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Smile lines, sometimes referred to as laugh lines, parenthesis, or nasolabial folds, are the lines that appear around the mouth as we get older. They get their name because they appear when we smile, though when we’re young they disappear when our face is at rest. As the aging process starts to take its toll on our skin, these lines will begin to appear permanently, sticking around even when the face is not making any expressions. Unfortunately, these lines are pretty much inevitable, though a proper skincare and sun care routine, coupled with a good diet and staying hydrated, may help the skin look more youthful for longer.
There are a number of factors that contribute to the development of smile lines. Sun damage is 1 contributor, as it speeds along the process of aging, as do certain external factors such as smoking. Genetics also play a role in whether or not smile lines appear, or how prominent they may appear. Another reason why these lines are so common is because the mouth is such a mobile feature, responsible for many facial expressions. These repeated facial movements add extra wear and tear to the skin. However, the primarily factors are loss of elasticity and tissue volume within the skin around the mouth due to age. As we get older, the body does not produce some of the most important proteins, such as collagen, that contribute to the underlying support system of the skin that keeps it looking healthy and young. Additionally, the skin becomes more dehydrated due to decreased levels of hyaluronic acid, making laugh lines even more prominent.
There are a few different options available to patients looking to treat their smile lines. Aside from daily habits like applying SPF and hydrating moisturizer, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, and avoiding smoking, there are more permanent corrective options. Laser treatment, facelift surgery, and collagen induction therapy are all viable options, though the most popular treatment to treat smile lines is dermal filler injections. Dermal fillers, particularly hyaluronic acid-based fillers, add volume and hydration to areas of the face that display the signs of aging, and can be very effective on smile lines. Dermal filler procedures involve having filler injected into the crease that appears at the corner of the nose down to the corner of the mouth.
Juvederm is a hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler that can be used to treat smile lines. It is favored for it lifting abilities, which diminishes the appearances of smile lines, and for its natural-looking effects. It is also preferred over other treatment options because it requires 0 downtime after injection, and the procedure is very quick—lasting only 10–15 minutes. Juvederm can be used on adult patients, and the product line offers 2 different options that are indicated for the treatment of smiles lines. Juvederm XC provides results that last for up to 12 months, while Juvederm Vollure XC can provide lasting results for up to 18 months.