Nasolabial folds are creases in your skin extending from both sides of your nose to the corners of your mouth. They’re also called smile lines or laugh lines. The creases can become prominent and permanent as you age, especially if you smoke or don’t protect your skin from the sun. Certain treatments can reduce their appearance.
Nasolabial folds are creases in your skin extending from both sides of your nose to the corners of your mouth. They can become more prominent and permanent as you age. They’re often called laugh lines or smile lines.
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Smile lines are very common among women and men of all races — even more so as you age.
The leading causes of nasolabial folds are:
Laugh lines appear as folds in your skin from both sides of your nose to the corners of your mouth. When you’re younger, the folds may appear only when you smile or laugh, then disappear as your face relaxes. But over time, the lines may become deep, permanent wrinkles that appear whether you’re smiling or not. They can be symmetrical or asymmetrical.
There aren’t any tests for nasolabial folds. You either see them or you don’t. And only you can decide whether you want to seek medical treatment for the signs of aging.
If you decide to treat nasolabial folds, talk to a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon. Options include:
Certain strategies can reduce your risk of developing laugh lines, delay their appearance and make them less prominent:
There’s no way to prevent nasolabial folds permanently. Treatments can work for a few months or even years, but you can’t completely stop the signs of aging.
Try this daily exercise at home to reduce the appearance of lines around your mouth:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Nasolabial folds are creases in your skin extending from both sides of your nose to the corners of your mouth. As you age, the lines deepen, especially in people who smoke or don’t protect their skin from sun damage. If smile lines or laugh lines are bothering you, talk to a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon about treatment options.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/18/2022.
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