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What Causes Facial Wrinkles
by Dr Gavin Chan - Victorian Cosmetic Institute

Facial Wrinkles

Expression lines, loss of facial volume, sleep lines and gravity are factors that can cause facial wrinkles. Wrinkles are generally treated with anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers and skin resurfacing procedures.

Expression lines

Repetitive muscle movement such as smiling and frowning creates lines and wrinkles, known as expression lines. At first these wrinkles will only be seen when smiling or frowning, however, the lines may become visible while at rest as the skin becomes progressively creased.

Loss of facial volume

Wrinkles are also caused by the loss of facial volume generally around the chin and cheek area.. Younger skin is typically more plump and full, as people get older this volume is lost leading to laxity of skin, therefore wrinkles are formed.

Sleep lines

Sleep lines are formed due to the compression of the skin due to contact of the pillow to the face when sleeping and are formed around the forehead, the eyes, cheeks and upper lip area . The wrinkles are determined by the underlying anatomical attachments of the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS). Pillow contact puts pressure on these attachments which then causes sleep lines.


The pull of gravity pulls the skin downwards on the face, leading to the dropping of the cheeks and the formation of nasolabial lines (lines from the corners of the mouth to the nose). Gravity also causes the dropping of the eye skin and forms upper and lower lid laxity and wrinkles.

Treating wrinkles

Anti-Wrinkle injections relax the muscles and stop the movement and expressions that cause wrinkles. Anti-Wrinkle injections are most commonly performed in between the brows and around the eyes and generally last 3 to 4 months.

Anti-Wrinkle injections can also prevent static lines from becoming deeper by stopping the compression of the skin. Anti-Wrinkle injections generally do not reverse static lines that are already present or lines at rest, however, regular anti-wrinkle injections will give the skin a rest from compression and over time static wrinkles may improve. Dermal fillers are commonly used to treat static lines or lines at rest; their effect is temporary and lasts between 4 and 18 months. Dermal fillers work by adding volume to the area that has lost volume due to factors such as expression formation, gravity, sleep and ageing.

Skin resurfacing is a more permanent solution to wrinkles and can be done with lasers, deep chemical peels, or plasma skin regeneration.

Laser resurfacing is an effective wrinkle treatment procedure, however Laser resurfacing requires a large amount of downtime and recovery. At The Victorian Cosmetic Institute, plasma skin regeneration is the preferred method to treat wrinkles as it offers quality results and has a minimal downtime and recovery.

Thicker dermal fillers are usually used to replace lost volume. Using these treatments will help add volume to the cheeks, chin and eye areas, replacing the fat loss over a period of time. Fat grafting is performed by plastic surgeons and is a more permanent option to treat volume loss.

Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS)
The Victorian Cosmetic Institute
Level 6, 200 High St
Lower Templestowe 3107
1300 863 824

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