Marionette Lines Treatment And Prevention Options
While commonly referred to as “laugh lines”, marionette lines (also known as nasolabial folds) are no laughing matter!
Marionette lines are creases or folds that run vertically from the corners of the mouth down to the chin. Ironically, marionette lines are not caused by years of laughing. The lines are a common result of the natural aging process that includes a combination of depleting fat (and other facial tissue underneath the skin) with a loss of skin elasticity.
Genetics can also play a key role in the development of marionette lines and how prominent they become. In fact, genetically susceptible individuals can begin to develop some degree of marionette lines during their childhood.
Example of marionette lines (Source: Radiesse)
Preventing Marionette Lines
While there is no way to absolutely prevent the development of marionette lines, there are a few ways you can slow them down. Follow these simple preventative methods:
Stomach (face down) and side sleepers are more prone to developing facial wrinkles as their face experiences the pull of gravity all night long. The pressure from the pull of gravity is especially harsh on the nasal-labial fold area of the face. Try to sleep on your back as much as you can. If you simply must sleep on your side try to position your pillow so the lower half of your face doesn’t touch it.
Excessive UV exposure on the skin can contribute to the loss of collagen and skin elasticity, both of which are essential to preventing marionette lines during natural aging. Always use a high SPF broad-spectrum sunscreen, avoid the sun during peak UV hours, and wear a wide brimmed had when outdoors during a long period of time.
The chemicals found in cigarettes are known to induce early onset aging and damage the skin. Smoking cigarettes causes the deterioration of current collagen in the skin as well as a decrease in future collagen production. Ditch the habit to help your skin (and entire body) look and feel its best.
Another way to prevent marionette lines is to simply take care of your skin by consistently following a daily skin care regimen that suites your skin type. This includes using a daily moisturizer and applying an anti-aging night cream to regenerate the skin. Products containing ingredients like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and other growth factors can work to rebuild lost collagen and restore skin elasticity.
What you eat and drink each day can play a key role in terms of your skin’s resistance to the effects of aging. Dry skin is more prone to forming wrinkle and lines, so staying properly hydrated will ensure that your skin looks and feels its best.
Treating Marionette Lines
If you already have fairly prominent marionette lines, there are several cosmetic treatment options that are both safe and effective:
Fillers are non-surgical, injectable treatments that offer the ability to instantly smooth lines and wrinkles. In the case of marionette lines, a hyaluronic acid-based filler such as Juvederm can be used to restore lost volume for a plump and youthful appearance. Radiesse (another popular filler) instantly adds volume back into the skin while also utilizing an ingredient that stimulates the production of collagen over time.
Skin tightening lasers effectively reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles for a smoother, more youthful appearance. These laser treatments transfer heat and laser light under the surface of the skin. By heating the tissue to lift and tighten the underlying foundation, this strengthens the skin and stimulates the growth of new collagen. Some of these types of skin tightening laser treatments include Thermage and Ultherapy.
Micro-needling (also known as Collagen Induction Therapy) uses controlled damage to spur the skin’s natural creation of new tissue. By creating minor skin injury during the procedure, the skin’s natural healing process initiates the production of new collagen and elastin fibers that thicken the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Micro-needling can be combined with topical skin rejuvenation treatments like or growth factor gels.
Individuals with deep and prominent marionette lines can benefit from facelift surgery. A facelift is a surgical procedure that makes the face tighter by removing excess skin and tightening any loose underlying facial muscles. While more invasive than all the other above treatment options, a facelift procedure will provide the most dramatic and long-term improvements to the lower face area.