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Wrinkles are simply folds or creases that develop in the skin over time, due to gradually declining levels of proteins (collagen and elastin) and natural oils. There are two classifications of wrinkles, static and dynamic. Static wrinkles are visible when the face is at rest, while dynamic wrinkles appear during facial expressions, such as smiling. Dynamic wrinkles tend to become static wrinkles as a result of decreasing skin elasticity.
As people age, their skin naturally becomes more and more wrinkled. However, lifestyle choices can speed up this process. People who smoke or experience frequent sun exposure are at increased risk for wrinkles and other types of skin damage. Other risk factors include environmental pollutants, poor nutrition, inadequate skin hydration, and high levels of cortisol, the "stress hormone”.
Prescription retinol creams can help you prevent and reduce wrinkles and maintain a youthful appearance by increasing the skin's production of collagen. Although over-the-counter anti-aging and retinol creams are available, they are generally much less effective than topical retinoids that require a prescription.
Fine lines or creases on your face or neck
Deep, coarse crevices around the eyes
Damaged skin from sun exposure
Dull or dry looking skin
Dynamic facial wrinkles are visible and accentuated with facial muscle movement but are not visible while the muscles are at rest. Static facial wrinkles are lines that are present while facial muscles are in motion and at rest.
Includes but not limited to:
Topical vitamin A products (tretinoin)
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A board-certified Dermatologist is a medical doctor (MD or DO) that has completed 4 years of medical school as well as 1 year of internship and a minimum of 3 years of dermatology residency. They are the experts in over 3,000 conditions affecting hair, skin, and nails. They can see patients of all ages and are able to address medical, surgical, and cosmetic concerns.
Most people see a Dermatologist once yearly for an overall skin check. If there is a personal or family history of skin cancers, abnormal moles, or other conditions such as acne, eczema, or psoriasis, the frequency of visits can be increased.
Dermatologists recommend performing a once-monthly self-skin examination to check for new or changing spots. You should examine all aspects of your skin, using mirrors or a partner as needed. Do not forget to try to examine your scalp, look between fingers and toes, check the bottoms of your feet, and examine the groin area. Please have any new or changing lesions examined by a Dermatologist to determine if any treatments are needed.
UV damage is the biggest skin aging culprit. Daily sun protection measures (even in the winter) is the best preventative step. Avoiding smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, other drugs, staying hydrated, and eating a well-balanced diet can all have positive anti-aging effects as well.
Topical vitamin A products (retinols, retinoids) are the overall most effective topicals for addressing skin aging concerns such as loss of elasticity, fine lines, skin texture changes, and dyspigmentation. There are various over-the-counter products and prescription products that contain these active ingredients. People with very sensitive skin can sometimes have a more difficult time tolerating these topicals as they can be irritating to the skin
Skin loses volume and elasticity with age, which can contribute to facial wrinkles. However, exposure to UV rays, especially UVA, accelerates the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin, speeding up the process of wrinkle development. Medical conditions, significant weight loss, and smoking can all contribute to development of facial wrinkles as well.
While you cannot always control the aging process or certain underlying medical conditions, protecting your skin from daily UVA exposure is the best way to help prevent facial wrinkles before they develop. This includes daily use (and reapplication) of a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher sunscreen to all sun exposed areas. Wearing wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses is also helpful to reduce UVA exposure to facial skin. It is important to use these protection measures every day, no matter the temperature or weather forecast, as UVA rays are always present. UVA rays can even go through glass. The windshields of cars are treated to block out UVA and UVB rays, but the side windows are only treated to block out UVB rays so be sure to wear sunscreen even when driving or riding in a car or sitting near windows.
In addition to wearing daily sunscreen, the best at-home treatment for preventing and minimizing facial wrinkles is use of topical vitamin A products such as a retinol or retinoid. Topical vitamin A helps to regulate and normalize skin cell turnover and promote collagen production. There are numerous products containing a retinol or retinoid available over-the-counter for daily use. Caution should be used when starting a topical vitamin A regimen as these products can initially cause dryness, flaking, and sometimes irritation, so a slow and gradual introduction into your skin care routine can minimize these possible issues. Additionally, topical antioxidants, such as vitamin C, can be helpful to protect your skin against other insults that can cause wrinkles such as pollution and other environmental stressors.
Dermatologists can prescribe stronger versions of topical vitamin A (retinoids) than what can be purchased over-the-counter, so if you are not seeing improvement with store-bought products, you can discuss this option with your physician. There are also treatments with neuromodulators (e.g. Botox®), fillers (e.g. Juvéderm®), laser resurfacing treatments, chemical peels, microneedling, dissolvable treads/sutures, and even surgical options that can be helpful for treating facial wrinkles depending on the extent of the wrinkles and the patient desires.
Evaluation and consultation with a board-certified dermatologist can be helpful to determine an appropriate approach to patient’s concerns. Consultations take into account the current concerns, underlying health issues, available recovery time, cost, and overall expectations when formulating an approach. It is very common to have multiple treatments recommended to target various areas of concern in order to get the best aesthetic outcome.