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The Difference Between Fine Lines and Wrinkles

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Is there a difference between “fine lines” and “wrinkles,” or are the two synonymous? The answer might depend on who you ask. Those who are discovering those first little fine lines on their skin typically call them wrinkles. Those who have a lot of wrinkles would most likely prefer to think of them as “laugh lines,” or fine lines. Here’s the difference.

Fine Lines

Fine lines are those that form on the fleshier parts of our faces: the cheeks. They’re those tiny lines that aren’t really deep enough to cast shadows, and aren’t very visible except up close. Fine lines aren’t “grooves.” the way that wrinkles are.

These lines are the first sign of aging (or damaged) skin. They can begin forming long before the first full-grown wrinkle appears. We are laying the groundwork for fine lines to develop every time we go out the door and into the sun without sunscreen, sunglasses, or a wide-brim hat on.

[Related: Benefits of Microdermabrasion for Aging Skin]


Wrinkles, on the other hand, are more mature, fully developed fine lines. These creases in your skin are visible to the naked eye, and not necessarily only up close. Wrinkles are commonly found on the forehead, between the eyebrows, next to the eyes, and beside the mouth and neck.

How Fine Lines and Wrinkles Are Treated

Fine lines and wrinkles are treated in basically the same way by plastic surgeons and dermatologists. Dermabrasion is one solution, but the depth of the dermabrasion procedure is less when fine lines are the problem.

What Causes Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Some say that fine lines are those expression lines caused by laughing or frowning. Some say they’re caused by repeated facial expressions. Some also say that those are the very same things that ause (or at least worsen) wrinkles.

In reality, aging is the number one cause of both fine lines and wrinkles, but overexposure and unprotected exposure to sunlight runs a very close second.

[Related: Antioxidants for Wrinkle Prevention]

Contact Athré Facial Plastics Today!

Most of us don’t want either fine lines or wrinkles, but sadly, if we live long enough, we’re going to have an abundance of both.

Athré Facial Plastics offers patients the non-surgical treatments they need to enhance their appearance with little downtime and natural-looking results. Dr. Athré works with each individual patient to customize a treatment plan designed for his or her unique concerns and condition. Contact us today and let’s get started.