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Laugh Lines Be Gone: Treating and Preventing Nasolabial Folds

Laugh Lines Be Gone: Treating and Preventing Nasolabial Folds

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The key to achieving smooth and flawless skin is getting rid of any lines. One of the lines you’d want to address is your nasolabial folds, aka smile or laugh lines. These lines are often a common complaint among people who want smooth skin

Nasolabial folds aren’t harmful to your health. However, many people consider them aesthetically displeasing, especially since they create deep wrinkles (particularly when you smile or laugh). Although you can’t completely prevent nasolabial folds from developing, you can minimize their appearance in several ways.

What is a Nasolabial Fold?

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Nasolabial folds are the deep lines or wrinkles located on either side of the mouth. Except for people with paralyzed faces (due to a medical condition) or newborns, almost everyone has nasolabial folds. But the prominence of the folds varies from one person to another. 

These folds are made of dense bundles of muscles and fibrous tissue. As the skin becomes thinner and saggy with age, many people find that their nasolabial folds become more noticeable. 

What Causes Nasolabial Folds?

Nasolabial folds become more prominent due to different factors. These factors include the following:

  • Sun exposure. Constant exposure to the sun causes skin damage. This may cause wrinkles, as well as change the texture of your face’s skin. If you continually head out in the heat, you need some sun protection.
  • Loss of collagen. As you age, your skin’s collagen levels diminish, which makes the skin around the eyes and mouth look weaker and thinner. 
  • Loss of fat. Aging can also cause a person to lose some fat. With this loss, some parts of your face will appear saggy. 

The factors above, combined with skin aging, cause deeper wrinkles when you make facial expressions like laughing or smiling. 

With less fat and collagen in the face, your skin is more susceptible to permanent changes. So when you smile a lot, you deepen your nasolabial folds. 

How to Get Rid of Nasolabial Folds?

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There are different treatment options for smile or laugh lines. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution for laugh lines; the right treatment depends on personal factors. Simply put, anyone considering a cosmetic procedure should consult with their dermatologist first before proceeding with any treatment options. 

Skin Resurfacing or Skin Tightening

If sagging or loose skin is the culprit behind your unwanted nasolabial folds, a dermatologist, plastic surgeon or skin care professional may recommend a skin-resurfacing or skin-tightening treatment. This treatment uses a fractional laser, ultrasound or fractional radiofrequency device. These tools damage the microscopic areas of the skin, which stimulates collagen growth for tighter and thicker skin. 

Dermal Fillers

Most dermatologists recommend dermal fillers are the first step toward diminishing the appearance of lines. The treatment involves the injection of fillers around the cheek, which lifts the skin by adding volume to the injected area. The most common fillers are made from calcium hydroxylapatite (which is found in bones) and hyaluronic acid, which is a natural building block. 

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In some cases, surgery is needed to smoothen out the folds, but this depends on the severity of your laugh lines. A full-face lift or a cheek lift reduces the appearance of nasolabial folds and other signs of aging. However, surgery can be invasive and you’ll need a longer time to recover. 

Can you get rid of laugh lines without the needle?

The key is skin care: 

  1. Choose skin care products with vitamin C, retinol and collagen-promoting ingredients. These can reduce the appearance of laugh lines.
  2. Stay hydrated — with water. Try to drink in moderation and get enough sleep.
  3. Quit smoking. Yes, you’re going through some stressful times, but healthy options to cope with pressure are better. Smoking doesn’t just age you faster; it compromises your immune system, making you susceptible to diseases.

If you want to bid your laugh lines adieu, know that you have options. But you’ll need to consult with your dermatologist first!

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