Dermal fillers, as the St. Louis-based West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University team explains, are an ideal tool for minimizing deep lines that stretch between the nose and the corners of the mouth, known as nasolabial folds or laugh lines. These folds, which are most noticeable when someone is smiling or laughing, form amid fibrous tissue and muscle. We can’t stop these lines from developing, as everyone has them when they smile—with the exception of newborn babies. However, they can become deeper, more pronounced, even sag as time goes on. If you’ve noticed nasolabial folds becoming more exaggerated as you’ve gotten older, giving you a more tired or aged appearance, there are a number of potential reasons for the change.
Static wrinkles like nasolabial folds are a type of age line caused by chronological aging, external damage, and lifestyle—as opposed to facial muscle activity. Although facial muscles are often overworked from smiling, and facial skin can become stretched over time—both of which make nasolabial folds appear more obvious—these wrinkles are static and mostly associated with other types of skin damage.
Basically, the thinner and looser your skin is, the more pronounced your nasolabial folds will become. Your skin naturally contains less fat and collagen as you get older, giving it a deflated appearance. Aside from normal aging, ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sun exposure reaches the deeper skin layers, destroying collagen and elastin fibers there. In fact, wrinkles are usually most visible on areas of our skin that are usually exposed to the sun. Additionally, cigarette smoke and pollution from the environment worsen any kind of facial wrinkle, including ones around the mouth. Weight fluctuations could also be causing your skin to lose its elasticity.
Dermal fillers work by restoring volume to areas where the skin is thinned out or broken down, physically filling the space directly below the surface with soft gels that imitate substances such as hyaluronic acid, fat, and collagen. Some types of fillers not only volumize, but also promote the skin’s own, organic production of collagen at the same time. The following are some of the most common types of fillers used for addressing indentation lines.
The JUVEDERM® collection of fillers is the ideal type for static wrinkles and depressions on the center and lower area of the face. Each of the fillers in the family contains hyaluronic acid and has a soft, gluey consistency that blends in well once injected. Vollure™ is the subtype approved specifically for moderate to severe wrinkles like laugh lines. Patients can also combine this with Voluma®, a filler that lifts and plumps the cheeks, as the pairing can help to restore facial contours and make nasolabial folds less noticeable.
- BELOTERO Balance®
BELOTERO is a particularly thin, lightweight, and soft hyaluronic acid filler that is ideal for more superficial lines and creases on thinner skin. Nasolabial folds are often treated with this type of filler, but when used on the cheek areas that may need more lifting, it is usually combined with other dermal fillers to enhance results. The results are longer lasting compared to other similar fillers.
RADIESSE® is a durable filler with results that can last for up to two years. As opposed to other filler types, it’s made with calcium hydroxyapatite (CaHA) gel microspheres. It not only instantly fills out the skin, but also gradually stimulates the production of new collagen to improve the overall structure and pliancy. RADIESSE® is used for many of the same facial areas as JUVEDERM®, but is a thicker filler used for severe skin folds.
Bellafill® contains polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) microspheres and functions as a biostimulator. Similar to RADIESSE®, it instantly improves the look of the skin, but also continues to encourage collagen production for up to five years.
Want to enjoy smoother, less wrinkled skin without much downtime? Learn more about the benefits of dermal fillers from St. Louis’ West County Plastic Surgeons of Washington University. Submit a contact form to request an appointment, or call them at (314) 996-8800.