Three-dimensional analysis of facial morphology: growth, development and aging of the orolabial region

Chiarella Sforza, Virgilio F. Ferrario


Soft tissue analysis plays an increasing, strategic role in the recognition of facial alterations, but there are scanty three­dimensional reference data during normal growth, development and aging. In the current study, 532 male and 386 female healthy subjects aged 4 to 73 years were analyzed using a non-invasive, computerized electromagnetic digitizer, and normal dimensions of mouth and lips were obtained in the three­dimensional space. Labial thickness and curvature were also assessed in a selected group of 40 men and women, equally divided into young (age 21­30 yr, mean 25 yr) and old persons (age 45­65 yr, mean 55 yr).
Lip vermilion area to volume, and vermilion height to cutaneous lip height ratios decreased with age in both sexes. On average, the lips were thicker in men and in young persons than in women and in old persons. Mean labial curvature was larger in young men than in the other groups, and it was more variable in young than in old persons. Data collected in the present investigation can be used as a data base for the quantitative description of human lip morphol­ogy during normal growth, development and aging.


digital anthropometry; lips; growth; aging

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