NLF Filler: Optimal Results and Longevity

Medically Reviewed
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aurora Kalmanson on
Written by Fillers Editorial Team, plastic surgery specialists.

Nasolabial fold fillers are injectable treatments designed to smooth out the lines that run from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth, commonly known as smile lines. These fillers, primarily composed of substances like hyaluronic acid and calcium hydroxylapatite, not only reduce the appearance of these folds but also stimulate collagen production, leading to firmer and more youthful skin.

While the results are not permanent, they offer a non-invasive solution with minimal downtime, making them a popular choice for those looking to rejuvenate their facial appearance.

Understanding Nasolabial Fold Fillers

Nasolabial fold fillers are a cornerstone in the world of cosmetic enhancements, offering a blend of immediate visual improvement and long-term skin benefits. They represent a key approach in addressing the signs of aging without the need for surgical intervention.

Definition and Purpose

Nasolabial fold fillers are specialized dermal fillers used to correct and minimize the appearance of the deep creases that run from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth. These folds can become more pronounced with age, weight fluctuations, and other factors. The primary purpose of NLF fillers is to add volume beneath the skin’s surface, which in turn smooths out these lines and restores a more youthful contour to the face. Beyond cosmetic improvement, these fillers also promote the production of collagen, which can improve skin elasticity and structure over time.

Nasolabial Fold Filler Injection Procedure

The procedure for injecting nasolabial fold fillers is meticulous and adapted to each individual’s facial anatomy and aesthetic goals, ensuring optimal results and patient satisfaction.

Consultation and Expectations

The initial consultation is a critical step in the nasolabial fold filler injection process. During this time, the practitioner evaluates the patient’s skin condition, discusses their aesthetic goals, and determines the most suitable type of filler. It is also an opportunity to educate the patient on what to expect from the procedure, including the potential results, longevity of the fillers, and any necessary maintenance treatments. Setting realistic expectations and understanding the patient’s desires are essential for achieving a satisfactory outcome and ensuring the patient feels informed and comfortable with the planned treatment.

Anesthesia and Injection Techniques

Multilayered Injection Technique: The multilayered injection technique involves placing filler at various depths to achieve a more natural and comprehensive rejuvenation of the nasolabial folds. By carefully injecting into different layers of the skin and underlying structures, the practitioner can sculpt the area, restoring volume and smoothing out the folds effectively. This technique requires a thorough understanding of facial anatomy and skillful execution to avoid complications and ensure the longevity of the results.

Cannula vs. Needle Methods: The choice between using a cannula or needle for nasolabial fold filler injections can impact the procedure’s outcome and the patient’s comfort. Cannulas, which are blunt-tipped and flexible, may reduce the risk of bruising and vascular injury, making them a safer option for some patients. Needles, on the other hand, offer more precision for targeted areas. The decision between the two will depend on the practitioner’s expertise, the type of filler used, and the specific needs of the patient’s facial structure.

Aftercare and Recovery

Immediate Post-Treatment Care: Following nasolabial fold filler injections, immediate post-treatment care is crucial for minimizing side effects and ensuring the best possible results. Patients are advised to avoid strenuous exercise, excessive heat, and sun exposure for at least 24 to 48 hours post-procedure. It’s also recommended to keep the treated area clean and to avoid makeup or other skincare products for a short period to reduce the risk of infection. Mild swelling, redness, and bruising can occur, which typically subside within a few days. Applying ice packs and keeping the head elevated can help ease these symptoms. Adhering to the aftercare instructions provided by the practitioner is essential for a smooth recovery.

