How to treat the nasolabial folds: a doctor’s perspective

How often do you find yourself staring in the mirror, and when no-one is looking, you take your fingers, put them to either side of your face and push your skin taut? Ahh, the nasolabial folds are gone. You stand there for a while wishing that there is some magical tape that can hold your skin in its new position.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the development of these folds are inevitable. The only question is when will they make their dreaded debut.

Why do we hate our nasolabial folds?

As a cosmetic doctor, one of the most common concerns that I hear my patients complain about, is their nasolabial folds. What are the nasolabial folds, and why does it bother people so much, you ask?

The nasolabial folds, aka smile lines or laugh lines, will do anything but make you smile or laugh. They are the folds of skin that separate the cheeks from the mouth and run from the nose to the corners of the lips. As we age, our face changes in many ways which eventually leads to these folds descending. This, in turn, causes the appearance of deepening nasolabial depression and overlying saggy skin. Often these folds become perceivable from the age of 35 years and onwards.

How does the development of the nasolabial folds affect our appearance? Our brain has an incredible ability to put pieces of information together at lightning speed. This enables it to analyse what it sees. Folds and concavities are features only seen with aging. Our brain subconsciously knows this and when it identifies a person with these features, it can tell that the subject is of more advance age.

It is therefore logical that to make someone look younger, we must obliterate this tell-tale sign. But what is the most effective way to treat these smile lines? Here is a guide to help effectively improve the nasolabial folds.

Dermal Fillers

By the time a patient has apparent nasolabial folds, they would often have volume loss in areas above this fold, particularly the cheeks. This deflation of the malar area causes and accentuates the appearance of the nasolabial folds. Therefore, the number one most essential and also the most flattering treatment is to revolumise the cheeks. The best solution is to inject dermal fillers strategically in the malar region to effect an elevation of the skin and a softening of the folds. To further improve the results, a small amount of filler can be injected along the nasolabial depression themselves.

To learn more about Dermal fillers and anti wrinkle treatment click here

Skin tightening

The second treatment option will come as no surprise. Tighten the skin! Our skin does not sag because we grow more skin. It sags because we lose collagen, elastin, and volume. I have already addressed volume loss in the first point. Now we will focus on collagen depletion. Nowadays, there are many non-surgical options to lift and tighten the skin through collagen stimulation. In my opinion, one of the most effective skin tightening technologies is HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound). As the name suggests, this treatment uses deep penetrating ultrasound to reach the SMAS (superficial muscular aponeurotic system - a key anatomical structure involved in the facial aging process). Tightening the SMAS helps to lift the facial tissue up, similar to raising a roman blind by pulling its cord

To learn more about HIFU click here

thread lift procedure

Sometimes, despite our best efforts with using dermal fillers and skin tightening methods, the nasolabial folds persist like an unwanted rash. The next treatment option is considered the non-surgical facelift procedure. What I am talking about is the Thread Lift. The Thread Lift is a procedure which uses dissolvable surgical sutures to suspend the skin in a more lifted position. It also stimulates a burst of collagen production along its path to further help lift and tighten the skin. This procedure is minimally invasive and has soaring popularity around the world.

facelift surgery

The last treatment option is, of course, surgery. Surgery is the most extreme treatment, but maybe the best choice for patients with very severe skin laxity. This treatment is performed under anaesthesia (either local, general or a combination of both). It involves the surgical removal of excess skin, tightening of facial muscles, repositioning or removal of fat pads.  The down time can be up to 4 weeks.


All faces are different. So before you decide on a treatment, it is best to be assessed by an expert to help formulate a treatment plan. This process is vital to ensure that you can achieve the best results with the most cost-effective treatment.  Often, the best treatment plan involves treating multiple facets of ageing. This is the best way to give patients the most natural rejuvenation.

The skin experts at Appearance Clinic Australia can tailor a treatment plan to suit your individual skin care needs.

Book Your Free Consultation WITH DR. DIANA

At Appearance Clinic Australia, we offer personalised facial rejuvenation and anti-ageing treatments. To discuss treatment options suited to your individual skin condition, book your complimentary consultation. Simply click on the button below to book your free consultation online now. Alternatively, you can call our friendly and experienced team on (03) 9331 2566.


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301 Buckley St Essendon VIC 3040


03 9331 2566

Appearance Clinic Australia - Results may vary from patient to patient.

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