Frequent drinking from water bottles could cause "water lips"

6:11 AM, Jun 2, 2008   |    comments
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Some call it the secret to losing weight; others say it can be cure-all for things like dry skin, hair and nails, but one doctor says drinking bottled water could actually be like smoking three packs of cigarettes a day.

According to D.C. dermatologist Dr. Marilyn Berzin, dozens of women have come in puzzled by lines and wrinkles around their lips.

It's a condition termed "smoker's lips" because of the similar pattern of wrinkles found on the faces of long-term, heavy smokers.

But many of the women have never smoked a day in their life.

Instead, they're drinking from water bottles.

"When you're drinking from a water bottle, you're pretty much making the same face as you are when you're smoking a cigarette," said Berzin.

Berzin said that over time that face creates permanent lines.

People who drink from water bottles with either sport or straw tops or nozzles, consistently, all day long, for about two years, will start to develop noticeable smokers lips, according to Berzin.

And it's not just older people.

Berzin said she has had patients as young as their 30s.

Berzin recommended that water drinkers use wide-mouthed bottles or cups, allowing the upper lip to stay relaxed while drinking.

Melissa, 54, is the picture of health.

She runs, bikes and competes in triathlons.

That's why she needs to keep hydrated.

She said she drinks out of water bottles while at work and while working out.

"It never occurred to me that hydration was detrimental to my face," Melissa said.

She said she's not giving up her water habit or changing her bottle.

Instead, she's choosing to get a cosmetic treatment to fix the problem.

Typically, doctors will use a filler to fill in the wrinkles around people's lips.

But, if it's not too late, Berzin emphasizes avoiding bottles that have a sports top.

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