Nasolabial folds are the two deep lines or creases in the skin that stretch diagonally from the corners of the nose to the corners of the mouth.
These creases are created by repeated movement of the mouth over time, especially smiling, thus the name “smile lines.” While it is attractive to have a little fold in this region, a deeper crease or one that persists even when the person is not smiling can make them look older and drawn.
Deeper nasolabial folds are a result of the aging process when there is loss of volume and elasticity in the central face and downward descent of the cheek fat pads. This process not only creates nasolabial folds, the effects of that descent and loss of elasticity carry on into the lower face.
This creates marionette lines (lines running from the corner of the mouth vertically downwards towards the chin) and jowls (skin that appears to be sagging below the jawline). These changes can cause the face to look aged and can also make one look sad and negative.
Factors That Accelerate the Appearance of Nasolabial Folds, Marionette Lines, and Jowls
Apart from the effects of Father Time, the appearance of these folds and creases can be due to excessive sun exposure and actinic damage. Harmful UV rays from the sun cause severe damage to the skin by breaking down natural collagen and elastin in the tissues. As these proteins are damaged, the skin’s elasticity and volume decline, causing the skin to become loose and to sag. This creates fine lines and wrinkles.
Another trigger is smoking. Smokers purse their lips each time they inhale; this can lead to wrinkles around the mouth. Cigarettes also contain many accelerators of the skin’s aging process.
Dermal Filler Injections to Smooth Out Nasolabial Folds
While they say it’s better to have laugh lines than worry lines, the world of cosmetic treatments says you don’t need to be stuck with either option. At Houston Oculofacial Plastic Surgery, we provide Dermal Filler injections to soften and reduce the nasolabial folds, marionette lines, and jowls.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers such as Juvèderm, Voluma, Vollure, Perlane, and Restylane are sterile gels containing a lab-synthesized formulation of hyaluronic acid (HA). HA is a naturally occurring component of the extracellular matrix in our bodies, with approximately 50% of the body’s total HA found in the skin.
HA has the distinctive property of absorbing and storing large volumes of water, thus acting as a scaffold that provides rigidity and turgor while allowing cellular movement and regeneration. It also helps make the skin feel and look healthy. Youthful skin is characterized by its firmness and plumpness.
Owing to its water-retention properties, HA replenishes moisture from within. It also makes the skin look full as it expands. When injected into the skin in the form of dermal fillers, it immediately imparts volume to the face.
HA fillers are non-animal-extracted and biodegradable, thus making it safe to administer. It does not incite an immunogenic or allergic reaction. No traces of animal or human DNA are present in this formulation. HA fillers such as Juvèderm, Vollure and Restylane are also FDA approved for the treatment of nasolabial folds, while Voluma is FDA approved for midface enhancement.
Dermal Filler Injections at Houston Oculofacial
After careful pre-injection history and assessment, Dr. Sami determines the areas of concern and treatment, the type of filler to be used, and the best dosage for the required fill and/or lift. The exact dose required is variable, depending on multiple factors such as degree of volume loss, patient’s anatomy, and, most importantly, facial symmetry.
Prior to injection, the area is numbed with a specially formulated topical anesthetic numbing cream for 30 to 45 minutes. There is also local anesthetic in the dermal filler for added patient comfort. A topical antiseptic is then applied to clean the area and prepare the site for injections.
Dr. Sami performs the injections using a fine needle or cannula. The injections increase the volume, filling in defects or creating a lift, thus reducing the appearance of nasolabial folds, marionette lines, and jowls. The effect of the dermal filler is obvious immediately, although it generally takes a few days for the full extent of the correction to be apparent.
Immediately after the injections, there may be some swelling and redness that subsides in two to three days. Patients can resume normal activities soon after the completion of procedure, unless otherwise instructed.
Make an Appointment with Dr. Sami
Ready to say goodbye to those harsh wrinkles and hello to smoother skin? Contact Dr. Mirwat Sami, a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and schedule your dermal filler consultation at Houston Oculofacial today.