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What are Nasolabial Folds, and What to do about Them?
Skin Care / Injectables / Botox

What are Nasolabial Folds, and What to do about Them?

Written by
Juli Albright
Juli is our patient advocate and community connection. She balances work, life and family with grace.
Juli is our patient advocate and community connection. She balances work, life and family with grace.

What are Nasolabial Folds, and What to do about Them?

If you are wondering what the nasolabial folds are and how you can prevent them, then you are in the right place. Read the article to understand them and how to prevent them.

What are the Nasolabial Folds?

These are the lines that start from either side of one's nose and get down to the corners of the mouth. These lines are usually prominent when you laugh and smile. Hence, why they are called smile lines or laugh lines.

We all have nasolabial folds, and as we age, they become more visible and noticeable.  You will observe your skin becomes thinner or sags as you age. Moreover, these lines are followed by muscular tissues or wrinkles on your lower cheeks.

Smile lines are totally normal and don’t cause any health condition. However, cosmetically it can distract from the beauty of your face when these folds become more visible, creating deep wrinkles. Since you can’t prevent the nasolabial fold's natural occurrence, you can use several techniques to minimize its visual appearance. Read the article to learn about the treatments you can use for this.

What Causes Nasolabial Folds?

As we have already mentioned, every human being has nasolabial folds, whether they are healthy or have a facial paralysis. Moreover, some people have more prominent folds than others. Wondering why?

Here are the causes that make your fold extremely visible compared to others.


Genetics are the primary factor that decides how your skin will age.


Humans lose collagen and other types of proteins with their rage. This makes your skin appear weaker, thinner and becomes prone to wrinkling.

Sun Exposure

When you have great exposure to UV lights, your skin may speed up the aging process.This leads to the formation of uneven skin texture and wrinkles.


Cigarettes and other types of pollutants can also accelerate the aging process. It also damages the collagen.

Weight Gain

A significant amount of weight gain can make the nasolabial folds' appearance more visible because of the plumper cheeks.

Weight Loss

Like weight gain, weight loss can also lead to the development of these folds. It causes your skin to become sag, which makes it easy to notice.

Nasolabial Folds Prevention

These folds are natural and harmless; hence, they don't cause any intensive medical condition. In some cases, you can even notice them on children's faces.

There is no proven way to stop the development of these folds. However, some preliminary research shows that people who are concerned with the growth of deeper nasolabial folds as they age need to wear high-quality sunscreen whenever they go outside of their homes. These creams are best to reduce the possibility of the damages of sun exposure, which can help you reduce the creation of the laugh lines.

You can also try collagen supplements. Although the science is not conclusive, it may help increase collagen production which will increase skin laxity which may impede the deepening of the laugh lines as you get older. These supplements claim to help maintain the integrity of the connective tissues, which leads to smooth and tight skin. Lastly, eating a healthy nutrient-fill diet is also vital for you. Make sure to consume an adequate amount of nutrients. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.

Nasolabial Folds Treatment Options

There are several surgical and non-surgical treatment solutions for the nasolabial folds. Here are the common treatments of this condition:

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are the best to lessen the appearance of the nasolabial folds. It basically plumps the upper cheek or the part of your face below the smile lines. Plus, fillers like Restylane or Juvederm are 100% non-surgical methods. It also provides results both instant and dramatic. You can also get back to your work, as it does not require rest for a longer time. You can even start all your daily activities soon after this treatment.

Skin Resurfacing

Sometimes, the laugh lines leave a prominent wrinkle on your face. These lines are even visible if you are not smiling. You can reduce their appearance with the help of a skin resurfacing method. These treatments include laser resurfacing and chemical peels. So, when your skin looks youthful, you can easily hide these folds.


Microneedling is another process for treating these wrinkles. It involves creating microscopic channels with the help of the surface of your skin. This process leads to the formation of the skin tissues, which emits the skin's natural glowing hormones and other elements that promote healing and repair. The sink's naturally occurring process initiates the development of the elastic fibers and new collagen, making the skin tighter, thicker, and more youthful.

Skin Tightening

As the name suggests, the primary aim of this method is to tighten your skin. It includes several tighten procedures such as Thermage and Ultherapy. Both of these treatments work in similar ways; they create microscopic damage under your skin’s surface to boost the body’s healing mechanism. It can also help you soften the laugh lines. However, the primary purpose is to make skin appear youthful and smoother.

Fat Transfer

Fat transfer or fat grafting is another common treatment for the nasolabial folds.This procedure is quite similar to dermal fillers. But instead of the filler, doctors use the patient’s fat to plump the skin. Your surgeon will remove the fat from any part of your body, usually thighs or stomach using liposuction. Then, they will process it in a centrifuge to clean it from all the impurities. In the end, they will inject it in your upper cheek or below your laugh line to reduce the nasolabial fold's noticeable appearance.

Subcision Surgery

This surgery is perfect for people who have a severe type of nasolabial folds. This procedure includes the usage of the needle to make tiny punctures in your skin.It will help the skin to release the underlying tissues and encourage collagen production. Subcision surgery has the ability to reduce the depth of the deepest smile lines.

Which Treatment IS Best For You?

The best treatment for this problem can vary greatly from patient to patient. Your plastic surgeon will recommend you the best procedure based on your facial structure, nasolabial fold severity, characteristics of your skin, and your preferred result. To make the best choice, consult with a plastic surgeon or dermatologist who will guide you about the best method for the laugh line correction.

Bottom Line

In a nutshell, nasolabial folds don’t cause any harm to the human body. However, it may look unappealing in some cases. You can opt for a treatment to reduce its appearance. Make sure to pick the right cosmetic surgeon for your procedure.

Written by
Juli Albright

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