About wrinkles

What causes wrinkles?

Wrinkles naturally arise in skin as we age, and medically speaking, wrinkles are not dangerous. Wrinkles, that is, dynamic or fixed lines in the skin of various sizes, occur from an interplay of progressive collagen and elastin loss (accelerated by sun exposure and smoking) and loss of underlying tissues as well (fat, muscle, bone). They are most obvious and bothersome in places of sun exposure, like the face, neck, and chest. There are many treatment options available to improve the appearance of skin, including by lessening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

How can I prevent wrinkles?

  • Sun protection

    This is the most important preventative measure you can take to protect your skin from worsening wrinkles. Sun protection includes sun avoidance as able (seek shade, wears hats and sunglasses, etc.), and should be supplemented with daily application of broad-spectrum SPF 30 or greater sunscreen with zinc oxide.

  • Smoking cessation

    Wrinkle prevention is another of many health reasons to stop smoking.

  • Neuromodulation

    Agents like Botox and Dysport can be used to soften muscle movement and lessen deep wrinkles (for example, those on the forehead, glabella, and around the eyes) that are caused by repetitive frowning or squinting. You can read more about Botox and Dysport here.

What are the treatments for wrinkles?

  • Topical agents

    The scientific evidence for treating and preventing wrinkles with topical agents is best with prescription retinoids (for example, tretinoin or Retin-A ). Other topical agents recommended for wrinkles may contain retinol (a less potent retinoid that may be better tolerated), antioxidants (for example, vitamin C), and stem cell growth factors.

  • Moisturizers

    Most of the anti-aging benefit of all anti-aging products is the moisturization that they provide. The best moisturizers for wrinkles may have both a humectant (which draws water to the skin) and an occlusive emollient (to prevent water loss). Common humectants include glycerin, hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid and propylene glycol. Common emollients include dimethicone, petrolatum, and paraffin.

  • Procedures

    Cosmetic procedures for wrinkles are of variable benefit.

Individual results may vary.

Cosmetic Dermatology