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This article looks at the different types of wrinkles and lines that can appear on the human body.

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Wrinkles seem to be an inevitable part of the ageing process, but, fortunately, these days there’s much that can be done to improve the appearance of a wrinkle once it’s formed – and even keep them from forming in the first place. Wrinkles and lines may all look the same, but there are actually two types of facial lines – and the treatment varies depending upon the type of line or wrinkle.


Types of Wrinkles

Dynamic Wrinkles

There are two main types of wrinkles – static and dynamic wrinkles. Dynamic wrinkles are lines that appear only when you make a facial expression. Have you ever noticed that some people have two vertical wrinkles between their eyebrows when they frown? These temporary facial lines are examples of dynamic wrinkles. Fortunately, they vanish once the person stops frowning.

You can see dynamic wrinkles and lines with facial movements in younger people, but they become more pronounced as a person grows older, and they’re typically the first visible sign of skin aging. They’re an early sign that skin is losing its elasticity as collagen and elastin fibers in the dermis of the skin become more damaged due to years of sun exposure and unhealthy habits. It’s collagen and elastin that gives skin its support and youthful appearance.

Static Wrinkles

Static wrinkles are wrinkles that persist with no facial movement. This type of fixed wrinkle is a sign of more serious damage to the collagen and elastin fibers and indicates that the skin has lost its ability to “bounce back”. At the stage where static wrinkles develop, skin can also start to look loose and saggy due to a loss of its collagen and elastin support structure. Static wrinkles become more of a problem after the age of fifty, but in people who had too much sun exposure or smoked, static wrinkles and lines can appear sooner.

Treating the Two Types of Wrinkles and Lines


Dynamic wrinkles are easier to treat than static ones. For people who don’t mind needles, Botox injections can be used to temporarily paralyze the facial muscle so dynamic wrinkles are no longer visible with movements of the face. Botox may also help to prevent static wrinkles by reducing repetitive facial movements.

Botox won’t improve the appearance of static lines, but fillers can be used in combination with Botox to fill in the wrinkle and limit repetitive movement of the muscle that can lead to new wrinkles and deepening of existing ones. The combination of the two can be quite effective for “fixing” static wrinkles and lines.

Alternative Treatments for Wrinkles and Lines

Once a deep static wrinkle has formed, you can’t reverse the damage without using a filler or other procedures such as a partial lift or laser resurfacing. On the other hand, prescription Retin-A and to a lesser extent retinols in some skin care products can stimulate collagen and elastin synthesis, improve the appearance of aging skin and prevent new wrinkles and lines from forming.

Alpha-hydroxy-acids in some skin care products have anti-aging benefits too. Skin cell turnover slows down as skin ages, which causes it to look dull. Alpha-hydroxy-acids speeds up cell turnover and gives skin a smoother appearance, causing fine lines to look less obvious. Alpha-hydroxy-acids also help to even out skin pigmentation and dark spots. Alpha-hydroxy-acids are used by dermatologists to do superficial skin peels that reduce the appearance of fine lines and even out skin texture, although they won’t do much for deep, static wrinkles.


Great and simple video that explains loads of different ways you can look after your skin and prevent wrinkles.

How to reduce and prevent wrinkles – an interesting video speaking to skin expert Dr. Nicholas V. Perricone, a dermatologist and author.

Wrinkle Myths and Facts – great video that tries to dispell some of the myths surrounding wrinkles.

Useful websites

A selection of websites that may be useful:


Dynamic wrinkles and static wrinkles – they’re all a part of the continuum of skin aging. You can’t turn back the clock, but there are ways to make those lines and wrinkles less obvious – to help you put your best face forward.


  • Cosmetic Dermatology. Principles and Practice. (2002). McGraw-Hill Publishing.
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