Study: Sleeping It Off Is No Wrinkle Cure

July 25, 2016

Stomach and side sleeping positions cause wrinkles over time, and the effect is worsened with advancing age, new research suggests.

The findings are published in Aesthetic Surgery Journal.

"Sleep wrinkles form in response to distortion created when the face is pressed against any sleep surface. They tend to worsen over time due to repetition combined with thinning of the skin and decreased elasticity as we age," explains lead author Goesel Anson, MD, a Las Vegas plastic surgeon.

Sleep wrinkles are also influenced by the amount of time spent in various positions. While initial sleep position is a conscious decision, individuals change positions throughout the night unconsciously. The number of shifts decreases with age from 27 to 16 per night, with an average of about 20 position shifts. The lateral sleep position is the most common in studies averaging 65 percent, with the remaining 30 percent in the supine position, and 5 percent in the prone position.

While some sleep wrinkle patterns can reinforce facial expression lines, most sleep wrinkles tend to be perpendicular to expression wrinkles. Most sleep wrinkles can be seen on the forehead, lips and cheeks. Unlike facial expression wrinkles caused by muscle contractions, sleep wrinkles that are formed because of mechanical compression during sleep can't be eliminated using Botulinum Toxin.

"One way to minimize sleep wrinkles is to limit facial distortion during sleep. If you can stay on your back, that's ideal,” Dr. Anson says.  “There are several specialty pillows available to help achieve that. Dermal fillers can temporarily improve wrinkles of any type however neurotoxins won't have much effect on these wrinkles since they are not caused by muscle contractions."

Noninvasive aesthetic treatments which promote collagen production could decrease sleep wrinkles.  

Dr. Anson developed the JuveRest® The Sleep Wrinkle Pillow. 




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