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Nasolabial folds, or nasogenian folds, are also called laughter lines. They come from the sides for the nose and join the corners of the mouth, in a diagonal direction. They mark the smile, hence the name.
In young adults, the cheekbones are well defined. With the chin and the nose, they form an equilateral triangle. But this geometric shape evolves, its proportions change with age, making laughter lines appear.
Their appearance can be explained logically: they result from the downward movement of the complex formed by the skin and the sub-cutaneous fat.
Why do nasolabial fold appear?
On the face, the layer of fat thickens the further away it gets from the ear. Very significant at the cheeks, this fat is not solidly fixed, which makes it mobile.
Three elements intervene in the process of the appearance of nasolabial fold:
- the melting of some of the fat
- the sagging of tissues, caused by the progressive disappearance of elastin and collagen fibres
The skin/fat complex will slide until it encounters resistance, that of the orbicular muscle of the mouth, which constitutes the frame of the mouth. The fat and skin unwraps along the muscles, forming nasolabial fold.