Understanding the Nasolabial Folds!

Nasolabial folds are the deep wrinkles or lines that form from the bottom of the nose to the corners of the mouth. The severity of Nasolabial folds can vary from person to person. Someone might have very light folds while the other person can have deep and thick folds.

Nasolabial folds are sometimes referred to as smile. Nasolabial folds are two skin folds on the side of the nose and corner of the mouth.

Nasolabial folds helps in making the cheek and upper lip distinctive by separating both of them from each other. As a person ages, the nasolabial fold becomes more pronounced and thick. Nasolabial folds run from the sides of your nose to the area around the corners of your mouth.

Nasolabial folds which are more pronounced are a sign of ageing and many people do not like the way they appear on the face. Although, there are several reasons for the occurrence of these nasolabial folds. Let's discuss the reason of their occurrence and treatment in detail. Their signs and symptoms and how can reduce them by using various methods.

These folds can be corrected through cosmetic surgery, but can also be mitigated by performing facial exercises. At the same time, make sure that you consult with your doctor to ensure that your condition is not caused by a more serious problem.

What are Common Causes of Nasolabial Folds?

  1. Excessive Exposure to Sun

    Exposure to the sun leads to the contact of the damaging ultraviolet radiations to the skin which result in the generation of free radicals and these free radicals in return are responsible for damaging the sensitive skin on your face. This would not just increase the wrinkles but leads to the formation of deep nasolabial folds and also loosen the skin.

  2. Smoking

    Smoking is the next culprit. When someone smokes, they purse their lips, which can lead to mouth wrinkles. The chemicals in tobacco cigarettes also accelerate the aging process by as much as 20 percent.

    Wrinkles caused by Smoking do not only appear on the face, neck but on several other places like the area around your mouth, under the eyes, on your neck and all over your skin. There are several toxins and chemicals like nicotine present in the tobacco that causes nasolabial folds.

    Regular smoking causes our blood vessels to narrow in the outer part of the skin which ultimately leads to lessening blood flow which ultimately affects the overall health of your skin. Smoking can rob off the collagen and elastin fibers from your skin even at young age.

  3. Aging

    With growing age, the elastin and collagen in the skin which are responsible for maintaining the elasticity of the skin begin to get destroyed and ultimately lead to loosening of the skin not just on the neck and face but all over the body. As you age, cumulative skin damage can make your nasolabial folds more prominent.

    Aging can cause nasolabial folds even without sun damage or smoking. As you age, the structure of your cheekbones flattens out. This can cause the skin of your cheeks to droop downwards. Gravity also plays its part in loosening of the skin and the natural decrease in collagen and elastin, which ultimately leads to lose skin, wrinkles and nasolabial folds.

  4. Irregular Weight

    Significant weight gain or weight loss can also contribute to nasolabial folds. Weight loss can lead to looser skin, especially in the face and neck. Weight gain can make the cheeks plumper and accentuate nasolabial folds.

  5. Improper Sleeping Habits

    Side sleeping may make one or both of your nasolabial folds deeper. Other reason of these nasolabial folds appearing at an early age includes not having a good night sleep. Make sure that you sleep for around eight hours every night. Also, make sure that your pillow has the right height, that is, one that allows your body to be straight when you sleep. Also, if you like you can switch sleeping on your back.

  6. Dehydration

    Lack of water in the body is also a major reason for appearance of wrinkles and nasolabial folds. You should maintain normal hydration levels to keep bay on the wrinkles and to make yourself look young.

    You should drink at least 5-6 liters of water every day to maintain healthy skin. For exact recommended daily intake of water that suits you, please consult your physician.

  7. Lack Of Proper Nutrition

    The lack of proper diet and nutrition in the age of fast food has led to the appearance of nasolabial folds even at a very young age. Not having enough water deprives the skin of hydration and makes it dry leading to the appearance of wrinkles. Also the absence of proper nutritive foods like fruits, green leafy veggies leads to the appearance of wrinkles on the neck.

  8. Weak Facial Muscles

    One factor is the weakening of facial muscles as we age. Facial expressions also play a big role, so if you smile or laugh a lot, there is a chance that you will develop deeper laugh lines at a younger age. Nasolabial folds or can become more prominent as early as the 20s. Laugh lines can develop at any age. Many of us grow up with a slight hint of laugh lines, but it is not until they deepen and become more pronounced that they become a problem for some people.

What are the Signs and Symptoms Associated With Nasolabial Folds?

