The Jacobs Center for Cosmetic Surgery

How Do Wrinkles Form?

When searching for an answer to the problem of wrinkles, it’s likely that even the most beauty-savvy among us could get overwhelmed by the sheer number of cosmetic options available. Adding to that, each person has unique needs depending on a range of variables: age, cosmetic goals, treatment areas, and the types and severity of extrinsic and intrinsic skin damage. From dermal fillers to BOTOX®, San Francisco-based plastic surgeon Dr. Stanley Jacobs explains that each skin-saving treatment has its own specific purpose and dedicated applications. That said, being aware of the different types of wrinkles—and how they develop—can provide a foundation for determining the treatment option that would be most beneficial.

Dynamic Wrinkles vs. Static Wrinkles

To start with, wrinkles can be divided into two main categories: dynamic or static. While they may sometimes look similar or be mistaken for each other, each type develops differently. In basic terms, dynamic wrinkles are the result of excessive muscle movement, while static wrinkles are brought about by changes to body processes over time, as well as other elements that cause harm to the skin.

Dynamic wrinkles are often only visible when the face is in motion, showing up as creases in the face that become more pronounced when certain expressions are made. Each time we smile, frown, or express other emotions, the skin becomes increasingly stretched, ultimately developing lines and furrows. Static wrinkles, on the other hand, appear even while the face is at rest and are not directly impacted by muscle movements.

Wrinkles can be further subdivided into four groups:

Expression Wrinkles: These are a form of dynamic wrinkle, such as crow’s feet, laugh lines, and elevens.

Elastic Wrinkles: Small lines on the cheeks, lips, and neck that develop due to sun damage causing a loss of vital elements in the skin.

Gravitational Folds: Wrinkled areas of sagging flesh and deeper folds appear with age, resulting from the force of gravity and long-term sun exposure. One example would be nasolabial folds.

Sleep Wrinkles: Otherwise known as compression wrinkles, these are created by pressure placed on the skin from our sleep position at night, as well as friction from some sheets or pillowcases.

Want to learn more about wrinkles—and what can be done about them? The Jacobs Center for Cosmetic Surgery team can help you find what you need. Call the San Francisco-based practice, which also serves Santa Rosa and Healdsburg, at 415.433.0303 or 707.473.0220 to request more details, or send a message online. You can also benefit from the Stanley Jacobs M.D. Skin Care line, including Dr. Jacobs’ patented Visco-elastic Transforming Serum, Visco-elastic Transforming Crème, and Transforming Synergy Peel.