can you get rid of nasolabial folds
Nasolabial folds, also called smile lines, can be treated with dermal fillers. However, results are temporary and repeat procedures are often required

Nasolabial folds, also called smile lines, are deep wrinkles that appear on the side of the nose and extend to the corner of the mouth. Everyone has nasolabial folds, but they may be more visible in some. 

Fillers are the quickest way to get rid of them, although a combination of treatments may achieve a more aesthetically pleasing result. However, you cannot permanently get rid of prominent nasolabial folds because they are an inevitable part of the aging process. Thus, repeat procedures are often required.

10 ways to get rid of nasolabial folds

  1. Dermal fillers: Dermal fillers are used as the first-line treatment for nasolabial folds. Dermal fillers help lift the skin and add volume to the area. The most commonly used fillers are calcium hydroxylapatite and hyaluronic acid. Both have been shown to promote collagen growth and plump the skin. There are a few side effects, however, such as minor bruising.
  2. Microneedle fractional radiofrequency system treatment: This is 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.
  3. Dermapen: Dermapen is a minimally invasive microneedle treatment that helps create deep microchannels in the skin's dermis to stimulate natural collagen production. Minor needle pricks may be felt, but there are very few side effects. It softens fine lines and wrinkles and tightens the skin, which reduces the appearance of nasolabial folds.
  4. High-intensity focused ultrasound: Heat energy is delivered to the skin and subcutaneous tissue to stimulate collagen production, improve skin texture, and reduce sagging. This treatment can help achieve a visible facelift without the use of invasive surgery or injections. It is recommended for almost all skin types because the results are long-lasting.
  5. Radiofrequency: A handheld device is used to heat the skin with radiofrequency energy to create a tightening effect. You may feel some heat during the hour-long procedure, and you may need 2-6 sessions to achieve the desired results. Studies have shown that radiofrequency is an effective treatment for middle and lower face laxity.
  6. Chemical peels: To improve the appearance of the skin, a light or medium chemical peel can be used to exfoliate the outer skin layers. This promotes skin tightening by increasing collagen production and cell turnover, resulting in brighter, smoother skin. Popular chemical peels include black, yellow, glycolic, and azelaic peels.
  7. Thread lifts: Temporary sutures are used to suspend some of the facial skin instead of removing the excess tissue that causes the folds. This can tighten the skin and significantly reduce the appearance of skin folds. The procedure also stimulates collagen production.
  8. Laser skin resurfacing: This treatment removes the skin's top layer and corrects minor flaws and blemishes. It is a safe and precise technique to stimulate collagen production and the growth of new skin cells.
  9. Surgical removal: A full-face or cheek lift can help reduce the appearance of nasolabial folds. However, this is usually not recommended because surgical procedures may cause complications and the recovery period is lengthy.
  10. Lifestyle habits: According to the American Academy of Dermatology, sunscreen should be used daily, and the skin should be moisturized to reduce folds and improve overall skin quality. For better results, consider using retinol products. Sleeping on your back, getting enough rest, and eating a healthy diet are also important for skin repair.

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What causes nasolabial folds?

Nasolabial folds may appear mild at first, but they frequently deepen when you smile or laugh. A variety of factors contribute to the appearance of nasolabial folds, including:

  • Sun exposure
  • Loss of collagen with age
  • Sagging skin
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to environmental pollutants
  • Rapid weight loss or frequent fluctuations in weight

Can facial exercises help with nasolabial folds?

There has been no credible research to support the use of facial exercises to improve the appearance of nasolabial folds. However, in theory, they may help keep facial muscles toned and the skin tight as people age. 

The idea is that, like other muscles, the facial muscles respond to physical exertion. Working out facial muscles will help keep the face structurally sound. Some of the movements recommended are as follows:

  • Pout your lips for 20 seconds and repeat 4 times.
  • Pushing your lips upward, hold for 20 seconds and repeat 4 times.
  • Stretch the corners of your mouth outward for 20 seconds and repeat 4 times.

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Medically Reviewed on 10/28/2021
References
Image Source: yacobchuk / Getty Images

Jackson-Cannady A. Erase Lines around Your Mouth. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/erasing-lines-around-your-mouth

El-Mesidy MS, Alaklouk WT, Azzam OA. Nasolabial fold correction through cheek volume loss restoration versus thread lifting: a comparative study. Arch Dermatol Res. 2020 Sep;312(7):473-480. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31898756/

Mark G, Rubin MD. Treatment of Nasolabial Folds with Fillers. Aesthet Surg J. 2004;24(5): 489-493. https://academic.oup.com/asj/article/24/5/489/251607

Laquis SJ. How Do Nasolabial Folds Form and How Can I Reduce Their Appearance? https://www.laquis.net/general/how-do-nasolabial-folds-form-and-how-can-i-reduce-their-appearance/