“The aim of this study is to obtain new insight into the perception that women wrinkle earlier and more severely than men,” said the study’s lead author, Emma C. Paes, M.D., from the Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Hand Surgery at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, Netherlands. “If we understood the reasons for differences in wrinkling between women and men, then we might be able to develop better strategies for the treatment of perioral wrinkles.”
Skin surface replicas of the upper lip region in 10 male and 10 female cadavers (age range 75-93) were used to define the amount and depth of perioral wrinkling. To provide additional data, 3 full-thickness lip resections were taken from each of 15 male and 15 female fresh cadavers and were investigated in a blinded fashion.
The study found that all of the following could be contributing factors to the presence of more and deeper perioral wrinkles in women:
- Women’s perioral skin contains fewer sweat glands and sebaceous glands (microscopic glands in the skin that secrete an oily/waxy matter, called sebum, to lubricate skin and hair), which could influence the natural filling of the dermis (skin).
- Women’s perioral skin contains fewer blood vessels and, therefore, is less vascularized compared to men, which could accelerate the development of wrinkles.
- In women, the closer attachment of the muscular fibers surrounding the orifice of the mouth to the dermis may cause an inward traction, thereby creating deeper wrinkles.
Current treatments for perioral wrinkles include the use of lasers, botulinum toxin injections, and injectable or implantable wrinkle fillers as well as older methods such as dermabrasion and chemical peels. Despite these many options, the effective treatment of wrinkles in the perioral region still remains a challenging problem.
“We think it’s important to consider the reasons why a particular treatment may or may not be effective,“ said Dr. Paes. “Sometimes one has to go back to the basics instead of just moving forward. In the end, having more basic knowledge about a problem can speed up the process of finding the right solution.”
The 2400-member American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), founded in 1967, is the leading organization of ABMS-certified plastic surgeons who specialize in cosmetic plastic surgery. With ASAPS active members certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Canadian active members certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and International members certified in their countries of origin, ASAPS is at the forefront of innovation in aesthetic plastic surgery. Toll-free referral line: 888.ASAPS.11 (272.7711). Web site: www.surgery.org
The Aesthetic Surgery Journal is the peer-reviewed publication of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and is the most widely read clinical journal in the field of cosmetic surgery, with subscribers in more than 80 countries.