Smile Lines

close up of wrinkles around the mouth

Smile Lines

Problem Area: Mouth Wrinkles & Nasolabial Folds

Nasolabial folds run from each nostril to the upper corners of the lateral portion of the lip and tend to deepen as the years pass. These and other fine lines and deep creases around the mouth are among the ones we often find most unattractive. They’re also among the ones that other people are most likely to notice. That’s because people tend to watch our mouth as we speak. It’s an instinctive reaction.


Why We Get Them

As we age, skin loses elasticity which causes sagging and deep creases. One of the areas that ends up with particularly noticeable wrinkles is the area at the sides of the nose extending to the sides of your lips. Cheek fat also loses volume, which causes the skin over the cheeks to droop—a factor that contributes to the deepening of the nasolabial lines. The entire process can be accentuated by a lifetime of overexposure to the sun—and by genetic factors. You may have inherited a tendency to develop deep nasolabial lines at a younger age.


Treatment Options

Fillers are a great place to start when it comes to treating nasolabial folds. Perlane, Radiesse and Sculptra are three options proven to be effective in smoothing out these particularly stubborn wrinkles. You may also hear talk about other popular fillers that are made with hyaluronic acid (such as Restylane and Juvederm). It is best to ask an experienced physician which is best for you.

Fine lines and wrinkles, the ones associated with the muscles that underly the skin, are best treated by using Botox or Dysport. These injectables help relax the muscles, thus smoothing away any dynamic wrinkles that have become permanent due to sun damage and time.


Laser Treatments are also Effective

Different types of lasers can be used to minimize or even erase those thin “smokers’ lines” and other, deeper wrinkles around the mouth. The trend in recent years has been toward non-ablative lasers, ones that treat the underlying layers of skin without doing too much sudden resurfacing of the top layer. Multiple treatments are usually required, and results are gradual. Ablative lasers, ones that more aggressively remove the skin’s superficial layers, are still used, however, as they can be highly effective for treating particular skin problems.

smiling woman with smooth skin


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