Static vs. Dynamic Wrinkles: Causes, Differences and Treatments

Wrinkles are a natural sign of aging, but not all wrinkles are created alike. In order to best prevent or treat undesired facial lines, it’s crucial to understand the differences between the main types of wrinkles–static and dynamic–and your various options for addressing them both.

Understanding Dynamic Wrinkles

Definition and causes

Dynamic wrinkles are the lines and creases that become evident when you make facial expressions, such as smiling, frowning, or squinting. You’ll commonly see these in areas like the corners of your eyes (crow’s feet), between your eyebrows (frown lines), along your forehead (forehead wrinkles), and around your mouth (laugh lines).

The primary cause of dynamic lines is the repetitive contraction of facial muscles over time. When you’re young, your skin easily bounces back to its smooth state, but as you age and the natural levels of collagen and elastin in your skin diminish, these lines become more pronounced.

Treatment options for dynamic wrinkles

The primary cosmetic intervention for dynamic wrinkles are a class of treatment called other neuromodulators. They include popular brand names such as Botox, Dysport, and Jeuveau

These injectable treatments contain the botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin that prevents muscle movement. By targeting the specific muscles responsible for the dynamic wrinkles, they block the nerve signals to these muscles, making them less able to contract. 

As a result, your skin appears smoother, and the wrinkles less noticeable. The effects are temporary and may last around 3 to 6 months, depending on various factors including your skin type and the area treated.

Understanding Static Wrinkles

Definition and causes

Static wrinkles are the lines and creases that become visible even when your facial muscles are relaxed. They are often found in areas such as the nasolabial folds, which run from the corners of the nose to the corners of the mouth, marionette lines extending from the corners of the mouth towards the chin, and finer lines around the mouth area. 

Static lines can be attributed to a variety of factors. Sun damage is a primary culprit, as UV rays break down collagen and elastin fibers that give the skin its elasticity. Moreover, as we age, the natural production of collagen and elastin decreases, leading to a loss of skin volume and structure, thereby creating static wrinkles. Environmental factors like pollution, as well as lifestyle choices like smoking and poor diet, can also contribute to their formation.

Treatment options for static wrinkles

  • Dermal Fillers: These injectable treatments contain substances like hyaluronic acid, which can immediately add volume to the treated area, giving the skin a plumper and smoother appearance. Over time, they also encourage your skin to produce more collagen naturally.
  • Chemical Peels: This treatment involves applying a chemical solution that exfoliates the top layer of your skin, effectively reducing the appearance of fine lines and improving overall skin texture. The result is fresher, less wrinkled skin that can make you look years younger.
  • IPL Therapy: Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is particularly useful for treating wrinkles that are accompanied by pigmentation issues or uneven skin tone. IPL penetrates the deeper layers of the skin, encouraging collagen production and addressing surface discolorations.
  • Microneedling with SkinPen: Microneedling with SkinPen is a minimally invasive treatment that utilizes a device with fine, medical-grade needles. These needles create small punctures in the skin, which triggers your body’s natural healing process, leading to increased collagen and elastin production. The result is smoother, firmer skin that makes static wrinkles less noticeable.
  • PlasmaMD Pen: This non-surgical treatment that uses a device to convert electrical energy into gaseous diatomic molecular nitrogen, delivering it to the skin’s surface. This process stimulates immediate contraction and tightening of skin fibers, creating a lifting and rejuvenating effect. Over time, the treatment also encourages the natural production of collagen, enhancing your skin’s youthful appearance.
  • Tixel: Tixel is a groundbreaking thermal fractional skin rejuvenation system that utilizes a heated titanium tip to transfer thermal energy to the skin quickly and safely. This process stimulates collagen remodeling and encourages skin tightening without the need for injections or lengthy downtime. It offers similar benefits to laser resurfacing but is generally considered less invasive, providing both immediate and long-term improvement in skin texture and the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Plastic Surgery: For more severe or deeply set wrinkles, surgical options like facelifts may be considered. Conducted by board-certified plastic surgeons, these procedures offer more dramatic and long-lasting results but do come with a longer recovery time and higher costs.

Understanding the nature and contributing factors of static wrinkles can significantly aid in selecting the most appropriate treatment. Consult our board-certified medical professionals to get personalized advice tailored to your specific needs. We aim to provide treatments that are effective yet minimally invasive, allowing you to return to your daily routine with a rejuvenated appearance.

Preventing Wrinkles

In addition to in-office procedures, following a few good skin care habits at home can help prevent and reduce both static and dynamic wrinkles. We recommend you:

  • Wear Sunscreen Daily: Using a broad-spectrum SPF protects your skin from harmful UV rays, a leading cause of premature aging.
  • Limit Sun Exposure: Try to stay out of the sun during peak hours, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most potent.
  • Avoid Tobacco Use: Smoking can accelerate the aging process by affecting your skin’s natural elasticity. Quitting can help preserve your youthful appearance.
  • Limit Alcohol Intake: Excessive alcohol can dehydrate your skin, making wrinkles more noticeable. Moderation is key.
  • Incorporate a Rich Moisturizer: Use a moisturizer suited for your skin type to keep your skin hydrated and plump, which can make wrinkles less apparent.
  • Use Anti-Aging Serums: Products containing ingredients like retinol and antioxidants can help maintain skin’s elasticity and prevent wrinkles from forming.
  • Eat a Balanced Diet: Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids can help maintain skin’s health and resilience, thus keeping wrinkles at bay.

By following these steps, you’re investing in a routine that can help maintain your skin’s youthful appearance and delay the onset of wrinkles.


Understanding the difference between static and dynamic wrinkles helps in selecting the appropriate treatment options. Whether it’s Botox for dynamic wrinkles or dermal fillers for static creases, consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon will guide you toward the most effective treatments for your unique signs of aging. Reach out to our team today to explore the treatments that will help you maintain a youthful appearance.

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