Female face with dotted area under eyes and near mouth. Plastic surgery anti-age concept.

Aging comes with a loss of collagen and elastin that involves a deepening nasolabial fold, one of the most challenging signs of age to treat. A nasolabial fold (also named nasolabial fold) is a broad term for the crease that runs from the side of the nostril toward the corner of the mouth. Thanks to the advancement of technology, nasolabial folds can now be addressed with the various treatments available in the beauty market.

What Are The Causes Of Nasolabial Folds?

Certainly, nasolabial folds are a normal part of human anatomy, not a medical condition or a sign of aging. However, as people age, these folds can become deeper and also sag. 

Not only that, but some people also develop lines next to the nasolabial folds. Others develop lines extending down to the chin, sometimes marionette lines. Due to many factors, nasolabial folds become more noticeable because of the following:

Aside from that, facial expressions also contribute to deeper wrinkles as we age. Frequent scowling can cause lines near the eyebrows, while smiling can make nasolabial folds deeper. Moreover, below are other factors that play a role in skin aging, such as:

How Do Nasolabial Fold Treatments Work?

For those prominent nasolabial folds, there are both non-surgical and surgical treatment options to rejuvenate the nasolabial folds (and surrounding features). What works best will depend on age, anatomy, and aesthetic goals. Below are a few of the most effective:

Dermal Filler 

This is precisely the most popular treatment for nasolabial fold concerns; hyaluronic acid (HA)-based dermal filler, like Juvéderm®, Restylane®, and Belotero®, can be artfully injected to lift and smooth the creases without simply plumping up the lines themselves. In some cases, the filler is “injected in the piriform fossa — or inferior to the nasolabial fold — to gently lift it and soften the appearance of the laugh lines.

For other patients, cheek filler may be a better option, like the new Restylane® Contour. When cheek fillers are placed strategically, the filler can lift the cheeks, surrounding soft tissues, and the nasolabial fold. The laugh lines will be less prominent by restoring the appearance of a more sculpted cheekbone. 

In addition, cheek enhancement can be done alone or as part of a larger liquid facelift. Regardless of the placement, HA filler gives instant — albeit temporary — results that lasts six to 12 months.

Thread Lifts

This minimally invasive treatment is popular due to its ability to provide short- and long-term effects. The fine dissolvable threads are placed under the skin to mechanically pull up the skin and soft tissues such as the cheeks and nasolabial folds. Additionally, the suspension of the sutures in the skin offers a subtle lift immediately, but how the threads work over time makes them so desirable.

Internally, a thread lift stimulates the body’s natural collagen production. While the threads break down over a few months (think: three to six) and get absorbed by the body, the collagen remains for a smoother and more youthful appearance.

Non-Surgical Tightening

For patients with mild to moderate skin laxity that is affecting the appearance of their nasolabial folds, non-surgical, energy-based skin tightening can help boost collagen production and rejuvenate the skin. High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) treatments transmit [HIFU] energy to the skin of the cheeks and nasolabial folds to remodel the collagen and build collagen in the skin. 

Also, Ultherapy® is another skin tightening option that became popular that uses micro-focused ultrasound (MFU) technology. In contrast, radiofrequency-based skin tightening treatments, like Morpheus8® and Thermage®, have also gained popularity in recent years.

Facelift

Dermal fillers, thread lifts, and non-invasive skin tightening can be very effective nasolabial fold treatments, but a surgical facelift is the most effective option for some patients. 

Different techniques, including a mid-facelift, can be employed to specifically target deep creases around the mouth by repositioning displaced fat and removing excess skin in the cheeks and lower face. After a facelift, fat grafting or filler may be recommended to restore volume and further rejuvenate the face.

Fat Injections

Another option is autologous fat injections- also called facial fat grafting. According to the ABCs, this involves harvesting the patient’s fat, usually with liposuction from the buttocks or abdomen, and then purifying it before injecting it into the desired area. 

About 50% of the fat injected will survive, and the surviving fat will last forever, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Multiple fat transfers are often needed.

Skin Resurfacing Treatments

The good news is that some skin resurfacing treatments can help the skin surrounding nasolabial folds look more youthful. For example, laser skin resurfacing, for example, can reduce the appearance of scars and age spots.

Additionally, microdermabrasion offers deep exfoliation that makes the skin look younger and thicker. These treatments can help offset the appearance of nasolabial folds, but they will not remove the folds.

Microneedle Fractional Radiofrequency System Treatment

This has been tagged as the most effective technology for skin rejuvenation and tightening, approved by the FDA. It employs minimally invasive microneedles to deliver controlled radiofrequency energy directly into the skin’s multiple layers. This heats the tissue and stimulates new collagen production, which promotes skin modeling and helps remove nasolabial folds.

Lifestyle Habits

Sunscreen should be used daily as advised by the American Academy of Dermatology, as well as the skin should be moisturized to reduce folds and improve overall skin quality. For better results, consider using retinol products. Sleeping on the back, getting enough rest, and eating a healthy diet are also crucial for skin repair.

Final Thoughts

 As faces naturally lose the subcutaneous flat with age, nasolabial folds have become one of the most common wrinkles that form alongside the inner cheeks. NuFaceGlow Med Spa offers Dermal Fillers using Juvederm Voluma XC and Restylane Lyft, which can address nasolabial folds, add back that lost volume and significantly reduce the signs of aging. Ultimately, it’s non-invasive with downtime or recovery time, and results last up to 18 months.