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How to Improve Your Nasolabial Folds

By Constance M. Barone, M.D. on July 29, 2014

A healthy looking middle-aged couple, smilingAlthough everyone shows their age differently, there are a few common facial features that tend to become more pronounced with age. One such feature is the nasolabial fold, or the area that extends from the nostril down to the corner of the mouth. As people grow older, a crease tends to form in this area, becoming increasingly visible and thus a sign of aging.

If you notice the lines along your nasolabial folds becoming deeper and more pronounced, especially when you smile, you may be a good candidate for a facial plastic surgery procedure at our San Antonio office. For the right candidate, procedures such as a full facelift or QuickLift™can achieve smoother, younger features. 

What Causes Nasolabial Folds?

Also called smiles lines or laugh lines, the nasolabial folds are formed by a combination of tissue features. While some people are more predisposed to forming deep creases in this area, most people will see these folds increase with age. This occurs due to a combination of loosening skin, thinning skin, the accumulation of fatty tissue, and the sagging of that tissue. Depending on one’s personal preferences, these lines may be seen in a positive light, often on men. However, if one does not want to appear too old, or does not like the way these lines complement other features, there are multiple ways to reduce their prevalence. 

Treatment Options

If you wish to reduce the appearance of your nasolabial folds, speak with your doctor about your cosmetic goals. Depending on their prominence, your preferences for treatment, and any other facial features you may wish to address, your doctor may recommend one of the following treatment options:

  • Facelift: A full facelift is an effective way to combat a range of cosmetic problems in the mid- to lower-face. Wrinkles, loose skin, excess fat, and nasolabial folds can all be addressed simultaneously through this comprehensive procedure. After creating incisions along the hairline, the doctor will remove excess skin and fat, reposition muscle tissue, and pull the skin horizontally before suturing it in place. While this option is particularly effective for each of the aforementioned problems, it is also the most invasive.
  • QuickLift™: Like a traditional facelift, the QuickLift™ technique removes excess skin and fat and repositions the muscles of the mid- to lower-face. However, this technique utilizes smaller incisions to more discreetly manipulate tissue. The results are less dramatic, but patients benefit from smaller scars and an easier recovery.
  • Dermal fillers: Our practice offers a variety of dermal fillers, which can be used to add volume to an area of your face. Restylane®, Juvéderm®, and Artefill® are a few fillers you can use to lessen the visibility of folds. By injecting an artificial filler under the skin, lines and wrinkles can be reduced in appearance as the skin is smoothed out and new collagen growth is stimulated.
  • Cheek implants: By inserting implants into the cheeks, patients can achieve fuller, better defined cheeks and overall facial structure. Although implants are not designed to remove other signs of aging such as creases or wrinkles, some patients may notice an improvement near the nasolabial folds after the insertion of implants.

Which Treatment Is Best?

Every patient is differently suited for treatment, with numerous factors to consider. First, patients must consider how many signs of aging they wish to treat. If the nasolabial folds are the only area of concern, then a dermal filler might be the best option to try first, as it does not require surgery and will only affect the designated area. For a wide area of treatment, a full or mini facelift may be a better option, especially if patients want to prevent additional signs of aging in their face. Additionally, the doctor must examine one’s candidacy to undergo any potential surgery by assessing health risks and the ability to recover. No matter one’s condition or appearance, there is likely a treatment option that will be both safe and effective.

Learn More about Your Options

It can difficult to determine which technique is best suited for you until you meet your doctor for a consultation. By scheduling an appointment at our office, you can begin exploring your options and taking positive steps toward a rejuvenated appearance.

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9502 Huebner Rd
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San Antonio Office

9502 Huebner Rd
Bldg 2, Ste 202
San Antonio, TX 78240

All Hours Directions (210) 614-0400