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.

 

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.

 

BEFORE & AFTER PHOTOS

How Can I Get Rid of My Nasolabial Folds?

Dermal Fillers

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).
Filler in Cheeks Improves Smile Lines
This patient shows how Dermal Fillers in the Cheeks can lift the cheek and improve the smile lines. Click the image to view more angles.

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

Thread Lifts Improve Smile Lines Results
This patient shows how Thread Lifts can lift the cheek and improve the smile lines. Click the image to view more angles.

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

 

Medical Director at

Dr. Mitchell Chasin founded Reflections Center for skin & body as a place where physicians specializing in cosmetic medicine could focus on helping empower patients to feel their most beautiful. Dr. Chasin believes strongly that the best cosmetic physicians are those who are dedicated to mastering their craft through continuing education and collaboration with the industry’s top doctors.