Wrinkles are creases, folds or ridges in the skin. Most commonly, wrinkles appear as we get older. However, they may develop after our skin has been immersed in water for a long time. The first wrinkles to appear on our face tend to occur as a result of facial expressions.
Sun damage, smoking, some medications, as well as a number of other factors may also cause wrinkles to develop.
A person’s genetic makeup also influences ageing and when and where wrinkles start appearing.
Where do wrinkles appear?
They appear in the parts of the body which receive the most sun exposure.
- Back of hands
What are the types of wrinkles?
- Surface lines.
- Deep furrows.
What are the main factors that cause wrinkles?
Apart from the normal ageing process, other factors responsible for the development of wrinkles:
- Smoking – experts say that it is due to a reduced blood supply to the skin.
- Light skin – experience a higher level of sun damage, which accelerates wrinkles.
- Genetic factors – if your parents developed wrinkles earlier than other people, your chances are significantly higher.
- Hair – some hairstyles provide more shade for the face than others.
- Clothes – people who tend to wear hats and long sleeves usually develop wrinkles later in life compared to other people of the same skin type.
- Some jobs – people whose jobs expose them to more sunlight tend to become wrinkly earlier than others. Examples include fishermen, farmers, sailors, golfers, tanning booth employees (UV exposure), and gardeners.
- Exposure to UV (ultraviolet light) – people who spend considerable time out in the sun during their leisure hours are more likely to develop wrinkles earlier.
- Facial expressions – people who repeatedly smile, frown, or squint will develop fine lines and wrinkles earlier than other who do not do these facial expressions so often. In youth the skin springs back, but as it gets older and loses its flexibility springing back becomes harder, resulting in more permanent grooves.
What are the treatment options for wrinkles?
Wrinkles are not usually considered as medical conditions or diseases – they are not generally life-threatening. It is important for the individual to bear this in mind when considering treatment options.
- Topical retinoids – these help reduce fine wrinkles, pigmentation and skin roughness. The patient needs to use it with a skin-care program to protect the skin.
- Wrinkle creams – the effectiveness of wrinkle creams vary considerably, and depends mainly on its active ingredient. They include retinol, alpha hydroxy acids, kinetin, coenzyme Q10, copper peptides and antioxidants.
- Microdermabrasion – It gives a fresh and smooth appearance to the skin, as well as diminishing the appearance of lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores, coarse skin, and sun damage.
- Laser – Non-ablative lasers, radiofrequency devices and pulsed light sources results in the formation of new collagen and elastin resulting in faster recovery.
- Botulinum Toxin Type A (BOTOX) – Botox is effective for lines on the forehead and between the eyebrows (frown lines), as well as crow’s feet ( at the corners of the eyes).
- Chemical peel – a chemical solution is applied over the area eventually reducing the wrinkles.
- Soft tissue fillers – They are injected into deeper wrinkles, smoothening them out, giving the skin more volume.
In many patients a combination of above treatments may be needed, in multiple sessions, This can be determined after proper examination of the skin. The results depend on factors like location and depth of the wrinkles.
Can wrinkles and lines be prevented?
The following steps can help in slowing down the process:
- The skin and sunlight – Protecting skin by wearing hats, protective clothing and sun screens will reduce sunlight damage, and consequent development of wrinkles.
- Moisturizers – they may help in temporarily making fine wrinkles less evident.
- Smoking – giving up smoking will help slow down the process of ageing of skin.
- Sleep – although it has not been extensively clinically proven, people who get at least 7 hours good quality sleep each day are protecting the quality of their skin.
Are these procedures safe?
All these procedures are simple and safe with minimum downtime.
How long do the results last?
It is important to understand that ageing is a continuous process and there is no treatment which gives permanent results. All anti-ageing treatments need multiple sessions and frequent maintenance treatments.