malnutrition, addressing these issues may help correct the inversion.
  4. Lifestyle Changes: In cases where lip inversion is attributed to habitual factors like smoking or the consistent use of ill-fitting dentures, cessation of smoking or getting properly fitting dentures can help improve the condition.
  5. Oral Appliances: In some cases, oral appliances similar to orthodontic retainers may be used to apply gentle outward pressure to the lips, encouraging them to assume a more normal, outward position.
  6. Physical Therapy: Particularly for cases where muscle weakness is contributing to the condition, exercises to strengthen the muscles around the mouth may be beneficial.

Each of these treatment options has its own potential benefits, risks, and costs, so it’s crucial to have a thorough discussion with your dermatologist or plastic surgeon to choose the best approach for your particular situation. A personalized treatment plan taking into account your health history, the cause of your lip inversion, and your personal preferences is always the best approach.

Risks and Side Effects

  1. Dermal Fillers: The use of dermal fillers is generally safe, but potential side effects can include swelling, redness, bruising at the injection site, and uneven lips. In rare cases, there could be an allergic reaction to the filler or formation of lumps under the skin.
  2. Lip Lift or Augmentation Surgery: As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with anesthesia, bleeding, infection, and scarring. Specific to lip augmentation, there can be asymmetry, stiffness, or unnatural-looking results. There could also be a change in lip sensation, and in rare cases, tissue loss from complications with blood flow.
  3. Addressing Underlying Conditions: The risks and side effects here would be specific to the treatments for the underlying conditions. For example, medications used to treat a neurological condition could have side effects such as fatigue, dizziness, or nausea.
  4. Lifestyle Changes: Generally, lifestyle changes like quitting smoking or improving nutrition have positive health effects. However, quitting smoking can lead to temporary withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, restlessness, or weight gain.
  5. Oral Appliances: While generally safe, some people might experience discomfort, difficulty speaking, or excess salivation with these devices. Long-term use without proper supervision could potentially alter the bite or cause jaw issues.
  6. Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is typically low-risk, but it’s possible to experience temporary muscle soreness or fatigue following exercises.

FAQ Section

Inverted lips refer to a condition where the lips turn inward, potentially due to aging, trauma, surgery, neurological conditions, smoking, dehydration, malnutrition, or improper use of dentures.

The diagnosis typically involves a consultation with a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon, who will take a detailed medical history and perform a physical examination. Depending on the suspected cause, further diagnostic procedures may be necessary.

Symptoms may include an obvious inversion of the lips, difficulty with oral functions like speaking, eating, and drinking, dry and chapped lips, and in some cases, increased salivation.

While inverted lips are primarily an aesthetic concern, they can also cause functional difficulties and potentially impact self-esteem and psychological well-being. The severity varies widely from person to person.

Treatment options range from injectable dermal fillers to lip lift or augmentation surgery. Addressing underlying conditions, making lifestyle changes, using oral appliances, or undergoing physical therapy may also be beneficial. The best treatment approach will depend on the cause and severity of the lip inversion.

As with any treatment, there can be risks. These could include reactions to dermal fillers, complications from surgery, side effects from medications used to treat underlying conditions, discomfort from oral appliances, or muscle soreness from physical therapy. Your doctor will discuss these potential risks and side effects with you in detail before deciding on a treatment.

This depends on the specifics of your insurance plan and the cause of your lip inversion. If the inversion is due to a medical condition, insurance may cover some or all of the costs. If the treatment is primarily for cosmetic reasons, it may not be covered. It’s important to check with your insurance provider for details.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help prevent certain causes of lip inversion. This includes staying hydrated, maintaining good nutrition, avoiding smoking, and using properly fitting dentures if necessary. Regular lip care such as using a good lip balm can also help.