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Injecting Nasolabial Folds

(Results vary by individual patient and  results cannot be guaranteed)

When we look at our faces in the mirror to assess what changes might bring us a more youthful look, we see lines. Often the vertical lines are the most aging, particularly the lines from the nostrils down to the corner of the mouth. These are called, nasolabial folds. They make us look drawn, older and tired, which is a shame considering many of us still feel 30!

Nasolabial folds

Nasolabial folds

So what we think we should do is go to a cosmetic clinic and get the doctor or cosmetic injector to fill those lines with a product like Restylane or Juvederm. What we don’t realize is that those lines in particular, are not the source of the problem – so injecting nasolabial folds alone may not attain the desired result.

Often the cause is the fat pads on the cheeks sliding down or fat loss in the cheeks which creates heaviness and sometimes a complete fold on either side of the mouth. If you put your fingers on your cheeks and lift them up slightly, you will notice that your nasolabial folds decrease.

We see that the folds are the result and not the cause of the problem. Now this isn’t to say that this will work for all faces, as  some  do need some filler placed underneath those lines as well. Keep in mind, that it’s important not to eradicate those lines altogether as it can give us a puffed out, ‘monkey look’…not what we are going for!

So even though you have gone into a skin treatment clinic with one idea on how to soften your lines, you may be presented with areas to be enhanced that you never even considered. This isn’t because a doctor or a consultant is necessarily trying to upsell you (would you like fries with that?) but rather that they are suggesting you do ’cause correction’ to keep your face looking more natural and deal with the cause or source of the issue instead.

In this case, Dr. Frame might recommend filler treatments to areas of the cheek, not so much in the front ‘apple’ part of the cheek but instead, following your cheekbone out towards the temples. Putting filler too much around the front of the cheek can add to the heaviness and accentuate the nasolabial folds.

Cannula Technique for Nasolabial Folds

If enhancing the cheeks doesn’t do enough and the patient still wants the folds softened more, a newer and safer technique to use is with a fine, blunt-ended cannula instead of a needle. This area is tricky as there is a risk of injecting filler into the angular artery that sits right at the base of the nose.

This artery, although deep, may be different on everyone so the inadvertent injecting into that artery or creating compression around a vessel,  blocking the blood flow, can happen. This can result in necrosis of the skin in that area. Scary right?

However, a blunt cannula pushes past vessels, nerves and tissue to lay thin filler safely into that area as opposed to a needle which cuts through and damages.

The good thing about using temporary hyaluronic acid  fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm is they can be dissolved instantly with an enzyme (hyaluronidaise) if signs of occlusion appear on the skin (which they do instantly).

Trusting Your Injector

Having a cosmetic treatments doctor whose opinions and recommendations you trust is the key. The best injectors have an artistic eye and easily can see where the cause of your wrinkles lay and treat those areas instead of just chasing the lines themselves. Doesn’t it make sense that if we focus on putting the face back closer to the way it was by replacing the lost volume, we will keep you looking like you, only younger?

by M. Wally

Age is state of mind. Aging is treatable condition.