The wrinkle and its measurement--a skin surface Profilometric method

Micron. 2004;35(3):201-19. doi: 10.1016/j.micron.2003.11.007.


This study outlines a simple 'Profilometric' method for measuring the size and function of the wrinkles. Wrinkle size was measured in relaxed conditions and the representative parameters were considered to be the mean 'Wrinkle Depth', the mean 'Wrinkle Area', the mean 'Wrinkle Volume', and the mean 'Wrinkle Tissue Reservoir Volume' (WTRV). These parameters were measured in the wrinkle profiles under relaxed conditions. The mean 'Wrinkle to Wrinkle Distance', which measures the distance between two adjacent wrinkles, is an accurate indicator of the muscle relaxation level during replication. This parameter, identified as the 'Muscle Relaxation Level Marker', and its reduction are related to increased muscle tone or contraction and vice versa. The mean Wrinkle to Wrinkle Distance is very important in experiments where the effectiveness of an anti-wrinkle preparation is tested. Thus, the correlative wrinkles' replicas, taken during follow up in different periods, are only those that show the same mean Wrinkle to Wrinkle Distance. The wrinkles' functions were revealed by studying the morphological changes of the wrinkles and their behavior during relaxed conditions, under slight increase of muscle tone and under maximum wrinkling. Facial wrinkles are not a single groove, but comprise an anatomical and functional unit (the 'Wrinkle Unit') along with the surrounding skin. This Wrinkle Unit participates in the functions of a central neuro-muscular system of the face responsible for protection, expression, and communication. Thus, the Wrinkle Unit, the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (superficial fascia of the face), the underlying muscles controlled by the CNS and Psyche, are considered to be a 'Functional Psycho-Neuro-Muscular System of the Face for Protection, Expression and Communication'. The three major functions of this system exerted in the central part of the face and around the eyes are: (1) to open and close the orifices (eyes, nose, and mouth), contributing to their functions; (2) to protect the eyes from sun, foreign bodies, etc.; (3) to contribute to facial expression, reflecting emotions (real, pretended, or theatrical) during social communication. These functions are exercised immediately and easily, without any opposition ('Wrinkling Ability') because of the presence of the Wrinkle Unit that gives (a) the site of refolding (the wrinkle is a waiting fold, ready to respond quickly at any moment for any skin mobility need) and (b) the appropriate skin tissue for extension or compression (this reservoir of tissue is measured by the parameter of WTRV). The Wrinkling Ability of a skin area is linked to the wrinkle's functions and can be measured by the parameter of 'Skin Tissue Volume Compressed around the Wrinkle' in mm(3) per 30 mm wrinkle during maximum wrinkling. The presence of wrinkles is a sign that the skin's 'Recovery Ability' has declined progressively with age. The skin's Recovery Ability is linked to undesirable cosmetic effects of ageing and wrinkling. This new Profilometric method can be applied in studies where the effectiveness of anti-wrinkle preparations or the cosmetic results of surgery modalities are tested, as well as in studies focused on the functional physiology of the Wrinkle Unit.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anthropometry / instrumentation
  • Anthropometry / methods*
  • Cosmetics
  • Face
  • Facial Expression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Neck
  • Replica Techniques
  • Silicon
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Skin / ultrastructure
  • Skin Aging / pathology*
  • Sunlight / adverse effects
  • Terminology as Topic


  • Cosmetics
  • Silicon