The nasolabial fold is the line that develops at the junction of the upper lip and cheek, and runs from the bottom of the nose to the corner of the mouth. These lines are always visible when you smile; as you age, however, the creases become more prominent.
Some patients wish to reduce the appearance of these lines. We offer treatment for nasolabial folds at our Bethesda, MD practice, including dermal fillers, face lift procedures, and more. Here, our team explores these options so patients can be well-informed.
What Contributes to the Development of Nasolabial Folds?
There are several reasons why nasolabial folds may become more prominent over time. The three most significant factors include:
- Age: Reduced collagen production and the loss of elasticity are common byproducts of the aging process. Skin begins to sag, and the structure of the cheekbones flatten out over time, causing the skin beneath to droop even more. As a result, nasolabial folds develop.
- Smoking: Tobacco use can break down collagen fibers prematurely. Consequently, this can lead to early signs of aging, including the development of nasolabial folds.
- Excessive sun exposure: Like smoking, harmful UV rays can have a negative impact on the elastin and collagen fibers. That is why it is so important to wear full spectrum sunscreen whenever you are outdoors.
Other reasons for the development of nasolabial folds include significant weight loss. As you lose weight, the skin can sag. Conversely, when weight is gained, it can make the cheeks plumper, which consequently makes the nasolabial folds deeper.
Treatment Options for Nasolabial Folds
There are non-surgical and surgical options that can address the appearance of nasolabial folds. Of course, the recommended treatment will depend on the severity of the condition as well as your own personal aesthetic goals.
The first line of defense against nasolabial folds is typically dermal fillers. The most common types of fillers are derived from hyaluronic acid and calcium hydroxylapatite, both of which naturally occur in the human body. The substance is injected into the problematic areas to add volume and lift the skin.
While dermal fillers are effective, they are only a short-term solution. In most cases, patients require re-treatment every six to nine months.
Other non-surgical options include fractional laser treatment. This treatment causes micro-abrasions to the underlying tissue. As a result, collagen production is stimulated.
However, these treatments may not work for everyone, particularly if nasolabial folds are caused by something other than loose skin.
A face lift is the most reliable, longest-lasting treatment option for nasolabial folds. This procedure offers a more permanent aesthetic solution, which can last for many years to come.
During a face lift procedure, Dr. Oldham creates incisions, placing them in strategic locations to minimize scarring. Next, the skin and underlying tissues are repositioned as necessary. Finally, the skin is pulled taut, any excess tissue is eliminated, and the incisions are closed with sutures.
In addition to addressing nasolabial folds, this procedure can reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles, creases, and sagging skin elsewhere on the face. The result is a rejuvenated, more youthful look.
Contact Oldham Plastic Surgery Today
If you are unhappy with the appearance of nasolabial folds, schedule a visit at our practice. Contact us by calling (301) 530-6100.