  • The Nasolabial fold occurs at the junction of the upper lip and the cheek in the form of a crease. The crease is accentuated by smiling because the facial muscles primarily the zygomaticus major, the zygomaticus minor, and the levator labii superioris, draw the upper lip in a superolateral direction and have insertions on the upper lip.
  • At birth and in early childhood the nasolabial fold is absent while the face is at rest. With aging, the fold becomes visible. This change is due to multiple age-related factors including repetitive skin expressions and the muscle activity in that region and atrophy of dermal collagen and increased skin laxity.
  • The presence of the nasolabial fold is also dependent on activity of the muscles of facial expression.

How are Nasolabial Folds Treated?

Before starting a treatment for your nasolabial folds, make it a point to consult your dermatologist as he can guide you on the right course of treatment depending upon your skin type.

You can start with a less invasive procedure and gradually go to injectable treatments once you get a feel of the various kinds of treatments possible to get rid of nasolabial folds . There are several options available in the market that can help you to get rid of these folds on your skin. Let's discuss various treatment options available in detail:

  1. Fillers

    Fillers are most often the first step toward reducing nasolabial folds. Cosmetologists and other professionals inject fillers into the skin around the cheek.

    How Do Fillers Work in Getting Rid of Nasolabial Folds?

    Fillers add volume to the area and lifts the skin. There are several types of fillers available in the market and the suitable filler for your skin is determined by the cosmetologist depending upon the severity of fold on your face.

    The most common fillers are made from hyaluronic acid, a natural building block of skin, and calcium hydroxylapatite, typically found in bones. Both have been shown to help stimulate the growth of collagen in addition to plumping the skin.

    Fillers are easily injected in an outpatient setting and also do not require any recovery time. You can resume your daily activities after getting filler inserted like before. However, some people have reported the below mentioned side effects after getting the fillers inserted:

    • Some people experience slight bruising.
    • Redness of the skin.

    You must keep in mind that fillers are a short-term solution. They last 6 months to 2 years, with most lasting 6 to 9 months.

    The longevity of filler depends on its type and the ability f you body to break it. Various fillers available in the market are mentioned below:

    1. Bovine Collagen Fibers: Bovine Collagen Fibers are made from the skin of Cow and is widely used filler for the treatment of wrinkles. Bovine Collagen fillers are considered less expensive than other treatment for wrinkles and give good results and thus are widely used for treatment.Since the human body naturally breaks down collagen in the skin; you must need to get it injected four to five times in a year for effective treatment.

      However, some people are allergic to Bovine Collagen Fibers. So, it is essential to get the allergy testing done prior to the injection of fibers.

    2. Human Collagen Fillers Human collagen fillers are made from cultures of human cells. Human collagen causes fewer allergic reactions than the injection of bovine collagen fibers. Hence, skin testing is not needed in most of the cases. However, it is more expensive than bovine collagen.

      Human Collagen Fibers injections also need to be repeated every three to six months since they are less durable.

    3. Hyaluronic Acid Fillers Hyaluronic acid is a natural part of the skin. As we age, the content of Hyaluronic acid decreases in the skin.

      There are various natural and synthetic Hyaluronic acid products available in the market. The Hyaluronic acid molecule is modified to break down more slowly. The Cosmetic results can last up to nine months or longer than the above-mentioned fillers.

      The Allergic reactions are very rare with Hyaluronic acid fillers.

    In addition to the above mentioned, other fillers that are available in the market are:

    Fat Injection Fillers, Poly-L lactic Acid (Sculptra) Fillers, Calcium Hydroxylapatite (Radiesse) Fillers, Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) Fillers

  2. Laser Treatments For Getting Rid Of Nasolabial Fold

    Laser treatments is one of the most favorite methods for most of the people to get rid of Nasolabial Fold.

    It involves applying short pulses of micro fine laser light that goes deep into the skin and provides more effective results. It also helps in filtering the older and damaged connective tissue in the fold and thus allowing the body to create more and new elastin and collagen under the skin.

    The most commonly used laser treatments for the removal of wrinkles are Fractional CO2 and the Fraxel Laser.

  3. Skin Tightening Procedures To Get Rid Of Nasolabial Fold

    If loose skin is the cause of unwanted nasolabial folds, dermatologists or skin care professionals may also use a skin-tightening treatment.

    These can include a fractional radiofrequency device, ultrasound, or a fractional laser.

    Procedure: The procedure is more or less similar to laser therapy. They damage microscopic areas of the layer of skin beneath the top layer and provide more effective results. It also helps in filtering the older and damaged connective tissue in the fold and thus allowing the body to create more and new elastin and collagen under the skin.

  4. Surgical Treatment To Get Rid Of Nasolabial Fold

    Various surgical treatments available in the market like cheek lift or a full face lift can reduce the appearance of nasolabial folds and other signs of aging.

