Nasolabial folds are the deep wrinkles that run from the sides of your nose to the corners of your mouth. Often called “parentheses lines” because of their distinctive shape, your face makes these wrinkles naturally when you smile and they’re present even in children when they laugh or smile. Although smiling a lot may bring them on faster, there isn’t any way to prevent them. The major cause of nasolabial folds is aging, and they can show up as early as your twenties.
As we age, we lose collagen and with it, skin elasticity. When skin elasticity is lost, we get sagging. Another contributor to the problem is the descent of the fat pad in the upper part of the cheek. With aging, the fat’s attachment to the underlying cheekbone loosens and weakens. As a result, the fat pad drops, which causes a hollowing in the lower eyelid area and a prominence of the nasolabial fold. In addition, we naturally lose fat from our faces with age. The fat serves a valuable purpose: its volume supports the skin and stretches it taut. Without it, the skin sags like a deflated balloon.
Facial fat grafting or other soft tissue fillers can be used to improve and contour "deep laugh lines".
When used on the face, injectable fillers do what their name implies: they plump up surface depressions, furrows, and wrinkles, like the nasolabial folds. While Botox, Dysport and Xeomin are excellent at relaxing overactive muscles in the upper half of the face, making them the perfect choice for smoothing a wrinkled forehead or softening crow’s feet, fillers work well on deep wrinkles. That’s why fillers are an excellent choice to soften the nasolabial folds.
Fillers can also add volume to the upper cheeks to replace lost fat and lift the skin while adding height to the cheekbones. In addition to beautifying the cheeks, adding filler to this area can help alleviate some of the sagging affecting the lower portion of the face. Results from fillers can last from several months to as long as a year with little or no downtime.
Side effects or complications are rare, although some of the more common ones are bruising, swelling, and redness at the injection sites. These effects are all temporary and generally, short-lived. You’ll be able to see immediate improvement after your in-office treatment.
Dr. Myint will discuss with you the various treatment approaches. Great care goes into planning and performing your treatment to give you the best possible results.
Some patients with deep nasolabial folds also have other concerns about the lower portion of their face. They might have sagging, slack, or jowly skin over cheeks and jawline. Perhaps they have slack skin on the neck as well. For many of these patients, a facelift is their best option for meaningful facial rejuvenation. Fillers in conjunction with surgery or injected in the immediate post-operative period tend to yield longer-lasting results.
Just to be clear, today’s facelift is nothing like those too-tight, obvious procedures that were once the norm. When properly performed and used in an integrated approach, a facelift is completely natural-looking, giving you a more youthful and rested appearance. Sophisticated and experienced plastic surgeons no longer just stretch the skin taut and call it a day. Instead, we aim to restore youthful tone, texture, and volume, augmenting the surgery with, among other things, skin resurfacing treatments and injectables for a far more satisfying result.
The facelift procedure itself has changed, and it’s no longer as invasive. New techniques have made the scars smaller and less conspicuous, healing and recovery more rapid and pleasant, procedures less risky, and the overall results far more rewarding than traditional facelift surgery.
The areas of the face treated by a facelift predominantly include the lower third of the face and the neck. The procedure addresses the jawline and jowls, crepey and wrinkled skin texture, and the ropey, sagging skin of the neck (the so-called “turkey gobbler neck”). A facelift can counteract the effects of aging and sun damage on the face, jawline and neck areas. Learn more about facelifts.
Unsure about the best way to treat your nasolabial folds? Dr. Myint will be happy to answer your questions and assess your needs during a private consultation.