Nasolabial folds are the indentation lines on either side of the mouth that extend from the edge of the nose to the mouth’s outer corners. They become more prominent when people smile.
These folds also tend to deepen with age. Some people develop wrinkles next to the nasolabial folds, which may be more visible during smiling. These sometimes called smile lines or laugh lines.
The folds, which are made of dense bundles of fibrous tissue and muscles, tend to become more prominent with age.
As the skin becomes saggy and thinner, many people find that their nasolabial folds become more noticeable.
With age, some people also develop lines next to the nasolabial folds. Others develop lines that extend down to the chin, which are sometimes referred to as marionette lines.
Nasolabial folds become more noticeable due to a variety of factors, including:
sun exposure, which damages the skin, causing wrinkles and changes in texture
loss of collagen with age, making the skin look weak and thin
loss of fat, which can make the cheeks and nearby regions appear saggy
Other factors that play a role in skin aging include:
exposure to environmental pollutants
rapid weight loss or frequent fluctuations in weight
Dermal fillers are implants that are placed just under the skin. They can plump up the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
A doctor can apply dermal fillers just under the skin in the nasolabial fold area or the upper cheek area to give the cheeks a lift, making the nasolabial folds less noticeable. The procedure can take place in a doctor’s office.
Fillers cannot make nasolabial folds disappear, but they can make them less pronounced. They can also be used to help nearby skin look fuller and more youthful.
Doctors can also inject fat into the nasolabial fold area to decrease their appearance. The fat is taken from another area of the body and injected to fill the area, similarly to the dermal filler.
There is a good idea to do tread lifting to reduce nasolabial fold depth . This is a outpatient procedure under local anesthesia .
A surgeon can greatly reduce the appearance of nasolabial folds using a surgical process called mid face lift .
Exercises for nasolabial folds
The muscles of the face can be toned just like any other group of muscles. Strong facial muscles make it easier to control facial expressions. Just as a toned stomach may look less saggy, a toned face may look tighter.
While frequent smiling can worsen nasolabial folds, a person should not try to refrain from smiling. Laughter and smiling have positive effects on a person’s mental health and are important social cues.
Some people claim that facial exercises can strengthen the muscles surrounding nasolabial folds, potentially making them less noticeable.
There is little or no scientific research on the effectiveness of these exercises, but they are not harmful. Anyone who wishes to try them can do so safely and may find them beneficial.
Exercises for nasolabial folds include:
Puckering the lips in an upward motion, as if kissing the ceiling. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 4–5 times.
Puckering the lips into a pouting motion, then pulling the corners of the mouth out. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 4–5 times.
With the mouth slightly open, pull on its corners with both index fingers, pulling the corners of the mouth further apart. Hold for 2–3 seconds, and repeat 25–50 times.
A person can do these exercises every day.
There is no method for preventing nasolabial folds — even children have them when they smile.
Nasolabial folds are a normal part of the face, not a defect. Although they can grow or deepen over time and as a result of smiling, there is no medical need to treat them.
People who are bothered by their nasolabial folds should speak with a skilled plastic surgeon or physician who specializes in aesthetic treatments.
The right treatment will depend on many personal factors, and what works for one person might not work for another.
Anyone considering cosmetic procedures should ask their healthcare professional a lot of questions and be clear about their expectations.