Nasolabial folds, or smile lines, are defined as the lines that run from the edges of the nose to the corners of the mouth. These lines delineate the transition zone from the cheeks and mid-face above to the mouth and lower face below. As we age, these lines become more prominent due to the deterioration of the structures underlying the skin. The proteins that make up these layers are not made with the same consistency as when a patient is younger. In addition, the skin increases its water content resulting in mid-face sagging and a more pronounced line.

Sun damage is another culprit accounting for a worsening nasolabial fold. The UV rays affect the protein structure of the underlying skin thereby weakening its integrity. Weight loss and gain also has a role in the degree of a nasolabial fold. A balanced diet complete with vitamins and nutrients can also have an affect in maintaining skin integrity.

For mild to moderate folds, dermal fillers can be used to add volume to the nasolabial fold directly. The results give a patient a natural look and lessen the depth of these lines. In addition, dermal fillers are injected around the fold to provide a smooth transition point between the mid-face and lower face. This also provides enhanced structural stability to the skin. Juvederm Ultra Plus is the most common dermal filler for these cases. Patients can expect the result to last up to one year, and this procedure has excellent patient satisfaction rating.

For moderate to severe folds, dermal fillers should be used along the cheekbone, also known as the zygomatic arch. These injections lift the skin away from the mouth and nose and lessen the depth of the fold. In addition, the face will have a more youthful appearance, as the cheeks will be enhanced and contoured. Juvederm Voluma is used to accomplish this affect. This dermal filler lasts up to two years and contains VYCROSS technology, making it more resistant to the effects of gravity.

For severe folds, patients may require a combination of the above treatment modalities. Usually cheek augmentation and lift is done during the first visit. After several weeks, patients are seen in the clinic to assess the cheek and nasolabial fold, as the swelling in these areas will have disappeared. If needed, patients are then encouraged to inject dermal fillers into the nasolabial fold directly for an improved appearance.

Interested in learning more? Please contact us at 925 989 6560 to schedule a consultation.

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