Wrinkles are lines that develop across the surface of the skin. They can be fine or deep and normally occur in more mobile, sun-exposed areas; for example on the face around the eyes and mouth and on the hands. These areas are more prone to wrinkles because they move more than other parts. Exposure to sunlight and other external factors can also affect the skin’s ability to retain its form. Genetics can also play a part in the development of wrinkles. It has been observed that lighter skin tends to form wrinkles earlier than darker skin. This is because melanin protects the skin from sun damage and because people with pigmented skin tend to have thicker skin in which collagen is seen to be more compact. As we age, we our skin loses thickness and elasticity. It becomes looser and starts to sag, making the formation of wrinkles part of the body’s natural aging process. Other activities, like smoking, also contribute to their formation. This is due to the contractions of the faces but also due to the pollutants introduced.
For some, the formation of wrinkles causes little concern. They are, after all, harmless. For others, however, they become a very real, very prominent manifestation of their flaws. For those people, there are options.
Wrinkles can be treated using skin creams and other topical gels. Not all products should be considered equal, however. Gels and creams that contain retinoids (a kind of Vitamin A) have been shown to improve fine lines and in some instances even out skin tone. This is because they repair the skin and cause it to tighten, making fine lines less visible.
Chemical Peels are skin-resurfacing procedures that involve the use of a chemical solution to remove the top layers. There are three types of chemical peels; superficial / light, medium and deep. They are named according to the depth of the layer of skin that they work to remove. Your doctor will decide which procedure is best depending on what you are treating. This will also determine the recovery period required.
Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion are processes by which the top layer of the skin is removed using a purpose-built device. This causes new cell growth and the result is smoother skin. The dermabrasion process involves striping away a layer of skin and consequently patients will normally given either a local anaesthetic or a painkiller of some kind. Microdermabrasion, on the other hand, involves blowing rough substances onto the skin and as it is less extreme, it is less likely to require additional comfort measures.
Microneedling can be used to treat wrinkles. A device pokes the top layer of skin with several small needles. The surface wounds heal quickly and the action causes the body to produce new collagen. This tightens the skin and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
Fillers can be used to reduce the appearance of deeper lines and creases, particularly around the mouth, nose and chine. Commonly, hyaluronic acid based fillers are used as this occurs in the skin naturally and will be absorbed by the body. This makes the effects temporary.
Botox can be used against wrinkles caused by facial contractions as it is a neuromodulator. Botox reduces movement and prevents formation of wrinkles. It also relaxes the muscles and the established wrinkles as well.
Laser resurfacing can be used to treat wrinkles by damaging the top layer of skin. This causes the body to create collagen and as the skin heals, it is formed tighter and smoother.