Wrinkles, or rhytids, are the creases on the skin, which are seen mostly on those parts of the skin exposed to the sun. The face, neck, and arms often have some fine lines or deep burrows, showing the presence of wrinkles. These fine lines are a normal part of aging, but frequent exposure to the sun may result in the early appearance of them.
Wrinkles are caused by one or more factors including:
- Exposure to sun
Among the factors mentioned above, two are under our control – smoking and exposure to sun. Reducing the exposure to sun and quitting smoking are two options for reducing the creases on the skin.
Different treatment options available for removing and preventing wrinkles include:
- Retinoids – This is considered to be one of the most effective ways of reducing wrinkles. Retinoids are also used in controlling other symptoms of aging, including rough skin, and uneven pigmentation. Treatment with retinoids often result in peeling, which gradually stops.
- Alpha-hydroxy acids – Also known as fruit acids, they include lactic acid and glycolic acids. Products containing these acids produce subtle changes in the skin without causing much irritation. These products are known to be safe to the skin. Glycolic acid peels are often used to reduce the intensity of wrinkles.
- Deeper peels – Products containing salicylic acid and trichloroacetic acid have the potential to go deeper into the skin, and smoothen out the wrinkles. However, they are associated with side effects, like scarring and changes in color of the skin.
- Dermabrasion – In this procedure, wrinkles are removed by sanding down or planing the skin, using a rotating brush. This removes the surface layers of the skin so that new skin replaces it soon. This procedure also has side effects, like changes in skin color, swelling, and scarring.
- Laser resurfacing – In this procedure, laser beams are used to remove the surface layers of the skin and to heat the dermis, which stimulates the production of new collagen fibers. It leads to the smoother and tighter skin at the end of the treatment. The healing time is long for this procedure. There are different types of laser resurfacing techniques and one should discuss the benefits and risks of each one of them with a doctor before opting for a procedure.
- Plastic surgery – A number of cosmetic surgeries, like facelifts and browlifts, are now available to improve looks. There are also a few minor cosmetic procedures for smoothening the lines of the skin.
- Wrinkles are an inevitable part of aging.
- Wrinkles can also be caused by frequent smoking and exposure to the sun.