Marionette Lines


Do you see vertical lines/wrinkles that run from the corners of your mouth down to your chin? If so, you have marionette lines. These refer to the fold or creases that appear with natural aging. Marionette lines are located below the nasolabial folds and start at the outer corners of the mouth down to the corners of the chin.

More on marionette lines

These lines commonly show up at 40s or beyond, but there are cases where you may begin to see signs of them at an earlier age. Marionette lines got their name from marionette string-puppets. These are known to have split jaws so puppeteers can easily move their mouths to make them seem like they are talking.

Marionette lines can:

  • Be shallow or deep
  • Make it look like your frowning or scowling even when you feel fine
  • Give your mouth a downward appearance
  • Make you look sad or unhappy

Marionette lines are often confused with nasolabial folds, but they are not the same. While both appear at the lower part of the face, nasolabial folds refer to the wrinkles around the mouth and nose. They are also called smile or laugh lines, and run from the edge of the nose to the corners of the mouth.

What causes marionette lines?

The natural aging process, which causes a depletion of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acids, is the main reason why people develop marionette lines. A number of other factors can also contribute to their appearance, as well as your predisposition for such lines. These include:

  • Genes – You are more likely to develop marionette lines if older close relatives have them or if they are prone to premature wrinkling around the mouth.
  • Volume loss – The degradation of fat, soft tissues, and essential skin proteins can occur with aging. This contributes to the development of sagging skin, as well as marionette lines and folds.
  • Repetitive facial expressions – Persistent and pronounced facial expressions can promote the development of wrinkles and folds around the mouth and chin.
  • Gravity – This plays a part in the development of loose skin and jowls. This can make marionette lines and folds more prominent or visible.
  • Sun exposure – Excessive and unprotected ultraviolet (UV) exposure damages the skin by breaking down collagen and elastin. The sun’s harsh effects on the skin also put you at a higher risk for developing marionette lines.
  • Other lifestyle factors – These include smoking, stress, and poor nutrition. All habits have a negative impact on the skin, one of which is the deterioration of collagen and elastin. These may then contribute to wrinkles and folds.

Marionette lines may be a natural part of the aging process, but there are treatments and procedures that can reduce or improve their appearance. You can also slow down the development of such lines by taking care of your skin better and avoiding bad habits like smoking and sun exposure.

How can we help?

Here at Cutis Laser Clinics, we know how marionette lines and folds can sometimes make you look sad, tired, and older. We provide a number of nonsurgical aesthetic treatments that can smooth lines and wrinkles for a more youthful appearance. We also have skin tightening procedures that can create a lifting effect and stimulate collagen production.

Your individualized treatment plan, depending on various factors such as your acceptable social downtime, your expected time frame and budget, will be explained in detail during your consultation with our Harvard trained Medical Director, Dr. Sylvia Ramirez.