Facial Wrinkle Lines And Anatomy of Facial Muscles

The complex group of facial muscles are related to the facial lines that are caused by the contraction of and/or the repeated movement of facial muscles. Combined with the aging factors which result in the loss of skin elasticity and volume (dehydration and/or reduced subcutaneous fat), loosening/aging of the facial muscle, facial lines and wrinkles are formed with specific patterns.  There are three types of facial wrinkles according to Kligman’s classification .

  • Crinkling-type wrinkle are fine wrinkles formed from folded skin
  • Glyphic wrinkle has a crisscross pattern and frequently is seen on the cheeks and the neck
  • Deep wrinkle. This wrinkle forms a major line or deep groove that is long and straight and is the most visible and difficult wrinkles to treat

When the facial wrinkle pattern is superimposed over these muscles, wrinkles form perpendicular to the long axis of the muscle. In the case of the circular muscles about the eyes and the mouth, the wrinkle line is perpendicular to a tangent drawn to the curved area. The following table relates the major facial lines to the corresponding facial muscles.

Facial Wrinkle Lines And Facial Muscles

Lines And WrinklesCausesFacial Muscles
Worry lines (horizontal lines that run across the forehead)caused by the folding of skin when the frontalis muscle contracts. frontalis muscle
Glabellar lines (Frown line -the vertical lines that are visible when a person frowns.
caused by contraction of corrugator and procerus muscle, two major muscles of the upper facecorrugator and procerus muscle
Periorbital lines (Crow’s feet at the corner of eyes)--
Tear-through (Tear trough deformity - an area under lower eyelid with puffiness/bags,dark circles, loss of volume, the area of eyelid-cheek junction closest to the nose)caused by sagging or downward displacement of the cheek into the lower portion of the face, upper cheek fat loss with secondary sagging of the cheek's upper muscles ("midface descent") and/or inadequate development and forward projection of the bone of the upper cheek midface descent
cheek augmentation area
melolabial fold
caused by Zygomaticus minor
Zygomaticus major muscles
midface descent
Zygomaticus minor
Zygomaticus major
Perioral lines (areas of wrinkles surface around the mouth without a definite pattern, including Nasolabial folds/grooves, smile lines, marionette lines, Oral Commissures, Lateral groove of mandible)
caused by facial muscles and loss of elasticity and volumeprocerus muscle (nasolabial perioral lines)
depressor anguli oris muscle (marionette folds)
platysma muscles (depression line)
Nasolabial folds (Smile lines - creases run from the side of the nose to the corner of the mouth)caused by loss of volume and elasticity, procerus muscle procerus muscle

marionette lines
caused by
depressor anguli oris muscle
Depressor Anguli Oris muscle is responsible for stretching the skin at the corner of the mouth. Loss of elasticity in these muscle fibers causes drooping of skin and formation of typical perioral lines, called marionette folds. These folds lend the face a typical, depressed look.
Oral Commissures (corners of the mouth lose volume in this area during aging. The result is a downturned appearance of the mouth that looks frowned or sad
caused by loss of volume. volume loss in this area often leads to the formation or the deepening of already-formed marionette lines.
Lip enhancement (
Lip augmentation - the cosmetic surgery or non-surgical procedure that aims to improve the appearance of the lips by increasing fullness
Chin augmentation (using surgical implants to alter the structure of the face, providing better balance to the facial features. This operation is often, but not always, performed at the time of rhinoplasty to help balance the facial proportions. Chin augmentation may be achieved by manipulation of the jaw bone (mandible) and augmentation utilizing this technique usually provides a more dramatic correction than with the use of prosthetic implants.

Facial lines and wrinkles are most commonly treated with anti-aging dermal filler, which are substances injected into and beneath the skin to take of the loss of tissue, usually water (fillers made with hyaluronic acid), collagen (collagen filler), fat, and muscle paralyzers to reduce the extent of facial muscle contraction (eg. Botox).

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