Treatment Options for Nasolabial Folds
Lines around the nose and mouth (known as nasolabial folds) develop due to age, smoking, or illness. Collagen, which is a naturally produced protein made up of amino acids that fills out the skin, decreases under these circumstances, causing the formation of lines around the mouth and nose. The amount of collagen that is in our system decreases over time, contributing to the appearance of wrinkles and loose skin. Patients who wish to look younger and more refreshed may undergo treatment to reduce the appearance of these lines and wrinkles around the mouth.
Dermal fillers are designed to restore volume where the body’s natural collagen that has been lost. There are a variety of dermal fillers that can be used around the mouth and nose to minimize the appearance of nasolabial folds. It is best for patients to discuss their goals with a cosmetic surgeon, so that the best choice of dermal filler will be used.
The procedure is very simple. A series of injections are made into targeted areas around the mouth and nose. The dermal filler will firm up and round out the skin, making it look smoother and softer. Depending on the extent of the procedure, it can be very quick, generally only taking 30 minutes.
Side effects are minimal, mainly consisting of slight bleeding at injections sites, bruising, and swelling. Taking the herb Arnica montana starting a few days before the procedure will reduce bruising, and cold compresses can keep down swelling.
Dermal fillers will last anywhere from six to 18 months, at which point, the collagen breaks down and is reabsorbed into the body. The good news is that patients can then elect to have a second procedure performed.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing may be another option for patients. In this treatment, laser technology is used to remove damaged skin and stimulate new collagen formation. It will reveal softer, even skin underneath.
In this procedure, the guided laser will target specific areas around the nose and mouth. It is usually only done with local anesthesia. The concentrated beams of light from the laser will remove damaged skin and stimulate collagen formation to fill in lines and wrinkles. This procedure is also quick, usually taking between 30 and 45 minutes.
The most common side effect from laser skin resurfacing is discomfort during and after treatment and reddening of the skin, which will start to go away within a few days after the procedure. Patients are usually advised to avoid the sun for the few weeks following the procedure to reduce the risk of sun damage. For some patients, particularly those with dark skin or who are taking the acne medication Accutane, laser skin resurfacing may change the color pigmentation of the skin.
There are many new and exciting options available for patients wishing to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles around the nose and mouth. Most are simple and quick, with little recovery time. Contact Jefferson Plastic Surgery to speak with a plastic surgeon about the most suitable treatment options.