According to realself.com Wrinkles make for a phenomenon that all of us cannot avoid, as undesirable as they might be. We are all bound to experience them at some point later in our lives. The most we can expect to do is reduce their extent or degree. Yes, you can do that! There are numerous options available out there for that purpose, including those that supposedly help to erase wrinkles. But you need to be aware that there are different forms of this skin issue. Knowing these diverse types is relevant to being able to effectively deal with these skin creases and folds. We discuss this and more in this post.
What’s to know about wrinkles?
A wrinkle is a rhytide. You may also describe it as a crease, fold or ridge on the skin. Wrinkles are completely natural and every human being should expect to have them at some point in their life. And in an age where people desire to look impressively young, these could be said to constitute serious concern. But what causes the creases or folds to appear on your skin? The following are some major reasons:
Aging – This, without doubt, is a key factor in the appearance of wrinkles on the skin. It is the reason this problem is inevitable. The human skin is believed to lose collagen and elastin as the years roll by. The supporting structure of the dermis starts to deteriorate. This causes your skin to lose elasticity, strength and resilience. You find your skin becoming thinner, fragile and more susceptible to damage as a result of this. And when you add the impact of environmental factors, the appearance of wrinkles becomes more significant. Some experts have also attempted to explain the age-induced effect as being a result of inefficient restoration of damaged collagen and elastin fibers.
Sun exposure – Talking about environmental factors that cause wrinkles, sun is a major one. We should quickly point out that exposure to this is not really the problem, but overexposure. This makes your skin quite susceptible to harmful ultraviolet rays, which damage the skin. It leads to what is called photo aging. Radiation from the sun damages both collagen and elastin fibers. Wrinkles real self result as your skin loses elasticity and strength because of this. The risk of ultraviolet radiation damage is higher among persons with lighter skin types.
Smoking – When you smoke, you put yourself at risk of developing wrinkles. This is a problem because it leads to a reduction in the flow of blood to the skin. And when this happens, your skin is not able to get sufficient nutrients needed for a youthful appearance. Smoking depletes the amount of oxygen available in the body.
Genetics – The risk of you having wrinkles has something to do with your parents as well. How early or late you have these creases depends on the genes you inherit. If your parents started having them earlier than their peers, chances are that your case might be the same. Sadly, there is nothing you can do about this.
There are several other factors that can lead to appearance of wrinkles. These include your sleeping postures, habitual facial expressions and exposure to pollutants.
Types of wrinkles
Wrinkles come in different types or forms. You may classify them based on what part of the body they appear or how deep they are. But these folds are commonly described as being of four main types, based on conclusions by some researchers. Each of these types is discussed below.
Atrophic crinkling rhytids
This type of wrinkles can appear on your face or any part of your body. They come as fine lines that appear almost parallel to one other. They are usually the result of the skin elasticity reduction that people experience with age. Overexposure to the sun further raises their esthetic concerns. These wrinkles typically disappear when you stretch your skin, albeit for the short term.
Permanent elastic creases
These wrinkles mostly affect exposed areas in the upper part of your body. More specifically, they commonly affect the upper lip, cheeks and your neck’s base. Permanent elastic creases start with a crease line that becomes permanent over time. Sun exposure and smoking aggravate the appearance of these creases.
Dynamic expression lines
The facial expressions you make, such as smiling and frowning, frequently can lead to wrinkles sooner or later. The type you develop in this case is called dynamic expression lines. They are also referred to as frown or smile lines, for obvious reason. They are called crow’s feet as well. These expressions create dynamic folds on your face, driven by facial muscle movement. Again, sun exposure may accelerate the pace at which these develop.
The common saying that what goes up must come down is basically another way or relating the law of gravity. Again, they say gravity puts everything in its right place. The skin of a younger person is able to “disobey” the law of gravity due to sufficient supply of collagen and elastin. But it starts to drag down the skin as people grow older, even though you may argue that is not its right place or state. The loss of essential skin materials makes that inevitable. Gravitational folds are characterized by folding and sagging skin. Interestingly, research shows individuals with plumper faces tend to have less of these folds.
