Dynamic and static - your wrinkles explained

17 April 2020

By plastic surgeon Dr Dirk Kremer

Man's face sporting wrinklesWhat comes to mind when you think about aging? In physical terms, I'm sure fine lines and wrinkles are one of the first things you imagine. Wrinkles may tell a story of wisdom and a life well-lived, but they can also be the cause of people feeling self-conscious about their appearance. As cosmetic surgeons, we now have a wide range of procedures at our disposal that help combat those unwanted wrinkles, but it's also useful to recognise the difference between the two different types of facial wrinkles.

The two types are called dynamic and static.

Why do we get wrinkles?

Wrinkles are the skin's natural response to a variety of factors. Sun damage, genetics, the natural aging process, smoking, skin dehydration - these are all factors that can affect how soon wrinkles begin to appear and how visible they become.

Repeated exposure over a number of years to sunlight decreases the elasticity and flexibility within the skin, breaking down collagen and creating wrinkles. Therefore, areas of the body most exposed to these UV rays are typically where lines and wrinkles are first most noticeable. The face, chest, neck area, hands - you might find these areas have or will become prone to wrinkles and make you look older than your actual age.

As you naturally age, your skin will become more delicate along the way. As the surface of your skin begins to change shape, both dynamic and static wrinkles will begin to form.

What are dynamic wrinkles?

Our skin was much more resilient when we were younger. We could furrow our brows or squint our eyes against the sunlight and the skin would return to normal. However, these sort of constant habitual movements eventually result in deep lines in the face, which are called dynamic wrinkles. Some examples of dynamic wrinkles include crow's feet near the eyes, forehead wrinkles, and deep lines that emerge between the eyebrows.

If you look in the mirror and make facial expressions such as laughter, frowning or crying, you should be able to see evidence of dynamic wrinkles. The contraction of tiny muscles make the face incredibly mobile, and this causes the skin on top of the muscles to fold. When the face is relaxed into its typical resting position, you should see those dynamic wrinkles slowly fade away - or at least become a lot less visible than when you were forcing the expression.

What are static wrinkles?

In contrast to dynamic wrinkles, static wrinkles remain, even when you are expressionless. Examples of static wrinkles include lines that form around the mouth, called the “parentheses lines” and “marionette lines”, along with wrinkles that form in the mid-face and on the neck.

Static wrinkles are unfortunately unavoidable and first emerge as temporary dynamic wrinkles, slowly becoming a more permanent part of the natural facial expression as we age due to the loss of elastin, collagen and hyaluronic acid in the skin. Other life choices can also aid the speed of static wrinkles developing, such as smoking, poor eating habits, and exposure to the sun.

How can we treat dynamic and static wrinkles?

If you're concerned with wrinkles becoming more and more visible as you age, there are a variety of procedures available to help diminish them. You could opt for ever-popular Botox injections, which temporarily paralyses the muscles that cause dynamic wrinkles, causing the skin to relax and portray a much more youthful appearance. Another procedure is dermal fillers, which are effective at providing a natural looking lift that help to erase static wrinkles.

For a more permanent result or to tackle more advanced signs of aging, there are procedures such as a facelift, eyelid lift, or neck lift - all of which are capable of achieving fantastic results when performed by an experienced cosmetic surgeon.

If you're keen to learn more about what's possible when it comes to banishing unwanted lines and wrinkles then be sure to check out the wide range of procedures that I offer at Harley Street Aesthetics, including my signature range of Turn-Back-Time procedures. To book your initial consultation call 0845 519 7232, e-mail info@harleystreetaesthetics.com or complete the online contact form.


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