Wrinkle treatments can smooth out your skin, but the results aren’t permanent. As you age, your skin continues to acquire new wrinkles. And sun exposure and smoking may hasten the development of new wrinkles. Though you can’t turn back the hands of time, you can take steps to protect your skin from further damage.

There’s not a magic age (like 40) when everyone suddenly gets wrinkles. Some people in their 20s have little wrinkles around their eyes (called “crow’s feet”) from squinting or spending too much time in the sun.

Most wrinkles appear on the parts of the body where sun exposure is greatest. These especially include the face, neck, the backs of the hands, and the tops of the forearms. Wrinkles come in two categories: fine surface lines and deep furrows. Wrinkle treatments are in general much more effective for fine lines. Deeper creases may require more aggressive techniques, such injection of fillers or plastic surgery.

Facial lines and wrinkles ( rhytides ) form because of the following factors:

Ageing processes

Sun damage

Muscle movement

Gravity

Injury

Surgery

Acne

Other skin diseases with a tendency to scar (e.g. discoid lupus)

Smoking

Skin ages all over the body, but much more so where there has been sun exposure. Changes brought on by sun damage (photoaging) include “dryness” (really roughness), sagginess, skin growths like keratoses (“liver spots”), and wrinkles.

The effects of aging on the dermal layer are significant. Not only does the dermal layer thin, but also less collagen is produced, and the elastin fibers that provide elasticity wear out. These changes in the scaffolding of the skin cause the skin to wrinkle and sag. Also, sebaceous glands get bigger but produce less sebum, and the number of sweat glands decreases. Both of these changes lead to skin dryness.

It is difficult to repair deeply furrowed skin that appears with photoaging, but thinner wrinkles, dark spots, and rough skin may be improved with the use of topical medications. Over the counter creams containing retinol or glycolic acid may help somewhat. Your dermatologist may also recommend more aggressive prescription acid creams or peels, or, prescribe stronger retinoids such as Retin A (tretinoin) or Tazorac (tazarotene.)

If you are considering treatment for your wrinkles, ask your doctor which procedure is right for you. There is no replacement for your doctor’s professional advice. Each person has his or her own individual needs; similarly, each procedure fulfills its own specific need.


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