When it comes to fighting wrinkles, you can easily become confused choosing from the plethora of available options. The most appropriate one for you will depend on your skin type and extent of wrinkles, among other considerations.
The obsession many people have for looking young and holding off appearance of wrinkles has led to availability of a variety of topical skincare solutions. There are anti-wrinkle creams you can easily buy over the counter at a local store. The manufacturers of these products, as would be expected, promise the creams will do wonders. But this is not often what people get after buying and using. Some experts say creams are only helpful for preventing wrinkles, not for reversing them. Be sure you check what other users are saying before you buy any anti-wrinkle cream.
We decided to separate these from general anti-wrinkle cream because evidence shows they may indeed help. Retinoids include tretinoin (Retin-A, Renova), retinol and tazarotene. Tretinoin is arguably the most researched of these retinoids. Evidence suggests that it enhances mitotic activity and increases follicular epithelial cell turnover. Retinoid creams may reduce fine wrinkles, improve rough skin texture and combat splotches. But note that they can make you more sensitive to the sun and cause redness among other side effects.
These can help to ensure enzyme balance to guard against matrix breakdown, thereby preventing appearance of wrinkles. The body uses glycosaminoglycans to maintain fluid balance and tissue structural integrity. They function as a lubricant and moisturizer between epidermal cells and assists in reducing the amount of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). Perhaps, the most popular form of glycosaminoglycans is hyaluronic acid, which enhances hydration and collagen production. GAGs are available as topical supplements that are applied on the skin to prevent wrinkle formation.
Botulinum toxin, more popularly known as Botox, is a common remedy for wrinkles. It is especially useful for dealing with dynamic expression lines. The neurotoxin protein, which is made by Clostridium botulinum, helps to lessen muscle movements that give rise to crow’s feet. When injected into certain muscles, it immobilizes such and prevents them from contracting. Botox helps to achieve a smoother skin by keeping muscles from tightening. It is considered the best solution for lines on the face, especially in terms of how soon you see the results. This is a temporary solution for wrinkles, though. The results you get lasts just about four months or less time before you need to have fresh injections. Dysport and Xeomin are two notable alternatives that help to eliminate facial lines in similar fashion.
Dermal or soft tissue fillers are injectables, like Botox. But these usual contain soft, gel-like materials, such as collagen, fat, hyaluronic acid or calcium hydroxylapatite. They are injected into the skin to improve wrinkles and other depressions for a fuller, smoother appearance. Popular brands of dermal fillers include Juvederm and Restylane. Like Botox, the procedure has to be done again every few months. Note also that you may experience certain side effects from these injectables.
This is a minimally invasive procedure targeted at improving production of collagen for younger-looking skin. It is for this reason that it is also referred to as collagen induction therapy. As its name somewhat suggests, microneedling involves the use of tiny needles. The numerous needles integrated into a device are used to make many tiny holes in the upper skin layer. This sets off production of new collagen and elastin, improving skin texture and strength. Aside fighting wrinkles, this treatment is also useful for reduction of stretch marks, scars and pore size. It is believed to also enhance the efficacy of topical skincare products.
Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion
Dermabrasion is a procedure that involves sanding the surface of the skin to eliminate wrinkles and reveal a fresh layer. You may think of this as one of the more aggressive approaches for tackling creases and folds. Also known as dermaplaning, the procedure produces swelling, redness and scabbing. You may need weeks to months to fully recover from these side effects.
A safer and less painful alternative is microdermabrasion. The idea behind this one is similar to that of dermabrasion. But this procedure involves less amount of pain in that only a very thin layer of skin is removed. You need to be aware, though, that the results typically do not last as long.
