We don’t want to admit it, but wrinkles are something everyone eventually has to face (pun intended). Facial lines aren’t just something we deal with in our elderly years—they begin to appear as young as your thirties! But with some understanding and care, you can prevent some of those lines.
Static vs. Dynamic Wrinkles
Dermatologists categorize wrinkles into two broad categories, static or dynamic. These categories refer to the primary way the wrinkle was formed, and are essential for deciding the proper course of treatment.
Fine lines and wrinkles on the skin from repeated movements are considered dynamic. The muscles below the skin contract and expand, causing the skin on the surface to move, scrunch, and ultimately crease.
As we age, our skin naturally loses elasticity and collagen. As a result, static wrinkles begin to form in the soft, thin tissue.
Genetics, sun exposure, smoking, drinking from a straw, and a poor diet are all factors that encourage static wrinkles to develop.
Collagen Loss = Volume Loss
One of the main drivers of the formation of static wrinkles is the degradation of the collagen in your skin. Collagen is responsible for creating suppleness in the skin, and our bodies produce less of it as we age. In a recent study, researchers found that by the age of 45, the average person loses 25% of the collagen in her or his face.
As we lose collagen, our skin loses its structure and allows wrinkles to form. The picture below represents the natural aging process and shows the effects of collagen breaking down. Keep in mind, this is just natural aging. This process is accelerated with sun damage and the results can be much worse.
Why does this matter?
Assessing whether a wrinkle is static or dynamic is important because it determines what treatments will be effective against the wrinkle.
A quick note on treating wrinkles—our clients are often concerned about an unnatural look resulting from aesthetic procedures. As with any treatment we undertake at Refine Dermatique, our goal is to provide a natural, subtle result. Dr. LaBine always jokes that we specialize in “Minnesota BOTOX” or BOTOX that takes away the wrinkles, but no one will know our little secret. We will work with you to deliver your ideal result.
Treating Dynamic Wrinkles
Since these wrinkles are formed by the muscles moving under the skin, the wrinkle can be treated by getting that muscle to relax. At Refine Dermatique, we use BOTOX® Cosmetic to relax that muscle below the wrinkle, but other treatments like Dysport® or Xeomin® will also provide a similar effect.
Once the BOTOX is injected into the muscle below the wrinkle, it begins to help the muscle relax. This allows the skin to sit nicely over that muscle, and the dynamic lines are drastically reduced.
Treating dynamic wrinkles also has an added benefit—it can prevent or delay the formation of static wrinkles. The soft lines and creases that begin as dynamic wrinkles will slowly change to a static wrinkle. Left alone, dynamic lines eventually become static, like they’ve been ingrained in the skin. By treating these dynamic wrinkles early and often, many never become static.
Treating Static Wrinkles
Because static wrinkles are a result of aging anatomy, combined with UV damage, a little more effort is required to reduce the appearance. Most static wrinkles need to address the loss of volume, the lack of collagen, or a combination of both.
To address some of the volume loss due to aging, a hyaluronic acid filler, or dermal filler, is a great option. In our Sartell office, we prefer the Restylane family of dermal fillers, but you may see other providers use a product like Juvederm or Versa.
The general idea is to replace the volume with hyaluronic acid, which is a substance that occurs naturally in your skin. With Restylane, the proprietary technology delivers a soft, natural-looking result that fills in the area underneath the wrinkle. See the image below for an example of how a dermal filler can “lift” the wrinkle. Dermal fillers aren’t a permanent solution, but they can provide significant results for six to twelve months at a time.
The final injectable wrinkle treatment we have been loving is Sculptra Aesthetic, but it’s not your normal dermal filler. Using a unique poly-L-lactic acid formulation, Sculptra works deep within the dermis to stimulate your body’s collagen production response. Over the course of several months, your body slowly generates its own collagen, restoring overall natural volume.
The number of treatments needed varies from person to person, but overall, Sculptra provides a longer-lasting result. Over 80% of patients in their initial study reported having their results last 25 months after treatment.
Microneedling or Collagen Induction Therapy
Another option is to stimulate new collagen to grow, filling in those wrinkles with your own tissue. Through the SkinPen procedure, very fine, sterile needles are inserted into the surface of your skin. This creates a micro-injury and begins the healing process within the deeper layers of the skin. As a result, your body produces more collagen and creates natural elasticity in the skin.
This usually requires a series of three or six treatments, depending on the location and severity of the wrinkles. It may sound like an unpleasant treatment at first, but we use strong topical numbing cream, and most people find this treatment very comfortable. There is very little, if any downtime associated with this treatment.
The BroadBand Light (BBL) treatment is an office-favorite. The BBL has been scientifically proven to repair the skin at the genetic level to reverse sun damage and promote new elastic tissue in the skin. This quick procedure is typically a staple of most anti-aging treatment plans and provides fantastic results on fine lines and wrinkles on the face.
A final option for static wrinkles is the HALO Hybrid-Fractional laser. It’s a hybrid laser, meaning it combines two light wavelengths in one treatment. One wavelength targets the deeper tissue, and the other targets tissue closer to the surface. The result is a treatment that yields superior results without much downtime.
HALO treatments also provide a stunning boost to your complexion, which only helps your overall appearance.
The old adage ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ is incredibly accurate with aging skin. Daily sun protection is the best thing you can do to slow down aging signs and keep the youthful glow in your skin. Incorporating SPF into your morning skincare regimen in addition to wearing proper sun protection outside, you can drastically reduce your need for anti-aging treatments later on in life.
A more aggressive form of prevention is beginning to treat with BOTOX Cosmetic at a younger age. When a dynamic wrinkle is treated early, it slows down the progression to a static wrinkle. Patients who start in their thirties (or before wrinkles are noticeable from a few feet away) are typically much happier. A little prevention goes a long way!
Don’t feel discouraged if you are past these stages. It is never too late to take care of your skin.
If you’re looking to get started on a particular treatment, or if you are unsure where to start, schedule a complimentary consultation today! One of our experts will understand the areas that bother you, assess your overall facial anatomy, and recommend a treatment plan.