Lines over time

As we get older, we often start to see small signs of aging on our faces. For some, it may be the tiny lines around our eyes often referred to as crow’s feet, and for others, it could be the lines developing between our brows and across our foreheads that begin to make us look a little sad or angry.

“Men and women start showing these signs usually around their late 30s or early 40s,” says Washington University facial plastic surgeon Dr. Gregory Branham. “Why they appear really depends on how much sun exposure and sun damage a person has experienced, as well as other factors such as smoking and inherited aging patterns.

“As we age, the eyebrows droop, and we tend to compensate for this by elevating the brows with the frontal or forehead muscle. When we lose some elasticity and collagen in the skin, it tends to droop, as well,” he explains.

Forehead lines can also be related to animation and how we react to things.

“The more expressive you are, the sooner the lines appear and the deeper they become,” Dr. Branham says.

And while it’s fine to think of those small lines around our eyes and across our brows as signs of character and enjoying life, there are others who might want to soften them a bit.

Non-surgical treatment options

Dr. Branham and his fellow physicians, Dr. John Chi and Dr. Emily Spataro, of the Washington University Facial Plastic Surgery Center, can offer in-office non-surgical treatments to help.

“Neuromodulators, such as Botox® and Dysport®, work by weakening the muscles and smoothing the lines,” Dr. Branham says. “This is a common procedure that can be done in the office, requires very little recovery time and typically lasts about three months.”

Dr. Branham does caution patients that if they weaken the muscles too much, then the eyebrows may drop.

This is why it’s important to have an experienced, board-certified, fellowship-trained physician to consult with before undergoing this or any procedure.

Prevention can help

For those who may not be showing these inevitable signs of aging, there are a few things you can consider to prevent fine lines from getting deeper. They include wearing UV-protective sunglasses and hats to protect from sun damage and squinting and incorporating other healthy steps, including no smoking, staying hydrated, eating healthy and getting rest to help cut down on stress.

For more information or to schedule a consultation with the physicians at the Facial Plastic Surgery Center, call 314-996-3880 or click here.