Long-Term Maintenance: To maintain the effects of nasolabial fold fillers, long-term care strategies are important. While the results of fillers are temporary, lasting from several months to a couple of years, patients can prolong the effects with good skincare habits, including regular use of sunscreen, moisturizers, and possibly retinoids. Additionally, lifestyle choices such as a balanced diet, adequate hydration, and not smoking can contribute to longer-lasting results. Periodic follow-up treatments may be necessary to maintain the desired aesthetic, and these should be planned in consultation with the practitioner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Filler Longevity

The longevity of nasolabial fold fillers varies depending on the type of filler used, the individual's metabolism, and lifestyle factors. Hyaluronic acid fillers typically last between six months to a year, while other fillers like poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra) and calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse) may last up to two years or more. Factors such as sun exposure, smoking, and dynamic facial movements can affect the duration of the fillers. Regular maintenance sessions are recommended to preserve the desired aesthetic effect, and patients should discuss a personalized treatment plan with their provider to manage expectations and results over time.

Reversibility of Fillers

One of the advantages of certain types of nasolabial fold fillers, particularly those based on hyaluronic acid, is their reversibility. If a patient is dissatisfied with the results or experiences complications, an enzyme called hyaluronidase can be injected to dissolve the filler almost immediately. This option provides an extra layer of reassurance for patients undergoing the procedure for the first time. However, it's important to note that not all fillers are reversible; therefore, patients should discuss the reversibility of the chosen filler with their practitioner prior to treatment.

Post-Treatment Activities

After receiving nasolabial fold filler injections, patients can usually resume most daily activities immediately. However, it is recommended to avoid strenuous exercise, alcohol consumption, and extensive sun or heat exposure for the first 24 to 48 hours to minimize swelling and bruising. Patients should also be cautious when engaging in activities that may involve direct pressure to the treated area, such as facials or wearing tight-fitting headgear, for a short period post-treatment. Following the specific aftercare instructions provided by the practitioner will support optimal healing and results.

Sun Exposure Effects

Sun exposure can have detrimental effects on the skin, including the breakdown of collagen and the acceleration of the aging process. While fillers can help correct the appearance of nasolabial folds, protecting the skin from the sun is crucial to maintain the results of the treatment. Patients are advised to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during peak sun hours. These measures not only extend the life of the fillers but also protect against photoaging and skin cancer.

Comparison with Other Anti-Aging Treatments

Nasolabial fold fillers are just one option in a range of anti-aging treatments. Compared to alternatives like Botox, which relaxes muscles to reduce wrinkles, fillers work by adding volume to the skin. Other treatments, such as laser resurfacing or chemical peels, aim to improve skin texture and tone. The choice of treatment depends on the individual's specific concerns, desired outcomes, and tolerance for downtime. A comprehensive approach may involve combining fillers with other treatments for a more dramatic rejuvenation effect.


Nasolabial fold fillers offer a versatile and minimally invasive solution for those looking to diminish the signs of aging and enhance facial contours. With a variety of filler options available, tailored treatments can provide significant improvements in skin volume and texture. While there are potential risks and side effects, the benefits of fillers, such as minimal downtime and the stimulation of collagen, make them a popular choice. As with any cosmetic procedure, it's important to consult with a qualified practitioner to discuss the best approach for individual needs and to ensure a safe and satisfying outcome.

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Stefura, T., Kacprzyk, A., Droś, J., Krzysztofik, M., Skomarovska, O., Fijałkowska, M., & Koziej, M. (2021). Tissue Fillers for the Nasolabial Fold Area: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials.

Li, X. Z., Chiang, C. F., Lin, Y. H., Chen, T. M., Wang, C. H., Tzeng, Y. S., & Cui, H. Y. (2023). Safety and efficacy of hyaluronic acid injectable filler in the treatment of nasolabial fold wrinkle: a randomized, double-blind, self-controlled clinical trial.

Dr. Aurora Kalmanson

Always Consult a Medical Specialist

The information provided in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as personalized medical advice. It's crucial to understand that while we are medical professionals, the insights and advice we provide are based on general research and studies. They are not tailored to individual health needs or conditions. Thus, it is essential to consult directly with a healthcare provider who can offer personalized medical advice relevant to your specific situation.