5 Tips for Treating Nasolabial Folds

Treating nasolabial folds (NLF) with dermal filler can make a huge difference to a patient’s appearance and confidence. These facial creases, often known as smile lines, are a mainstay of many aesthetics practices. 

This popular mid-face treatment can make a great addition to your aesthetics offering. As such, knowing how to treat them effectively and safely is a must for any new injector.

To help you master nasolabial folds, Harley Academy senior clinical trainer and aesthetics specialist Dr Joanna Hackney has put together these five important tips…

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When Treating Nasolabial Folds…

1 Remember the physiology of ageing

First and foremost do not forget your physiology of ageing. A patient presenting with a prominent NLF will often also have reasonable mid-face volume loss and anatomical changes resulting from the ageing process in this area. Address these first to ensure the best overall aesthetic outcome and to maintain a balanced profile.

2 Use a cannula to reduce risks

Should you progress to treating the NLF directly, think about patient safety. If you want to know the rough whereabouts of the facial artery ascending in the mid-face, look no further than the nasolabial fold! It is, in essence, a road map for this artery and, therefore, is an area best treated with a cannula. Using a 25G cannula when treating nasolabial folds can reduce your risk profile significantly.  

3 The patient should be upright whilst marking

Mark your patient when they are in the upright position. Here you are wanting to identify the area of increased volume resulting from the hypertrophy and caudal descent of the nasolabial fat pad in order to mark out your “no-go zone”. We only want to add volume medial to this zone so as to avoid exacerbating the patient’s presenting complaint.  

4 A combination technique brings the best nasolabial fold results

A combination of fanning and retrograde linear threads medial to the NLF in layer 2 will produce good results in this area. 

5 Inject slowly at low pressure

Be mindful of further measures here to ensure the risk of adverse events occurring is minimised: do not use force to push through structures. Inject slowly at low pressure. Move your cannula slowly and constantly when injecting product.

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Improving your nasolabial fold treatment technique

If you require more practice or tailored individual instruction in using a cannula, our 1:1 Training in Mid-Face and Cannula is an excellent option. This expert-led, one-on-one tuition with real patients can expand your practical knowledge and increase your confidence. Both of which are extremely valuable assets when starting a career as a new injector. 

From consultation through treatment and aftercare advice, this training session will allow you to perfect each stage of your patient journey. 

You will learn how to use a cannula, why and when it’s most appropriate, including how to use a single entry point to treat multiple areas. Our experienced aesthetics specialists will teach you how to identify facial planes in the mid-face and treat both above and below the SMAS layer. They’ll also encourage you to use this knowledge to refine your injection techniques and produce elegant, natural-looking results for your patient’s mid-face treatments, including the nasolabial folds.

One-to-one training sessions are open to all healthcare professionals – doctors, nurses, dentists and midwives – with a valid GMC/GDC/NMC number with an active license to practice aesthetics. They can also be used by Level 7 students who feel they may benefit from further targeted training in specific areas.

In addition to our mid-face and cannula sessions, we also offer 1:1 Training Sessions in other areas, including perioral and lip filler plus jawline and lower face. 

To find out more, existing students can contact our support team or, if you’re new to Harley Academy, book a call with our head of student recruitment, Deneal Basi, who’ll be able to help you choose the best aesthetics training for you.

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