Lines are carved into the faces of marionette puppets from their mouths to their chins, allowing them to imitate talking. Marionette lines in humans look similar. They are the vertical lines that run from the corners of the mouth towards the chin. Some run straight down, while others curve outwards.
Some people develop distinct marionette lines due to genetic factors. Others may notice a gradual deepening if they repeat certain facial expressions with their mouths. This may include pursing the lips to draw in smoke from a cigarette, making smoking a risk factor in the development of marionette lines.
As we age, decreasing collagen and elastin levels lead to a loss of tissue volume and skin elasticity. This can cause wrinkles and makes marionette lines more pronounced. Although marionette lines are not harmful, they cause a shadow between the chin and the cheek, creating the look of a jowl. For this reason, many people undergo treatments that reduce the appearance of their marionette lines, which can include botulinum toxin injections.
If you relate to this condition but still feel unsure, at Harpenden Skin Clinic we are always here to help and advise patients on the best possible treatment journey performed by experienced clinicians.