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Marionette Lines and How Can You Get Rid of Them?

Tagged: Facial Treatments

Date: 15th February 2024

Medically Reviewed by:  Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396)

Last reviewed: 15th February 2024

As we age, our face goes through a variety of transformations and our skin changes condition due to the loss of collagen and elastin. Combine this with repeat facial expressions such as smiling and frowning and this can result in wrinkles in different places including under the eyes, around the eyes, and at the corners of your mouth.

Vertical wrinkles that run from the corner of your mouth towards your chin are called marionette lines and we discuss what causes them, and how to get rid of them below. This includes lifestyle changes, non-invasive treatments like dermal fillers, and surgical marionette lines treatment like a full facelift. 

What Are Marionette Lines?

Marionette lines, also known as puppet lines, are the lines that run vertically from the corners of the mouth down to the chin, resembling the strings on a marionette puppet. These lines become more pronounced with age and are a part of how our face ages, as the skin loses elasticity and collagen production decreases. They can give the face a tired or sad appearance, affecting your overall facial expression.

They are closely related but distinct from nasolabial folds, or smile lines, which run from the corner of the nose to the corner of the mouth. 

What Causes Marionette Lines?

Several factors contribute to the formation of marionette lines. Firstly, the natural ageing process is a primary factor, as the skin loses collagen and elastin over time, leading to sagging and the development of wrinkles. Additionally, repeated facial expressions, sun exposure, smoking, and genetics can all play a role in the formation of marionette lines around the mouth.

How Can You Prevent Marionette Lines?

While it's not always possible to prevent marionette lines entirely, there are steps you can take to minimise their appearance. Protecting your skin from sun damage by using sunscreen daily and avoiding smoking can help preserve collagen and elastin levels.

Maintaining a healthy diet rich in antioxidants and staying hydrated can also support overall skin health and reduce the formation of wrinkles. Try to exercise as often as possible and use moisturiser to help prevent you skin from drying out.

Whether you choose to undergo non-invasive treatments and/or surgery, we advise making these lifestyle changes regardless as they can improve your wellbeing and contribute to enhanced success of these processes. 

What are the Best Treatments for Marionette Lines?

Several treatments can help reduce the appearance of marionette lines, ranging from non-invasive procedures to surgical interventions.

Non-invasive options include anti-ageing injectables, marionette lines dermal filler, non-surgical facelifts, radiofrequency treatments, Morpheus 8, microneedling, and chemical peels. These treatments work by stimulating collagen production, plumping the skin, and improving overall skin texture and tone.

Surgical options are less varied but include facelifts and fat transfer to face. These are the most effective ways to get rid of marionette lines, but making subtle lifestyle changes can also help. 

Can Lifestyle Changes Get Rid of Marionette Lines?

While lifestyle changes alone may not eliminate marionette lines completely, adopting healthy habits can complement professional treatments to prevent a further worsening of the condition and help maintain results.

Avoiding excessive sun exposure, quitting smoking, staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet, and practicing good skincare habits can all contribute to healthier, more youthful-looking skin. 

How Can Non-Invasive Treatments Get Rid of Marionette Lines?

Non-invasive treatments offer effective solutions for reducing the appearance of marionette lines without the need for surgery. These treatments are typically performed in less than 30 minutes and require little to no downtime.

Therefore, if you are not quite ready for surgery, your marionette wrinkles are not as developed, or you have time constraints with work or other social commitments, non-invasive marionette lines treatment could be the best option. The drawback is that these methods are not permanent. Over time, the effect diminishes and you may need repeat treatments to keep your marionette lines minimal.

Anti-Ageing Injectables

Anti-ageing injectables, such as Botox and Dysport, can relax the muscles around the mouth and chin, reducing the depth of marionette lines and preventing them from becoming more pronounced over time. Typically, this non-invasive procedure is completed within a 30-minute consultation, and you can return to work or your daily routine immediately afterwards with no downtime.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers, such as hyaluronic acid-based fillers, can add volume to the skin, smoothing out marionette lines and restoring youthful contours to the face. Like anti-ageing injectables, dermal fillers for marionette lines are an especially quick treatment and have next to no downtime. As a temporary treatment, marionette lines filler usually last between 6 and 18 months.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells and stimulating cell turnover, which can improve the appearance of marionette lines and enhance overall skin radiance. The solution used is slightly acidic with the most common options being Glycolic and Phenol peels.

