- 1 What are Nasolabial Folds or Smile Lines?
- 2 What Causes These Wrinkles?
- 3 BEFORE & AFTER PHOTOS
- 4 How Can I Get Rid of My Nasolabial Folds?
- 5 Can You Prevent Smile Lines?
- 6 Finding a Doctor You Can Trust to Help You Look Naturally Youthful
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
Our goal with smile lines correction is to achieve such a naturally youthful result that no one will be able to pinpoint what, if anything, was done to achieve this look.
Nasolabial folds are sometimes called “smile lines” or “laugh lines” because they are the wrinkles that are caused by repeated smiling and laughing. Our dedicated cosmetic physicians treat smile lines at the source, building up support and collagen for natural-looking and long-lasting results.
“I am delighted with the results. I am 52 years old, and my laugh lines and small wrinkles around my mouth have virtually disappeared, and overall I have a much more youthful appearance.”
–karenm on RealSelf.com
What are Nasolabial Folds or Smile Lines?
Nasolabial fold is the medical term for sfor smile lines, the lines that extend from the nose to the corners of the mouth. These lines form from repeated facial expressions, loss of natural volume which shifts in the fat pads in the cheeks and weakness in certain facial structures. Everyone has these lines, but for some people these lines deeper than others.
Laugh lines are another name for smile lines or nasolabial folds (the medical term for parenthesis lines around your mouth caused by smiling). The image above shows which lines are laugh lines vs. nasojugal groove (mid-cheek lines) and marionette lines (corners of mouth to chin).
What Causes These Wrinkles?
Nasolabial folds are caused by repeated smiling or laughing, as well as natural aging changes in the face. As we age, we lose natural fat pad volume across the “cheekbones,” or upper cheek area. As this fat disappears and our cheeks flatten, the skin on our faces droops downward and forward. This makes smile lines much deeper. Simultaneously, our skin loses elasticity and becomes thinner and weaker with age – this happens all over, but to a great degree where folds and wrinkles occur.
Once you understand the underlying causes of deep laugh lines, it’s easy to understand why our physicians offer a variety of treatments to target the underlying root causes of these concerns.
Generally, you’ll see fine lines in the nasolabial fold around 25-35. These deepen into always-visible lines around age 35-45, and wrinkles or folds that deepen into jowls are typical by 45-55.
Everyone ages at their own rate – and the severity of your smile lines is going to be negatively impacted by:
Laugh Lines are caused by:
25 is young to have deep folds at the smile line area, but fine lines in the nasolabial fold area are expected around age 25-35. If you’re experiencing these lines so early, you’re likely facing both a genetic predisposition to them, and you’re probably doing a few things (like smiling a lot or not wearing sunscreen) that you could change in order to slow down the progression.
What we will often recommend is either filling the line to help support that skin and/or doing a treatment like Sofwave, which will improve collagen support in the skin and make the skin a little more resilient to the repetitive motion. Both are affordable options with no downtime, which work well for our young patients.
BEFORE & AFTER PHOTOS
How Can I Get Rid of My Nasolabial Folds?
Dermal fillers are the most common treatment used to get rid of both small laugh lines and deep folds around the mouth. They’re usually the most cost-effective and can be used to both spot-treat and create comprehensive change. We use both hyaluronic acid fillers for this area, and fillers that are biostimulatory (meaning they stimulate your body to grow new tissues).
- In situations where the laugh lines are caused by volume loss in the cheeks, we gently and conservatively replace this lost volume, usually with Voluma, Lyft, or Radiesse. Replacing this volume in the cheek above will lift the cheekbone area, causing the smile line and any jowling to improve. This will not erase the line, but is a very natural-looking improvement and in a patient over 45, it’s going to look more natural than just trying to fill in the line.
- When the skin is weak and thin everywhere, we can firm, tighten, and smooth the skin with a filler like Sculptra or hyperdilute Radiesse.
- When the skin isn’t thin or weak, the cheeks aren’t flat, and it’s truly just a line caused by repeated movement of the mouth, we can fill in that line with filler – and most commonly we use Juvederm, Refyne, or Vollure. Juvederm is a plump filler that will provides medium-firm support and is the least expensive of these, but lasts only about 6-9 months in high-movement areas. Refyne and Vollure are meant to stand up to areas of high movement and provide medium-firm support, but are slightly more expensive at the time of injection(though less in the long term to maintain that result because they last 1-2 years).
This photo shows how volumizing the upper cheek improves the smile lines. Once the skin is lifted back up, the smile lines should be much improved. If the patient wants to further soften the lines, we can inject a mid-weight hyaluronic acid filler, such as Refyne or Vollure directly beneath the line to support the skin throughout that area, and help it to bounce back from repeated motions. These represent a new class of dermal filler FDA approved for lower face injections that are beginning to compete with Restylane and Juvederm to be the treatment of choice for the nasolabial fold because they have been formulated differently to stand up to repetitive motion and bounce back, kind of like memory foam.
