Dynamic vs. Static Wrinkles

When we think about aging, fine lines and wrinkles are the first sign most of us imagine. While wrinkles can help tell the story of your life, they can also make you feel self-conscious about your appearance. Fortunately, advancements in aesthetic medicine have given cosmetic surgeons a variety of options for treating troublesome wrinkles, and effective treatment begins with recognizing that there are two different kinds of facial lines: dynamic and static.

Why We Get Wrinkles

What caused you to develop those creases in the first place? Wrinkles are your skin’s natural response to a variety of biological and environmental factors. Sun damage, genetics, aging, smoking, and skin dehydration can all affect how early you begin to see wrinkles appearing, as well as how pronounced they are.

Typically, you’ll first notice wrinkles emerging on areas of your body that get the most exposure to UV rays and other harmful environmental elements. Repeated exposure to sunlight decreases your skin’s resiliency and flexibility by causing the breakdown of collagen. That’s why your face, chest, neck, and hands might be making you look older than your real age. 

As you age, your skin will also lose its natural moisture and elasticity and will become more delicate along the way. As the surface of your skin changes shape, dynamic and static wrinkles begin to form.

What Are Dynamic Wrinkles?

When you were younger, your skin was much more resilient than it is today. You could furrow your brow or squint your eyes against bright sunlight, and your skin would return to its smooth surface soon thereafter. However, a lifetime of these habitual movements adds up to deep lines in your face, which we call dynamic wrinkles. Crow’s feet, forehead wrinkles, and the “11 lines” that emerge between your eyebrows are examples of these.

You can easily spot dynamic wrinkles if you look in the mirror while you make various facial expressions such as laughing, frowning, or crying. Your face is exceptionally mobile due to the contractions of tiny muscles, which cause the skin on top of the muscles to fold. When you relax your face to its typical resting position, you can watch those dynamic wrinkles fade away. 

What Are Static Wrinkles?

You may remember your mother warning you during your childhood, “If you keep making that face, it’s going to stick like that.” Once again, Mom always knows best. In contrast to dynamic wrinkles, static wrinkles remain part of your face, even when you are otherwise expressionless. Examples of static wrinkles include the “parentheses lines” and “marionette lines” that form around the mouth, as well as those in the mid-face and on your neck.

Static wrinkles begin as temporary dynamic wrinkles and become a permanent part of your facial expression due to the natural progression of age, as well as life choices like smoking, poor nutritional habits, and sun exposure. Static wrinkles result from a loss of elastin, collagen, and hyaluronic acid, and can prematurely age your appearance by making you look perpetually angry, tired, worried, or sad. 

Between the two types, static wrinkles are easier to avoid if you practice smart skincare, do not smoke, and stay out of the sun. However, as the years go by, some degree of static wrinkling is unavoidable, and these lines will deepen and become more pronounced with age.

How to Treat Dynamic and Static Wrinkles

If you are dissatisfied with your degree of aging, you have a variety of non-surgical and surgical options for diminishing facial wrinkles.

  • BOTOX®: This innovative, FDA-approved product is a neuromodulator that temporarily paralyzes the muscles that cause dynamic wrinkles, causing the skin around your eyes and eyebrow area to relax to a more youthful position. 
  • Dermal fillers: These popular products are a favorite among everyone from Hollywood stars to your next-door neighbor because they provide a natural-looking lift and erase static wrinkles, with immediate and long-lasting results. Fillers add moisture to the skin and increase your body’s production of collagen for a smoother and more refreshed appearance with no need for downtime.
  • Surgical procedures: If you’re concerned about more advanced aging, surgeries like a facelift, eyelid lift, neck lift, or brow lift can provide even more dramatic results.

Make Wrinkles a Thing of the Past

If you’ve been wishing you could erase wrinkles like crow’s feet or marionette lines, schedule a consultation with one of our four board-certified cosmetic surgeons. We will be happy to listen to your concerns and walk you through treatment options.