Everyone makes facial expressions and we make hundreds of expressions throughout the course of each day. We communicate our feelings by making tiny movements of our facial muscles and over time, these continuous movements create wrinkles. These wrinkles usually form around the eyes, in the forehead region and around the mouth. But trying to stop making facial expressions is not a realistic option to prevent wrinkles from forming. Some of our expressions are intentional but because most are tied to emotion, we often display our feelings involuntarily. Facial expressions are the primary means of conveying social information among humans. The slightest change in the position of an eyebrow can change the message we send to other people entirely. Look at the illustrations below and you will be able to read the emotion expressed simply by looking at the eyebrows (or in the second set of illustrations, just by the position of the lips).
Because faces only have a limited range of motion, expressions require small muscle movements to form the desired message. The forehead region works the muscles that control the eyebrows so it is common for lines and creases to form in people that communicate with their eyes. People that smile or laugh a lot will develop lines on either side of their mouth that extend up towards their nose (nasolabial folds). And squinting or expressing anger means that the muscles in the upper cheek and alongside the eyes will create crow’s feet or wrinkle around the eyes. According to Dr. Dominic Castellano, a board certified facial plastic surgeon in Tampa, these crinkles are a normal part of human aging – the more we work our facial muscles, the more stress we place on the outlying skin. As we get older, we lose elasticity in our skin and wrinkles will form in the areas of the face that we use the most. This combined with gravity, can also cause laxness to develop which allows the skin to sag in some places.
However, what happens when the creases and sagging skin combine to produce facial expressions that do not match the inner emotion? Some faces are often falsely read as expressing some emotion, even when they are neutral, because the skin has too loose to follow the muscle tissue to form the desired expression. One example is when the eyelids start to sag or become hooded, people may think that you are tired or angry, when you are not. Or the corners of your mouth droop, so you look sad even when you are having a great day.
For people who have developed wrinkles that inhibit facial expressions, or if you just do not like the look of facial creases, there is a solution. A board-certified plastic surgeon has many options to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and restore a more youthful appearance. Injectable products such as Botox or Xeomin can help relax the facial muscles to shrink the lines and also prevent more from appearing (at least while the medication is at work). Dermal fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane or Radiesse can add volume back into the facial tissue to fill in deeper creases and improve facial contours. For more extensive aging, there are surgical solutions such as a brow lift or facelift that can tighten up the skin and underlying muscle tissue to improve your appearance.
Since it is unrealistic to try to stop making expressions, the options available today to reduce wrinkles are quite impressive. At Elite Facial Plastic Surgery, the goal is to restore a natural, but more youthful look. Dr. Dominic and his highly experienced staff at Elite Facial Plastic Surgery are experts at removing facial wrinkles at their fully-accredited medical facility in Tampa, Florida. Call for a consultation to learn more about the best procedure for you.