When the loss of volume in the cheek is the cause of deep nasolabial folds, injections to restore volume this area is wonderful. Unfortunately, there are too many patients having cheek injections that are not good candidates for this treatment. This can result in unnatural looking results. To ensure great results and a happy outcome, please seek care from physicians who provide dermal filler injections on a full time basis, not as a tangent to some other area of medicine (or dentistry).
Thread Lifts can also be used to lift the cheek to improve smile lines. Using FDA-approved surgical threads, including MINT Threads, Nova PDO Threads, or Silhouette Soft Instalift threads, a non-surgical facelift can be achieved. Your physician will gently lift the skin in the midface using the threads, reducing the nasolabial folds. Threads dissolve over time, but the results of a thread lift are long-lasting because the treatment boosts your natural collagen production, creating firmer, more elastic, and more youthful-looking skin and a lifted effect.
Can You Prevent Smile Lines?
You don’t have to give up smiling to prevent smile lines. There are proven treatments that will help you strengthen the collagen support of your skin and keep it looking young and healthy, even if you’re a big smiler.
Lasers and microneedling treatments direct their influence deep within the skin, stimulating the body to repair and rebuild with new skin cells, collagen, and elastin. Building a strong support layer of collagen helps firm up the skin, while elastin helps the skin bounce back from repeated motions, such as smiling, without forming wrinkles. Radiofrequency (RF) microneedling combines the power of precision heat with microneedling to make profound changes to the deep layers of the skin. This creates results that rival the most powerful lasers, without the risks of pigmentation change in darker skin tones.
Sofwave, a non-surgical facelift alternative that words with ultrasound technology, can also be used to prevent nasolabial folds. This treatment stimulates collagen production using high frequency, low-divergence ultrasound to lift and tighten the skin. Patients usually see Sofwave results about 3-6 months after their treatment, and while aging signs are reduced, the results are subtle enough that most people won’t be able to tell you’ve had a treatment. Sofwave patients notice a more youthful and lifted look that still looks natural.
Ultherapy, or Ulthera, is another ultrasound treatment that rejuvenates the skin and results in a non-invasive facelift. Many Ultherapy patients choose the treatment because while it effectively reduces their lines and wrinkles, they can still move freely, and results look natural. In addition to treating the face, patients can treat their neck or décolleté—often in the same treatment session. Ultherapy works by heating precise, targeted areas below the skin to create a “shrink wrap” effect in the collagen fibers. The result is tighter, firmer, more youthful skin.
Finding a Doctor You Can Trust to Help You Look Naturally Youthful
Smile lines are an area that is commonly over-treated, leading to a weird, distorted look. This is the number one concern we hear from patients, and we’re equally concerned with creating a youthful look that’s so natural that no one will be able to pinpoint what if anything was ever done. Our treatments for smile lines are provided exclusively by Cosmetic Physicians, who each individually have at least 5 years of experience performing these services.
To schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your smile lines, please call our office at (732) 356-1666.
Frequently Asked Questions
At what age do smile lines appear?
For most people, fine lines appear (at rest) in your smile lines around 30. This is dependent upon both your genetics and your environment - those who smoke, laugh or smile more frequently, or who dont protect themselves from the sun, will experience them earlier in life than if they had not had these negative environmental factors.
What are laugh lines caused by?
Laugh lines are caused by the repetitive motion of smiling! Many people find these endearing, as they indicate a happy life. But for those who want theirs lessened or removed, treatments are available.
How do you treat nasolabial folds without fillers?
Thread Lifts or a skin tightening treatment like Sofwave or Ulthera are the best treatments for smile lines that dont involve fillers. Fat transfer and facelift surgery would be 2 other options that work well, if plastic surgery is something youre open to exploring.
How do you get rid of smile lines naturally?
What do you mean by naturally? If you consider growing your own collagen naturally then we recommend either hyperdilute Radiesse, Sculptra, Sofwave, or Ultherapy. If you mean without treatments of any kind, you may consider trying to stop smiling (dont laugh! - this will truly work if youre very young and only have very fine lines or no lines in the skin at rest).
Can you get rid of laugh lines?
Yes! You can get rid of the lines, folds, and wrinkles - but you will always naturally have an indentation in the face as it transitions from cheek to lip. Check out our before and after photos above if you want to see what were talking about.
How do I get rid of smile lines?
Fillers, Thread Lifts, Non-Surgical Skin Tightening treatments (Ultherapy, Sofwave, Thermage, Exillis Ultra), and Plastic Surgery (facelift or fat transfer filling) are all options to eliminate smile lines.
How do you get rid of smile lines fast?
Fillers and Thread Lifts can make your smile lines disappear overnight - no, really, they work immediately, and you can be ready to show off your results the very next day!