When many people think about aging, they imagine crows feet around the corners of the eyes or frown lines on their foreheads. However, there are a number of other ways our appearance can show the passage of time, such as by the deepening of the nasolabial folds between the nose and mouth. The good news is, there are treatment options available to help make them less noticeable.
Here at the Ventura Institute for Dermatologic Arts in Ventura and Camarillo, California, Dr. Peter Karlsberg and his physician’s assistant Michele Ayans can refresh your appearance through a combination of innovative protocols based on art and science. Whether the issue is health-related like skin cancer or cosmetic such as reducing the prominence of nasolabial folds, we can help you reach your goals.
Nasolabial folds run from the bottom of the nose to the corners of the mouth. Everyone has them, though how distinctive and noticeable they are can vary from person to person. In some individuals they look more like lines, while in others they appear as deep wrinkles. They are sometimes known as laugh lines or smile lines, as they become more visible when smiling.
Nasolabial folds consist of fibrous tissue and muscles densely bundled together. While they are a normal part of our anatomy and nothing to be concerned about, they can become more pronounced as we age. This is due to a number of reasons.
Collagen and elastin fibers help keep our skin healthy, smooth, and supple. When they break down, however, nasolabial folds can deepen. This can be the result of natural aging, exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun, and/or smoking.
In addition to the decrease in collagen and elastin fibers, aging can cause the flattening out of the cheekbones. This can lead to sagging or drooping skin. When coupled with gravity, wrinkles and more pronounced nasolabial folds can result.
Weight loss can cause loose skin, while weight gain can make the cheeks rounder and the nasolabial folds more noticeable. Sleeping on your side can also deepen the nasolabial folds.
There are a number of treatment possibilities available, depending on your situation and goals.
One option is fillers. They are injected into the skin around the cheeks, which adds more volume and lifts the skin. They can also help encourage the growth of collagen. The exact type and amount are customized to the individual. The procedure is easy and requires little to no recovery time.
Skin tightening is another possibility. This non-surgical procedure involves using an absorbable self-anchoring thread to lift and tighten the area while also stimulating the production of collagen.