What are Nasolabial Folds?
Nasolabial folds are sometimes referred to as smile or laugh lines. They are best described as the two skin folds on the side of the nose and corner of the mouth. They help make the cheek and upper lip distinctive by separating the two. As a person ages, the fold becomes more pronounced. Some people do not like the way it looks while others feel it is a natural and welcome part of aging. Throughout this article, we will be discussing the common causes of nasolabial folds, signs and symptoms associated with them, expert opinions and whether or not Botox is a treatment option.
What are Common Causes of Nasolabial Folds?
There are some general causes of all types of wrinkles and laugh lines are no different. One of the most common causes is sun damage. We tend to spend a lot of time in the sun, especially when we are young. This is also the time that we tend to ignore what’s happening to our skin. Smoking is the next culprit. When someone smokes, they purse their lips, which can lead to mouth wrinkles. The chemicals in tobacco cigarettes also accelerate the aging process by as much as 20 percent. Finally, facial expressions are a huge part of why wrinkles form.
What are the Signs and Symptoms Associated with Nasolabial Folds?
Laugh lines can develop at any age. In fact, many of us grow up with a slight hint of laugh lines, but it is not until they deepen and become more pronounced that they become a problem for some people. All wrinkles are a result of a combination of factors. One factor is the weakening of facial muscles as we age. Facial expressions also play a huge role, so if you smile or laugh a great deal, there is a chance that you will develop deeper laugh lines at a younger age. Nasolabial folds can become more prominent as early as the 20s.
What are the Best Treatments for Nasolabial Folds?
Plastic surgery is the best treatment available for nasolabial folds. It produces the longest lasting results. There are three procedures that are most commonly used as corrective treatment. Sometimes we develop laugh lines because of sagging cheeks. If this is the case, a mid-facelift may be the best option. For more facial contouring, cheek implants will help to soften the upper part of nasolabial folds. It will also give your face more definition. For severe nasolabial folds, a nasolabial fold excision is the choice for most doctors. With this procedure, the folds are lifted from the face.
Expert Opinions on Nasolabial Folds
According to the Mayo Clinic website, gravity pulls our skin down as we age. This causes the cheeks to flatten. At the same time, patients may experience other facial changes, such as drooping eyelids. These changes may create a tired or sad look, even when the patient doesn’t feel this way.
For patients who opt for surgical treatment, here is some information about what to expect. General anesthesia will be used. In a mid-facelift, incisions are made in the ears as well as in the gum line above each upper canine tooth. Each oral incision receives a stitch attaching to the cheek pad and securing to the scalp.
Mid-facelifts can dramatically change your physical appearance. At first, you may notice that the cheek pad looks over-corrected, but in time as the cheek settles, it will take on a more natural look. Dimpling can appear on the cheeks and you may have difficulty puckering your upper lips at first, but this is only temporary. You also may see swelling and bruise around your eyes and some aching in your cheeks.
Can Botox Prevent Nasolabial Folds?
Botox is not necessarily the best treatment option for nasolabial folds because it works by weakening the muscles. When used from the eyes down, Botox can cause serious facial problems. Problems include issues with the facial expression and mouth movement. It is recommended that laugh lines are filled with Restylane or Juvederm instead.
If you are unsure of what the best options for your nasolabial folds are, consult your doctor. In the meantime, you can try to prevent laugh lines from appearing by taking care of your skin and being aware of what your face does throughout the day. There are some alternative methods that you can use at home, but you may not get the same results from them as you get from plastic surgery. Facial exercises or facial yoga may be an option for you and if you haven’t developed deep laugh lines yet, you may want to consider doing daily facial exercises.