Nasolabial Folds: Treatment, Causes & How You Can Prevent Them

Nasolabial folds, also known as smile lines, are the creases that form on the sides of your nose and run down to the corners of your mouth. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, aging, sun exposure, and smoking. While there is no surefire way to prevent them from forming altogether, there are several treatments and prevention measures you can take to reduce their appearance. In this post, you’ll find out what nasolabial folds treatment options exist and how they can help improve your appearance!

What are nasolabial folds?

Nasolabial folds are the lines that run from the side of your nose down to the corners of your mouth. They’re often referred to as “smile lines” because they become more prominent when you smile.

The nasolabial fold is formed by the intersection of two muscles: the procerus muscle and the orbicularis oris muscle. When these muscles contract, they cause the skin above them to wrinkle. The more you use these muscles, the more pronounced the nasolabial fold will be. The appearance of nasolabial folds is usually caused by the weakening of tissues over time due to repetitive facial expressions including smiling. Smoking, sun exposure, and age can also contribute to the development of nasolabial folds.

What causes nasolabial folds?

A nasolabial fold results from the natural, downward laxity of the mid-face associated with facial aging. Nasolabial folds are largely associated with aging due to the thinning of the skin on the face. This process occurs naturally as we age because there is a decrease in collagen production which helps our skin maintain its elasticity. Nasolabial folds can also be caused by the stretching of the skin due to pregnancy, or weight change. When skin is heavy rawer it may sag into the nasolabial fold below the nose. When skin is lighter it may be drawn taut which can also cause nasolabial folds because at some point deformities in the underlying structures begin to show through.

Is there a way to prevent nasolabial folds?

First, you can use a good moisturizer that is rich in antioxidants and SPF to prevent the damage caused by sun exposure. You can also eat foods high in vitamin A like dark leafy vegetables (such as spinach), which has been shown to inhibit oxidative stress within skin cells. But most effectively, you need to address your lifestyle choices like smoking which adversely compromise the integrity of the skin barrier and compromise your skin’s natural healing capabilities. Finally, make sure you sleep 6-8 hours each night because this fires off growth hormones that help heal wounds due to their antioxidant effects on tissues in the body.

How are nasolabial folds treated?

There are a few different ways to treat nasolabial folds: some of them are dermal fillers, skin tightening, surgery, and exercise. Each nasolabial folds treatment has its own set of risks and benefits, so it’s important to consult with a doctor to see which option is best for you.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are a popular way to treat nasolabial folds because they can help to restore volume and elasticity to the skin. Injectable dermal fillers come in a variety of formulas, so it’s important to consult with a dermatologist to find out which filler is best for you. The most common type of filler is made from hyaluronic acid, a substance that is naturally found in the skin. Other types of fillers include collagen and fat grafts.

Dermal fillers are injected into the folds to help plump them up and reduce their appearance. Results vary depending on the filler used and on individual factors, but most people see a noticeable improvement after only a few treatments.

Skin tightening

There are a few ways to use skin tightening to treat nasolabial folds. One option is to use an injectable neuromodulator like Botox or Dysport to temporarily paralyze the muscles that cause the folds. This will smooth out the area and reduce the appearance of the fold. Another option is to use a laser or radiofrequency device to heat up the tissue and cause it to tighten. This can be done either in a doctor’s office or at home with a handheld device. Finally, you can also use a topical cream or serum that contains ingredients like peptides or retinol to help tighten the skin.


Surgery can be utilized to treat deep nasolabial folds. A surgical procedure typically consists of either a face-lift, eyelid surgery, or neck lift. The most often performed surgery for deep nasolabial folds is the facelift (which could also entail an eyelid or neck lift). This type of surgery tightens sagging skin and improves skin laxity by removing excess skin and fat from the facial structures. The result is a more youthful appearing, rejuvenated look; moreover; after such a procedure one’s nose looks better as well as their cheeks and eyes because they have been “lifted” along with the rest of the face.


You can use exercises to alleviate the appearance of nasolabial folds. Specific options that you may want to consider include chin tucks, mouth stretchers, and smiling exercises. Essentially, this means convincing your muscles in your jaw and chin region — which contract when you smile and chew — to relax and not create extra wrinkles on account of your age or lifestyle habits like smoking or overindulgence.

The technique is the same as those used for other wrinkle-fighting therapies such as Botox injections but with a frequent up-and-down motion rather than just holding one’s face in a certain position for a prescribed amount of time. It’s recommended that patients do three sets of 10 reps twice daily.

Other ways to soften nasolabial folds

Skin resurfacing

A skin resurfacing procedure may be an option for people who are not happy with the nasolabial folds on their faces. There are two types of skin resurfacing procedures that may be able to help reduce the appearance of these wrinkles, Laser Resurfacing and Chemical Resurfacing.


Dermabrasion is recognized as the gold standard in treatments for wrinkles and shallow scars. It can be used on any area of the body to smooth outlines, but it will only improve the appearance of nasolabial folds where there are deep tears or loose skin.

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