You may also consider a chemical peel whose aim is to eliminate the upper layer of the skin. This way, it gets rid of wrinkles, freckles, age spots and other flaws. A qualified expert applies an acid to relevant areas to burn off the upper skin layer. The procedure may produce redness that can last for several weeks. Several sessions may also be needed depending on the extent of the problem and the peel being used.
This is one of the best conventional solutions that are available for eliminating gravitational folds. Facelift involves getting rid of excess fat and skin and tightening the core muscle and connective tissue. This makes the cosmetic procedure a great way to deal with wrinkles. The results you get from this may last up to 10 years. But a major concern is that you could require several weeks to fully recover from the resulting swelling and bruising.
There is a variety of laser-based treatments for correcting skin issues such as wrinkles. These range from those that remove entire skin surface to those that only targets affected areas (fractional resurfacing such as Fraxel). Skin laser treatments can also be ablative or non-ablative.
Ablative laser resurfacing involves the use of laser beams to remove the epidermis (outer skin layer) and heat the dermis (inner skin layer). This encourages collagen fiber production and younger-looking skin as the wound heals. Nonablative laser resurfacing focuses more on heating the skin layer to stimulate new collagen fiber growth. Owing to its nature, ablative laser resurfacing may lead to scarring or wounds that may take months to heal. But its results are usually better than that of a nonablative procedure. The latter has to be repeated more frequently.
These are not all the options you have for getting rid of wrinkles. There are still some others, including skin tightening and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections.
Being proactive is key
You can save yourself from the significant stress involved in finding an effective solution to wrinkles by taking steps to guard against these creases in the first place. Here are some tips on what you can do to prevent or slow the appearance of wrinkles:
Sunscreen – As you already know, sun exposure is a major culprit in wrinkling. It is especially a problem when it comes to atrophic crinkling rhytids and permanent elastic creases. What this means is that you need to protect your skin adequately well. Sunscreen will be quite useful in this regard. Experts recommend using a broad-spectrum offering daily, regardless of whether it is sunny or not. You do not only need protection when you will be walking around a lot during the day. Ultraviolet rays still remain a concern if you are the type that spends hours in a vehicle every day.
Antioxidant-rich foods – You can also protect yourself against effects of environmental factors on the skin by eating foods rich in antioxidants. These help to guard against damage and enhance the health of your skin. Brightly-colored fruits and green, leafy vegetables are great examples of what you should have in your diet. You should be consuming more of such things as strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Generally, foods that are rich in vitamins C and E will help in fighting wrinkles.
Hydration – This is a key factor in ensuring a supple, youthful skin. In general, sufficient water intake promotes your overall health and wellbeing. Keeping wrinkles at bay is another reason you should consider taking lots of water, if you aren’t doing that already. Wrinkling is particularly noticeable when you are dehydrated as your sky becomes dry. This makes having sufficient amount of water in the body crucial. Aside keeping your skin soft and flexible, this helps to purge toxins that could have negative impact on your skin.
Sleep posture – You need to mind the position in which you sleep to guard against wrinkles. The importance of this is greater as you grow older. This is because your skin loses resilience as years pass due to lower collagen and elastin levels. So if you sleep on one side every time, lines or creases develop in the skin and may remain permanent. You should avoid sleeping on one side most of the time. Instead, alternate positions frequently as you sleep daily. It has even been suggested that sleeping on your back won’t be a bad idea.
Vision correction – If you have vision issues, it helps to have that corrected. You are giving room for fine lines to develop every time you contract your facial muscles to see things clearly. The frown lines become more pronounced when you have to squint often. You should have your eyes examined, if need be, for appropriate solutions to be obtained.
Granted there are treatment options, the best you can do to deal with wrinkles is to avoid them. You may not be able to prevent them completely. But by taking proper steps, such as protecting yourself against sun and environmental damage, you can reduce or slow their appearance. A healthy diet rich in antioxidants is also beneficial.