One of the many advantages of using dermal filler injections for adding volume to the skin is that you have plenty of brands and ways to use them. Even one brand of filler can pull double-duty filling in different areas of the face and skin, and an expert cosmetic doctor or plastic surgeon will often use these dermal fillers to great success in off-label cases.
Considering all that, can cheek filler really help with nasolabial folds? While it's possible to see some minor improvements depending on your specific situation, most experts would advise that you use a specific facial filler directly on the nasolabial folds instead of using injectable filler on the cheeks.
Before we dive into why it's best to use nasolabial fillers alone for nasolabial folds (aside from the obvious reasons), it's important to discuss the cases where cheek fillers can make a difference.
Every patient has a different facial anatomy, and while it's possible to predict how the skin will sag, these predictions are never 100% accurate. Additionally, given how interconnected the skin on your face is, the facial filler will always have some sort of effect outside the treatment area.
Specifically, cheek filler application can help improve nasolabial folds by:
Most experts would recommend some injection of cheek filler to help with nasolabial folds, but not to treat nasolabial folds directly. For all those cases, having facial filler injected directly into the nasolabial fold works best.
Nasolabial folds are specific wrinkles on the facial area around the nose and mouth. They're usually caused by aging, though other factors can speed up the likelihood that you can get nasolabial folds.
But in case you're wondering why any normal dermal filler won't work as well with nasolabial folds, here are the reasons why:
While it's easy to think otherwise, the skin on your face behaves differently depending on the area. Nasolabial folds are affected by gravity and age, so it requires filler material that can both lift the area and provide structure.
Additionally, the downward pull of nasolabial folds means that you'll likely need fillers in other areas to compensate for the added volume. That's one of the reasons why it's often advisable to combine nasolabial fold fillers with other treatments like lip filler.
Nasolabial folds may also need repeat treatments more often compared to other areas (though this may differ depending on the patient) since it's an area that moves quite a bit. This can affect the stability of your filler and may require additional treatments as time goes by.
There's also the possibility that your filler can adjust its place or consistency as you get older. That means that you should always anticipate needing re-injection of more dermal fillers in the nasolabial areas or at least consult your cosmetic doctor for a better estimate of when you'll need re-application.
Nasolabial filler has specific differences from general facial filler since it requires a more rigid structure and consistency compared to other areas of the face. You'll most likely require structure, not softness for nasolabial folds. In fact, a nasolabial filler can have a bigger effect on the cheeks than the other way around.
That's why there are specific subcategories of dermal filler brands that are devoted entirely to the nasolabial area since it does have specific demands about the results that other fillers can't accomplish at all.
Dermal filler application is extremely versatile and can work with multiple areas, but there are specific types of nasolabial filler that excel at nasolabial folds. You'll never have to worry about running out of options when you're trying to pick one - and your plastic surgeon/cosmetic provider will always work with you to get you the best choice.
Here are some of the dermal fillers that you might consider:
Hyaluronic acid filler is by far one of the most common fillers to use for nasolabial folds, as it allows for natural-looking results in addition to helping your skin stay hydrated. Hyaluronic acid dermal filler is also easily accessible to providers, ensuring that you'll always be able to opt for this treatment when you want to.
Popular HA filler brands include Restylane (Restylane Lyft, Restylane Defyne, and other Restylane products) and Juvederm (Juvederm Ultra, Juvederm Ultra Plus, Juvederm Vollure, and Juvederm Voluma).
If you want visible improvements sooner for your nasolabial filler treatments, consider going for PMMA facial fillers. Made of collagen sourced from animal ingredients, PMMA fillers work through a combination of collagen for immediate lift and PMMA microspheres which can provide additional support for the filler material to stabilize your skin.
Currently, only Bellafill has been proven to have reliable results for long-term filler applications.
On the other hand, if you don't mind waiting for a bit for results that last longer, a poly-l-lactic acid filler may work for you. While technically not providing immediate lift compared to other nasolabial filler brands, they work by increasing the collagen production in your skin so it “grows” back the missing volume.
Sculptra is by far the most popular brand of this filler used for nasolabial fold treatment, with some patients reporting long-term or even permanent results.
CaHA filler works similarly to PMMA filler, but it substitutes its ingredients for a synthetic form of calcium in the form of a gel material. The gel provides immediate lift while the calcium is slowly absorbed by the body, increasing collagen production and helping add more volume to the skin over time.
CaHA fillers like Radiesse have shown great success in treating laugh lines, sunken cheeks, and nasolabial folds, helping provide consistent volume without too many treatments.
Cheek fillers really shine the best when they're used on the cheek area, though that doesn't mean that they're limited to cheeks only. As we talked about earlier, the sheer variety of dermal fillers out there means that your provider always has other ways they can apply cheek filler, depending on the brand and the cosmetic concern that you have.
Some ways that your cheek filler can still be used include:
Aside from that, the other uses for cheek filler - whether on or off-brand use - should best be left to the judgment of your cosmetic doctor. By finding a skilled provider, you're able to get consistent results no matter the application.
While cheek filler can certainly help with making your smile lines less obvious, the best answer for a nasolabial fold treatment will always be a nasolabial fold filler. Your provider can give you several options for your treatment, and your dermal filler injection can also include cheek fillers.
Dr. Lanna has extensive experience with different facial fillers, using them to manage mild to severe facial wrinkles without the need for cosmetic surgery. Whether it's Juvederm Ultra or Restylane Contour, you can rest easy that your results will be nothing less than the best. To learn more about our services, book a consultation through our website today.