When you smile, muscles are activated, sometimes in unison to create your persona. As we age, the loss of tissue elasticity compounds the smile lines to create the aged appearance. This is in part the fallacy that facial exercises can improve the appearance. Attempting to correct the aging lines will change the smile. Conversely, when a person smiles what would appear to be aging lines are actually smile lines. This is particularly noticeable in the lower eyelid where the elevation of the cheeks with smiling actually bunches tissue in the area of the lower eyelid during the smile. In this particular patient, I think the lines can be improved but not eliminated without erasing portions of the smile area. Laser resurfacing, perhaps in conjunction with Botox® would be my recommendation.
Lines of Smile versus Lines of Aging
Your smile is often your billboard to the world representing your inner self. Likewise, aging is your billboard to the world representing your years of wisdom, stress and emotion. Many times, these tend to become confused because your smile merges with your aging lines to send a confusing picture to those around you.
Aging should be fought at every line and rectal whereas smile should be encouraged. The aging process, loss of elasticity, the dull shadow of weathered skin and sagging can be decreased or eliminated through a variety of procedures ranging from injections to surgery. Good skin care should be the basis for all other anti-aging procedures, including tretinoin (Retin-A®) followed by facials, laser or peels, injectables such as pillars and Botox as well as conservative surgery. Smiles are to be encouraged however and usually encourage others to smile.
Areas of the face may reflect both aging and smiling causing confusing signals to those around you. This is particularly noticeable in the lower eyelids where the smile lines created by elevating the cheeks merge with the lines of aging of the lower lid and even the crow’s feet of the lateral eyelid, which may represent both smile and aging. It is important to distinguish between the two because correcting the aging process may or may not affect the smile lines. Other areas of the face are similarly confusing such as the cheeks and nasolabial creases respond to both smiling and aging. These are your discussions that you should have with your plastic surgeon at the Institute of Aesthetic Surgery, “Where education is a vital part of the beauty process”.