Non-Surgical Facelift

A non-surgical facelift is a combination of non-invasive treatments tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual. A consultation determines the best solution and typically treatments that may be included are dermal fillers, fat transfer to face, Ultherapy, and radiofrequency. The result is a combined effort to get rid of marionette lines.

Morpheus 8

Morpheus 8 is a fractional radiofrequency microneedling device that targets both the superficial and deep layers of the skin, improving texture, tone, and firmness while reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, including marionette lines. Results are usually apparent within days and the treatment can reduce the effect of marionette lines between 12 months and potentially up to three years.

Microneedling

Microneedling involves using fine needles to create controlled micro-injuries in the skin, stimulating collagen and elastin production and improving overall skin texture and tone, which can help diminish the appearance of marionette lines. A device such as the Derman FNS pen is used and depending on the individual, between 3-6 sessions are required to get the best results.

Radiofrequency

Radiofrequency treatments deliver heat energy deep into the skin at the dermis layer, stimulating collagen production and improving skin elasticity, which can help reduce the visibility of marionette lines. This procedure usually takes approximately 60 minutes and depending on the development of your marionette lines, you may need multiple sessions. 


Are Surgical the Best Treatments to Get Rid of Marionette Lines?

In some cases, surgical interventions may be necessary to achieve the desired results for more developed marionette lines or in combination with other treatments for optimal outcomes.

Also, if you don’t want to have to attend repeat non-invasive procedure appointments, surgery offers a more long-lasting marionette lines treatment. The downside of these marionette wrinkles treatments are the increased recovery period, and the time you have to take away from work. 

Facelift

A facelift is a surgical procedure that involves lifting and tightening the underlying facial muscles and tissues, repositioning fat deposits, and removing excess skin to restore a more youthful appearance to the face and neck.

At the Cadogan Clinic we offer three different types of Facelift to get rid of marionette lines:

The traditional facelift or full facelift uses the method described above whereas micro and mini procedures are less extensive and invasive. The micro facelift usually involves just one incision and suture, while a mini facelift concentrates on the lower portion of your face including around the mouth.

Both of these smaller procedures can be effective at providing a targeted surgical approach to removing marionette lines whilst a full facelift is typically reserved for cases where a wider facial rejuvenation is desired.

Fat Transfer to Face

Fat transfer, also known as fat grafting or autologous fat transplantation, involves harvesting fat from one area of the body, processing it, and injecting it into the face to restore volume, smooth out wrinkles, and improve overall facial contour. When injected into the area around the mouth, fat transfer to face can effectively eliminate marionette lines.

Fat Transfer surgery typically takes between 30-45 minutes, and you may need to take a few days off work. Full recovery can be expected within a week which makes it another relatively hassle-free surgical option. 
 

Get Rid of Marionette Lines Around the Mouth With Non-Invasive or Surgical Treatments

Marionette lines are a common feature for many individuals as they age, but there are numerous treatment options available to address them effectively.

From non-invasive procedures like injectables and marionette lines filler to surgical interventions like facelifts and fat transfer, you have a variety of choices to suit your preferences and desired outcomes. Additionally, adopting healthy lifestyle habits can complement professional treatments and help maintain long-lasting results.

Remember that non-invasive marionette line treatments are not permanent and you may need repeat sessions over time. However, procedures like dermal fillers for marionette lines are time-effective, hassle-free, and a great option if you aren’t quite sure about surgery.

For long-lasting and highly impactful results, surgery is typically the best option and procedures like facelifts (whether full, micro, or mini), and fat transfer to face are among the key options to consider to get rid of marionette lines once and for all. 


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