The smile lines, known technically as the nasolabial fold, is the crease that runs from the corner of the nose to the mouth and curves around the corner of the mouth. As we age, the fold becomes deeper and forms a shadow. Not surprisingly, our patients often ask how do I get rid of smile lines as they feel they make them look old and tired.
What are smile lines?
Nasolabial folds are normal but tend to deepen due to the natural volume loss in the face. The cheek compartment has several fat pads that descend and flatten over time, making our smile lines appear more prominent. Certain lifestyle factors, such as smoking, sudden and dramatic weight loss or poor diet, can worsen them.
From our early 20s onwards, our natural levels of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid also reduce. One study indicated that collagen production in individuals over the age of 80 – even those that religiously wore sun protection – is decreased by approximately 75% compared to the skin of young adults in their 20s.
These components work together to provide the scaffolding and strength to our skin, and as they deplete, we start to see skin laxity and deeper folds and wrinkles appear.
How does filler work to smooth smile lines?
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring component in the body that attracts moisture and can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight. Its unique ability as a humectant has made synthesised hyaluronic acid dermal fillers the gold standard of injectable fillers.
There are two different approaches to treating smile lines with filler. The first is to reshape the mid-face by injecting filler along the cheekbone. As well as producing the higher, more rounded cheeks we associate with youth, it has the secondary effect of lifting the heavy skin that forms the nasolabial fold.
The technique is often combined with placing a small amount of filler directly into the nasolabial fold. The depth of the fold is reduced, and the area appears smoother.
The procedure is not considered painful. We will numb the area with topical local anaesthetic beforehand, and the dermal filler products we use contain lidocaine that minimises any sensitivity.
Afterwards, you may have some redness, swelling and tenderness at the injection sites that will resolve within the first day or two. There may be some bruising that can easily be camouflaged with make-up after the first 24 hours, but we do advise that you do not plan to have your treatment immediately before an important social event.
Dermal fillers can also be used to treat the lip lines that appear on the vermillion border around the lip. Often called smoker’s lines, these can also result from the mouth’s constant movement. Dermal fillers smooth these lines so they are less noticeable and can also be combined with toxin injections that temporarily relax the strength of the muscles that cause these dynamic lines to form.
How long does filler work in smile lines?
Results are instantaneous, and the nasolabial folds will look immediately improved. The longevity of the results varies from person to person and the area that they are injected, but you can expect results to last between six and 12 months.
Another benefit of hyaluronic acid dermal fillers is that they can be reversed if you’re not happy with your results with an injection of hyaluronidase, a naturally occurring enzyme in the body that works to break down hyaluronic acid.
Is it safe to use filler for smile lines?
Dermal fillers are typically a very safe procedure. At Karidis Clinic, we only use leading filler brands with a strong safety record, and our practitioners are highly skilled at producing subtle and beautiful results. Bad smile lines filler is usually the result of poor practitioner technique.
Temporary hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are suitable for any skin type. Still, we do not advise treatment for pregnant or breastfeeding women or patients with active skin conditions, such as acne, in the treatment area.
For more advice on treating your smile lines, call 0207 432 8727 to arrange a consultation with one of our aesthetic practitioners.