Lips and Philtrum


Please click to enlarge.

Note what signs you see.

I (W. Wertelecki, M.D.) see lip “shapes” – in the mid-upper lip is the philtrum (a groove-like depression) – an important marker of the forebrain impact on nasal development – the philtrum is evident in every racial-ethnic human population – its absence is an important sign that may signal forebrain maldevelopment. Otherwise, the morphology of the lip and the “Cupid bow” of the upper lip (blue arrow) are quite variable. Voluntary or due to contractures of perioral muscles the lips may become “puckered” or whistling-like. The position of the corners of the lips may signal hypotonia when they “droop” below the mid-point of the lower lip (“carp mouth”).

See also a gallery focused on the philtrum of the upper lip (a derivate of nasal development) and related anomalies.