filler for nasolabial folds
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Last Updated On July 1, 2024

Filler for Nasolabial Folds: Procedure, Benefits, Risks and Results

Jun 25, 2024

Nasolabial folds, those subtle lines extending from the nose to the corners of the mouth, become more pronounced with age. These wrinkles can bother many individuals, affecting their self-confidence and appearance. While nasolabial folds are a natural part of human anatomy, some seek solutions to minimize their visibility.

Dermal fillers offer a popular solution for addressing nasolabial folds. These injectable compounds, often containing hyaluronic acid, plump up the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Commonly used fillers include Juvéderm, Restylane, and Belotero.

This article will explore the procedure, benefits, risks, and real-life results of nasolabial fold fillers.

Key Takeaways

  • Dermal fillers offer a non-surgical solution to smooth nasolabial folds and restore a youthful appearance.
  • The procedure involves preparing for the injection, the injection process, and aftercare and recovery.
  • Benefits include a smoothing and plumping effect, a non-surgical nature, and long-lasting results.
  • Potential risks and side effects should be considered; not everyone is a good candidate for this procedure.
  • Expected results include immediate improvement with long-term maintenance and touch-up treatments.

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Understanding Nasolabial Folds and Dermal Fillers

Nasolabial folds are lines from the nose to the corners of the mouth that deepen with age and make people look older. Everyone has them, but visibility varies. Dermal fillers soften these folds by adding volume beneath the skin, reducing shadows, and creating a smoother, more youthful appearance. This non-surgical procedure is popular for its effective results.

Dermal fillers like Sculptra for nasolabial folds work quickly by adding volume beneath the skin with hyaluronic acid injections. This instantly plumps the skin, reducing creases and enhancing facial contours for a youthful look. Depending on the filler type and individual factors, the effects last six months to over a year. Regular touch-ups maintain results. Patients appreciate this non-surgical solution for its significant aesthetic improvements and minimal downtime.

The Filler Procedure for Nasolabial Folds

The filler procedure for nasolabial folds is simple and quick. Doctors use a needle to put fillers under the skin to smooth out lines. Preparing for a filler procedure to address nasolabial folds requires careful planning. Doctors and patients must work together to ensure the best results.

  • Consultation with a medical professional involves discussing goals, reviewing medical history, and choosing the filler type.
  • To reduce bruising, avoid blood-thinning medications and supplements like aspirin, ibuprofen, and vitamin E for a week before the procedure.
  • Stop using retinol-based products two weeks before to avoid skin irritation.
  • Wash your face thoroughly the night before to reduce infection risk.
  • Eat a healthy meal before the procedure to prevent feeling faint.
  • Arrange for a ride home if sedation is involved.
  • Communicate current medications to avoid complications.
  • Stay hydrated, but limit caffeine and alcohol 24 hours before the appointment to reduce swelling.
  • Bring pictures of desired outcomes to help the doctor understand your expectations.

The Injection Process

Injecting filler into nasolabial folds is a precise process. It helps soften deep lines around the nose and mouth for a youthful look. Here’s what happens during the injection process:

  • The skin gets cleaned to prevent infection.
  • A numbing cream may be applied to lessen discomfort.
  • The medical professional marks the areas on the face where injections will go.
  • They choose a specific type of filler that best suits the patient’s needs.
  • A thin needle injects filler into and around the nasolabial folds.
  • The practitioner carefully massages the area to shape the filler evenly.
  • Ice might be offered afterward to reduce swelling and bruising.
  • The entire process usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Patients can leave immediately after but should avoid heavy exercise for 24 hours.
  • Follow-up visits are scheduled to check results and discuss if more treatment is needed.

Aftercare and Recovery

Once the filler has been injected into the nasolabial folds, the focus shifts to aftercare and recovery. This phase is crucial for ensuring the best possible outcomes and minimizing any risks of complications.

  • Keep the treated area clean to prevent infection.
  • Avoid touching or massaging the nasolabial folds immediately after treatment to allow the filler to settle properly.
  • Apply ice packs to reduce swelling, but wrap them in a cloth to avoid direct contact with the skin.
  • Stay out of direct sunlight and hot environments like saunas for at least 24 hours post-treatment to prevent swelling and bruising.
  • Follow any specific skincare routines your professional advises, including using gentle products on your face.
  • Look for signs of complications such as unusual pain, significant swelling, or asymmetric results, and report them immediately.
  • Schedule follow-up appointments as recommended to monitor progress and discuss any concerns.
  • Expect some initial swelling or bruising that should subside within a few days; complete settling of fillers may take up to two weeks.
  • Plan for maintenance treatments in advance since, depending on the type of filler used, results can last from six months to over a year.

Benefits of Using Fillers for Nasolabial Folds

Fillers give your face a smoother and younger look. They are a quick, no-cut way to fix deep lines by your nose and mouth.

