As we age, various fine lines appear on our skin, one of which is nasolabial folds. Nasolabial folds are depressed lines on both sides of the nose that extend downward to the corners of the mouth.
“Lines” appear on our skin as we age. These creases/wrinkles can be further divided into “dynamic lines” and “static lines.” When we speak or make expressions, dynamic lines appear because of facial movements; if lines appear even if the face is expressionless, they are static lines.
Most people’s nasolabial folds begin as dynamic lines. However, as the muscles are stretched for a long time and the skin gradually loosens, the dynamic lines will turn into static lines over time. In addition, age-related soft tissue loss further exacerbates the condition. To truly prevent and improve nasolabial folds, we must first understand the causes and types of nasolabial folds.
Four Types of Nasolabial Folds
Nasolabial folds can be divided into four types: aging type, bone retrusion type, muscle type and hybrid type.
As age increases, due to the aging of skin tissue and loss of collagen, the elasticity of the skin tissue decreases, thus reducing the support for the skin. The facial muscles become relaxed and deeper nasolabial folds appear.
Causes of Nasolabial Folds
Cause 1: Genetic Factors
People with congenital facial bone development, such as buck teeth, malocclusion of the upper and lower jaws, and high cheekbones are more likely to develop nasolabial folds than the average person.
Cause 2: Aging
As we age, the skin’s collagen and elastic fibers gradually decrease. The skin will gradually become loose due to loss of support, causing sagging cheeks, blurred jawline and other aging problems, and nasolabial folds will also deepen.
Cause 3: Facial Muscle Activity
Frequent facial expressions, such as smiling, chewing, and talking can cause facial muscles to contract and stretch, thereby forming nasolabial folds. Over time, these muscle activities will cause the skin to lose elasticity and produce more obvious wrinkles, so nasolabial folds are also called laugh lines.
Cause 4: Improper Sleeping Posture
Sleeping on your side may cause part of the skin to be pressed into a folded or squished position, over time, this can form significant wrinkles. For people who are used to sleeping on the left side, the left half of the face is always squished, the left corner of the mouth or the left cheek near the temple are therefore more likely to be prone to wrinkles. Or it may deepen existing fine lines. Try sleeping on your back and avoid sleeping on your side for long periods of time.
Cause 5: UV Damage
Ultraviolet rays are one of the culprits of skin aging. Long-term exposure to large amounts of ultraviolet rays can cause damage to the epidermis and dermis. The free radicals from sun exposure can destroy elastin and collagen, making the skin loose and dull, which leads to less elastic and sagging skin around the nasolabial folds.
How to Distinguish between Nasolabial Folds and Marionette Lines
Nasolabial folds and marionette lines are two common types of facial wrinkles. They are both lines near the lips. The main difference lies in their location and shape. Nasolabial folds are fine lines that start from both sides of the nose and extend downward, usually diagonally downward. Marionette lines are the lines that run from the corners of your mouth down to the chin. They are usually straight or diagonal lines, and sometimes form cross or reticular lines. Because the lines are located like the two lines on either side of the corners of a marionette’s mouth, they are called marionette lines and are usually related to facial muscle relaxation and skin sagging. Some people may develop marionette lines if their nasolabial folds are long.
How to Treat Nasolabial Folds? 5 Ways to Smoothen and Treat Nasolabial Folds.
Method 1: Facial Massage
Regular facial massage can improve blood circulation and reduce the appearance of nasolabial folds. It is recommended to use your fingers to massage along the sides of the nose toward the ears from bottom to top. You can also gently massage the nasolabial folds to help relax facial muscles.
Method 2: Skin-tightening Treatments
Thermage FLX uses radiofrequency technology to heat the deeper dermis and subcutaneous tissue of the skin, stimulating the reorganization and growth of collagen, tightening contours, and regaining skin elasticity in order to improve nasolabial folds
Ultherapy uses focused ultrasound to produce a thermal effect under the skin, stimulating collagen production, tightening contours and smoothing wrinkles. After restoring fullness to the cheeks, it will also reduce the appearance of nasolabial folds. There is no recovery period during the treatment, and the results can last up to 9-12 months.
Method 3: Hyaluronic Acid Fillers
Hyaluronic acid provides continuous moisture to the skin by binding up to 1000 times its weight in water. This helps to keep collagen moist and elastic. However, due to factors such as aging and lifestyle, the body loses its ability to maintain the same concentration of hyaluronic acid in the skin. This leads to rougher skin and fine lines. Injection of hyaluronic acid into the nasolabial folds adds volume to the area and lifts the skin, reducing fine lines and smoothening deep wrinkles.
Common brands of hyaluronic acid fillers: Teosyal, Juvederm, Restylane and Belotero. Doctors will recommend a suitable filler brand based on the actual skin condition.
Method 4: Collagen Stimulating Fillers
Collagen improves fine lines, facial contours, and increases skin elasticity in order to provide a natural lifting effect, plumping sunken areas and improving wrinkles. It also helps moisturize and retain water, improving the appearance of nasolabial folds.
Common brands of collagen boosters: Derma Veil, Juvelook, Sculptra and AestheFill.
Method 5: Thread Lift
Thread lift is a minimally invasive procedure that can help achieve firming, lifting and anti-aging effects. It can help provide support in the area of nasolabial folds, thereby lifting loose skin and tissue and making the lines less noticeable. In addition, it can stimulate the production of collagen. The increase in collagen can also make the skin firmer and reduce the appearance of nasolabial folds. Overall, this makes the skin look younger and firmer.