    There are a few catches before you plan to go for a surgical treatment and the first of those points is that the cosmetic surgery is expensive and often not covered by insurance.

    • The recovery time of a surgical treatment to get rid of nasolabial fold is very long and comes with a risk of complications.
    • There is no permanent fix or treatment for nasolabial folds. Some treatments can last years and no one in this world can completely halt natural aging.
    • Surgical alterations start looking different over time and you skin begin to show signs of aging again in some time.
  5. Exercises To Get Rid Of Nasolabial Fold

    Isometric Nasolabial Exercise to Get Rid of Nasolabial Fold

    Isometric Nasolabial Exercise strengthens your facial muscles isometrically to help diminish your nasolabial folds.

    • Begin by sitting down in a comfortable chair with your head tilted back as if you were looking at something on the ceiling.
    • Purse your lips together as if you were forming a kiss and extend your lips to try to kiss the ceiling. Hold this position for about 15 seconds.
    • Return to the starting position with your head looking forward. The website Wrinkle Free Skin Tips recommends that you perform four repetitions of this exercise two times daily.

    Other Exercises To Get Rid of Nasolabial Fold

    Nasolabial Fold Treatment Exercise 1
    • Place your index and middle fingers of both hands on both sides of your mouth and pulling backwards with your hands to stretch the skin toward your ears.
    • While holding this stretch, bring your mouth in a pouting position.
    • Hold this pout and stretch for 10 seconds.
    • You can hold longer as well if you feel comfortable.
    • Repeat the same practice for at least 10 times every day.
    Nasolabial Fold Treatment Exercise 2
    • To practice this exercise, stick the index fingers of both hands inside the corners of your mouth.
    • Pull the corners of your mouth apart with the help of both index fingers and stretch the mouth about a quarter of an inch.
    • Hold this position for a couple of seconds and then tighten the muscles around your mouth to pull your fingers closer together while continuing to apply resistance with your hands.
    • 25 to 50 repetitions of this exercise should be performed daily for noticeable difference in your skin.

Nasolabial Folds Prevention

Other then following the various treatment options mentioned above to get rid of the nasolabial fold, you can always take care of your skin by taking preventive measures for the folds to appear later and when they appear, they do not appear like folds and creases on the skin.

  1. Use a good quality sun protector on your akin always. And make sure that the sunscreen has good hydration properties as the level of hydration of your skin directly affects quality of your skin.
  2. Skin Exfoliation is a must. Skin exfoliation when done once or twice in a week keeps the skin hydrated and allows absorbing all the essential nutrients. When exfoliated, the skin can absorb necessary moisture as well.
  3. You can use a mix of Sugar and Honey to exfoliate the skin of your neck. Sugar will help you scrub the skin and honey will hydrate the skin and soften it and will help you in getting rid of the wrinkles.
  4. Healthy Diet. Intake of a healthy diet also plays an important role in getting rid of wrinkles faster. Diet rich in fruits, vegetables and omega 3 fatty acids has proven to be very helpful in combating wrinkles.
  5. Regular Exercise. Regular exercise is a must when you want to combat those growing lines on your neck. You should perform neck exercises regularly and that will help you in getting rid of neck wrinkles by keeping the skin firm.
  6. Vitamin C intake and Application. Vitamin C is very helpful in combating wrinkles and should be applied in a natural form on the skin. When applied directly, it helps in getting rid of the wrinkles earlier than any possible option.

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Nasolabial Fold

There are several home remedies available that can help in reducing the appearance of nasolabial fold on your face.

  1. Make a paste with honey, yogurt, grape seed oil and powdered green tea. Apply this paste on you face around the mouth and keep it on for about 20 minutes and wash it off with normal water.
  2. Dip a cotton ball in pineapple juice and apply it around your mouth and leave it on for 15- 20 minutes and wash it off with normal water.
  3. Eat a lot of Almonds as snack or apply almond oil on the area around your moth to get rid of nasolabial folds.
  4. Apply olive oil on the skin surrounding mouth will definitely help you in getting rid of Nasolabial fold.
  5. Aloe vera gel is also considered very effective in getting rid of the Nasolabial fold. Apply aloe vera gel on the face before sleeping and wash your face in the morning. If you are not comfortable in keeping aloe vera gel all night long, you can keep it on your face for 15 to 20 minutes and wash your face with normal water.
  6. Mix 1 table spoon of cinnamon powder with one tablespoon of honey to get rid of nasolabial folds. Keep this paste on your skin for 10-15 minutes and wash your face with normal water.

Always remember that the home remedies take a long time to show their results. So, do not get discouraged and keep applying these natural masks to get rid of the nasolabial folds on your skin.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: October 7, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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