  • Smoothing and Plumping Effect: Dermal fillers for nasolabial folds smooth and plump the skin, making lines appear softer and less deep. Immediate changes are visible post-treatment, with skin looking fuller and fold appearance reduced. The unique gel adds volume and decreases shadows, making smile lines less noticeable. Patients appreciate the natural look and feel, enjoying lively facial expressions without deep creases.
  • Non-surgical Solution: Fillers smooth nasolabial folds without surgery, offering a simple and safe alternative. Avoiding surgical risks, patients enjoy no downtime and can resume daily activities immediately. While filler effects are long-lasting, touch-ups are needed for best results. This nonsurgical option is appealing to those seeking significant improvements without the invasiveness of surgery.
  • Long-lasting Results: Fillers for nasolabial folds provide results lasting six months to over a year, depending on the filler type and individual response. Regular touch-ups can extend improvements, blending seamlessly with the body’s natural processes. Maintenance ensures enduring results, with follow-up treatments preventing smile lines from becoming noticeable again. This ongoing care helps maintain a youthful appearance over time.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

Using dermal fillers to smooth out nasolabial folds is a popular procedure. Medical professionals are familiar with the benefits and the potential for minor side effects.

  • Redness at the injection site often appears immediately after the procedure. This reaction is common and typically fades within a few days.
  • Swelling is another expected response as the skin adjusts to the filler. Most patients see this reduction significantly within a week.
  • Bruising can occur, varying from light to more noticeable marks. Arnica cream might be suggested to help heal these quicker.
  • Some patients report pain or tenderness around the treated area. Ice packs and over-the-counter pain relief can ease discomfort.
  • Individuals with sensitive skin may experience itching around the injection sites. A hypoallergenic moisturizer is usually effective in relieving this sensation.
  • Lumps or bumps under the skin can develop as the filler settles. Gentle massage and time often resolve this issue without further intervention.
  • Though rare, infection presents as increased redness, swelling, and pain that doesn’t improve with standard aftercare measures.

Rare but Serious Risks

Filler treatments for nasolabial folds are mostly safe. Yet, in rare cases, they can lead to serious risks. Here’s a detailed look:

  • Allergic Reactions: Some people may react unexpectedly to the filler material. This can cause redness, itching, or swelling around the injection area.
  • Infection: If the injection site is not properly sanitized, it might become infected. This risk is low but worth considering.
  • Skin Necrosis: This happens when filler blocks a blood vessel, leading to skin loss near the area of the injection.
  • Vision Problems: Extremely rare but possible, fillers can accidentally enter a blood vessel and travel to the eyes, causing vision loss.
  • Granulomas: These are nodules that form when the body tries to wall off the foreign substance of the filler, which can be painful and require medical treatment to resolve.
  • Migration: Filler material may shift from the original site to other face areas over time, leading to an uneven appearance.
  • Scarring: Though uncommon, some individuals might develop scars at the injection sites or as a result of any complications like infections or necrosis.

Who is Not a Good Candidate for This Procedure?

Not everyone should get nasolabial fold fillers. Those with skin infections, severe allergies, immune issues, or allergies to filler ingredients should avoid them. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also avoid fillers due to body changes and lack of research on the effects on babies.

Expected Results and Maintenance

After getting fillers for nasolabial folds, people see immediate results, with the area around the nose and mouth looking smoother and fuller. This quick improvement is appealing, as patients leave the clinic immediately noticing a difference. Over time, touch-ups may be needed to maintain the fresh look, but the initial change is instantly satisfying.

Long-term Maintenance and Touchup Treatments

Maintaining the results of filler treatments for nasolabial folds requires periodic touch-ups. This ensures that the smoothing effects last and that patients remain satisfied with their looks.

  • Regular follow-up visits are necessary. Doctors will assess how well the fillers are holding up and decide if more treatments are needed.
  • Touchup appointments should be scheduled every 6 to 12 months. This timeline varies based on the type of filler used and individual patient factors.
  • Using skincare products that enhance filler longevity can be beneficial. Products rich in hyaluronic acid support skin hydration and volume.
  • Sun protection is crucial. Daily sunscreen use helps prevent the breakdown of the filler material caused by UV exposure.
  • Staying hydrated and maintaining a healthy diet supports overall skin condition, which can extend the life of fillers.
  • Avoiding excessive facial movements or pressure on treated areas helps preserve filler integrity.
  • Patients might opt for more minor “top-up” treatments instead of full repeat procedures. These adjustments can address minor shifts or volume loss over time.


Fillers for nasolabial folds bring a smooth, youthful look without surgery. They offer quick results with minimal risks. Sure, there are some side effects to consider. Yet, the benefits, like long-lasting plumpness, make it worth considering. Keeping up with touch-ups can maintain that fresh-faced glow.


1. What is the procedure for getting filler in nasolabial folds?

A doctor injects filler into the skin to smooth out nasolabial folds.

2. How long do results from nasolabial fold fillers last?

Results can last from 6 months to over a year, depending on the type of filler used.

3. Are there any risks with nasolabial fold fillers?

Yes, risks include swelling, bruising, and sometimes lumps or asymmetry.

4. Can anyone get fillers for their nasolabial folds?

Most good-health adults can get fillers, but it’s best to talk with a doctor first.

5. Do fillers for nasolabial folds hurt?

There may be some discomfort during injection, but doctors often use numbing cream to help ease pain.

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Nasolabial folds: Causes, treatment, exercises, and prevention. Published February 5, 2018.

Stefura T, Kacprzyk A, Droś J, et al. Tissue Fillers for the Nasolabial Fold Area: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. 2021;45(5):2300-2316. doi: