No one ages in exactly the same way, but there are certain aesthetic concerns that many people share, including wrinkles in high movement areas, such as around the eyes, mouth, and forehead. A major concern for many people are the deep folds that extend down from the mouth as age begins to take its toll. These lines are known as “marionette” lines or wrinkles, and they can do more than just make someone look older—they can also make significant changes in the resting facial expressions, making a person look perpetually sad or angry. If you’re starting to notice the effects of marionette lines, then you’re probably wondering what can be done about them.

Here’s what you need to know about how we get marionette lines—and what you can do to get rid of them.

What Causes Marionette Lines?

There are several different age-related changes that take place when marionette lines form. While many people begin to gain weight with age in the hips and stomach, the opposite is true in the face. Volume loss can make the face appear gaunt and haggard, leading to lines and folds. Contributing to this are several other factors, including the loosening and sagging of facial skin and ligaments. Finally, collagen loss in the skin makes the skin lose a lot of its elasticity and support over time, leading to folds and wrinkles.

Who Gets Marionette Lines?

While anyone can get marionette lines, they may have genetic and lifestyle components. People who smoke or spend lots of time in the sun are generally more prone to early signs of aging, but marionette lines can catch up to anyone eventually, particularly if the problem runs in the family.

How Can You Treat Them?

There are a few options for softening the appearance of marionette lines. The easiest and most accessible treatment available are facial fillers such as Restylane or Juvederm. These injectable treatments are temporary, but they are also non-invasive, require no downtime, and are highly effective. They are also cheaper than surgical options upfront. Treatment must be repeated approximately once every six months to maintain results, however.

For more extensive facial anti-aging, a facelift may be a better way to solve marionette lines long term. Facelift surgery can be costly and invasive, but the procedure can provide comprehensive anti-aging results, and is highly customizable. Facelift results are long-lasting, and improvement can be observed for as long as a decade following surgery.

What is the best filler for treating marionette lines?

Some physicians prefer Juvederm over Restylane and Restylane Lyft while others the contrary. The three classes for fillers that we use are hyaluronic acid fillers which include the ones mentioned, calcium hydroxyl apetite (Radiesse). Each of these fillers is appropriate for marionette lines. Radiesse feels a little more firm than the HA fillers, but it may last slightly longer. Sculpra requires multiple injections to achieve the result, but because it produces the result from your body producing collagen, the results are much longer than the other fillers.

Preventing Marionette Lines

It’s not always possible to prevent issues like marionette lines from cropping up, but that doesn’t mean it’s futile to try. If you’re worried about developing the problem in the future, the first thing to consider is your lifestyle. It is important to avoid habits like smoking, excessive drinking, and tanning to help keep your skin healthy. In addition, a regular skincare routine and healthy habits like a balanced diet low in junk food and consistent exercise can do wonders in holding off aging. Starting mild anti-aging procedures early on may also benefit you in preventing more obvious signs of aging. It’s not possible to stop the clock of aging entirely, but you can slow it down with the right approach.

Choosing a Plastic Surgeon

Because there are a number of options available for filling in marionette lines, as well as treating other signs of aging, it can be difficult to choose the treatment that is right for you. Fortunately, a skilled facial plastic surgeon can help guide you in the right direction and assess your needs to come up with the best solution for your aging patterns.

If you are looking for a trusted specialist in the Austin area, Dr. Edward Buckingham is a board certified facial plastic surgeon who offers beautiful, natural results and compassionate care. Dr. Buckingham favors gentle procedures that produce great results, no matter what your anti-aging needs are. For more information, call Buckingham Center in Austin, TX at (512) 401-2500 today to schedule you consultation with Dr. Buckingham.

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