Dynamic Vs. Static Wrinkles: What Is the Difference? And the Best Treatments for Each


Let’s talk about wrinkles. No, we’re not talking about the kind in our clothes (although those are super annoying as well); we’re talking about the pesky lines on our faces.

You know, the ones that makeup loves to crease up in. The ones that make us look older than we’re ready to look. The annoying lines that make us look harsh no matter how nice we really are.

Though wrinkles are universally frustrating, they’re not all alike. When talking about wrinkles, it’s helpful to divide wrinkles into two distinct categories: dynamic and static.

So why is it important to know the difference between these two categories? 

Because they have different causes, which means they require different treatments to correct.

So when you’re ready to do something about the lines on your face, your treatment will depend on the category your wrinkles fall into.

What Are Dynamic Wrinkles? ‍

‍Have you ever noticed the lines that appear when you make specific expressions or movements with your face? 

For example, you might experience lip lines when you drink from a straw or frown lines between the eyebrows in moments of sadness or stress. Maybe you notice forehead wrinkles when you are surprised or crow’s feet when you squint in the sun. 

These are referred to as dynamic lines. Dynamic wrinkles are only visible when the underlying facial muscles are contracted.

Dynamic Wrinkles Include:

  • Frown Lines between the eyebrows (also known as “elevens“)
  • Forehead wrinkles
  • Crow’s feet at the corners of your eyes
  • Smile lines in the mid-cheek
  • Lip lines

What Is The Best Treatment for Dynamic Wrinkles?

Because dynamic wrinkles are caused by muscle contraction, the most appropriate way to improve them would be to minimize how often the muscle contracts.

Wrinkle relaxers (also known as neuromodulators) like BOTOX and Dysport are the perfect treatment for dynamic wrinkles; they temporarily relax the underlying muscles that contract and cause these lines. As a result, the wrinkles no longer occur, leaving you with smooth, youthful skin.

What Are Static Wrinkles? ⁣⁣

Static wrinkles are often the most hated by our patients because of their prominence and because they don’t just disappear when your face relaxes as dynamic wrinkles do. Instead, static wrinkles are the lines that remain stamped on the face at all times.

These lines start small but deepen and permanently plant themselves on your skin over the years. Unlike dynamic wrinkles, static wrinkles occur primarily from the natural loss of elasticity and collagen in our skin. Additional causes of static lines include smoking, genetics, extended exposure to harsh environments, and poor nutrition.

The primary reason static wrinkles develop is volume loss. As we begin to age, our skin's collagen starts to break down, which leads to losing volume in our faces. Think of your face’s volume as the framework holding up your skin. When you lose that framework, the skin drops. As a result, folds and creases (static wrinkles) develop.

Static Wrinkles Include:

  • Nasolabial folds (deep lines that begin at the nose and end at the corners of the mouth)
  • Marionette lines (deep lines from the edges of your mouth down to your jawline)
  • Tear trough lines under the inside corner of your eye
  • Lateral cheek lines (lines on your cheek that occur behind “smile lines”)
  • Lines across the neck

What Is The Best Treatment For Static Wrinkles?‍

Static lines can be tough to treat because they have formed over long periods and are deep. However, the following procedures can significantly improve their appearance.

Dermal Fillers: Dermal fillers are arguably the best way to reduce static wrinkles and folds because they replace the lost volume that led to the problem in the first place. Dermal fillers are placed directly beneath a fold or wrinkle, which lifts the skin and smooths out the static wrinkle. Dermal fillers offer immediate results and the added benefits of plumpness and a well-contoured face.

Wrinkle Relaxers (BOTOX or Dysport): Depending on how deep the static lines are, and if there is any motion contributing to the static wrinkles, they may soften over time with consistent, repetitive Wrinkle Relaxer treatments. Wrinkle Relaxers for the treatment of static wrinkles often require a higher dosage. However, dermal fillers will be the more appropriate option the majority of the time.

EC Peels: Chemical peels are another great option to target static lines. There is a spectrum of depth and intensity with chemical peel agents. Lighter peel solutions exfoliate dead skin cells and help healthy skin cells rise to the surface. Deeper peels can very effectively remove sun-damaged skin and stimulate collagen production. A series of monthly treatments will even skin tone, diminish fine lines and wrinkles, promote new collagen and elastin production that will plump folds, and make dull, rough complexions glow. Our experienced Estheticians will choose the right level of peel for your skin, goals, and downtime tolerance. 

Laser Skin Resurfacing: Because of its precision and power, laser resurfacing makes it possible to remove a lifetime of sun damage from your skin. Whether treating sun-damaged skin, wrinkles, irregular pigmentation, or anything in between, you can expect to see a dramatic improvement in your skin with this treatment. A laser removes the top layer of damaged, aged skin in order to let the fresh skin underneath come to the surface. It also ramps up your natural collagen production, which will help fill out volume loss in the face.

As with chemical peels, resurfacing lasers come in a spectrum of power and intensity. At Esthetics Center, we have four resurfacing lasers to choose from: Erbium, FRAX, Pico, and CO2. Our job is to match your skin type, skin problems, and downtime tolerance with the best laser to reach your goal.

Are you wondering whether the wrinkles you’re worried about are static, dynamic, or a combination of both? Schedule a free consultation today by calling (916) 941-9400. One of our experienced nurses will sit down with you to determine the best treatment plan for your skin.

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