If you are provided access to be cabinets of some people, you will be amazed at the wide collection of skin treatment products they have in there. Perhaps, you are also not left out. Cosmetic companies are certainly making a killing as more and more people somewhat frantically search for whatever help they can get in maintaining youthful appearance. Some people are worried about wrinkles not only because of how they adversely affect look, but also because of potential health issues they serve as harbinger of. Let us consider why wrinkles form and what can be done to treat, prevent or slow their appearance.
A wrinkle is a fold, crease or ridge in the skin, the appearance of which could be brought about by a variety of factors. Also known as a rhytide, it is said to develop as a result of non-thorough repairs of broken elastic and collagen fibers. Wrinkles typically appear as people get older.
The skin is made up of two major layers, namely: epidermis and dermis. Epidermis is the outer layer consisting mostly of dead skin cells that have hardened and serves as protection from the elements. The internal dermis layer contains the protein collagen and fibers which ensure skin elasticity. Wrinkle formation can occur in both layers, although the appearance will depend on which of these layers is affected. Areas of the body that can be affected by wrinkles include the face, neck and forearms –they can practically be noticed in all areas of the body that are commonly exposed.
This is a question that might have played on your mind at one time or the other when you wonder why people have to have wrinkles. A number of factors come into play to cause these lines and creases to appear. You can protect yourself against some of these, but you are completely helpless against others. The factors include:
The natural aging process that results in wrinkling is sometimes referred to as intrinsic aging. Other factors such as UV radiation, tobacco use and pollutants are causes of extrinsic aging.
Are you aware there are different types of wrinkles a person is expected to have at some point in life? Well, there are, according to some researchers at Belgium's University Hospital of Liege. They identified four distinct types of wrinkles in a 2006 study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science.
Atrophic crinkling rhytids – These are fine facial lines that appear to be parallel to one another. This type of wrinkles is the result of loss of elasticity in the skin. The rhytids can be seen on the face and different areas of the body. These usually disappear when you stretch your skin transversally or when body posture is changed.
Permanent elastic creases – These wrinkles are typically the result of sun exposure which causes creases to appear on the skin. The lines thus formed can become permanent over time. In most cases, they can be noticed on the cheek, at the base of the neck, or on the upper lip.
Dynamic expression lines – We mentioned earlier something about facial expressions contributing to wrinkling. The type of wrinkles resulting from this are referred to as dynamic expression lines.
Gravitational folds – These wrinkles are the effects of gravity on the skin. They only become noticeable as a person gets older as skin sagging and folding in set in. Skin thickness determines the location of these wrinkles. The Belgian researchers stated people with lean faces are surprisingly more likely to have gravitational folds – most people would have expected the reverse.
There are a variety of treatment options that have been investigated and are said to be effective in dealing with appearance of wrinkles to different extent. These work in different ways to achieve the goal. Some are geared towards improving collagen production, while some others fill in skin depressions. The following are the more popular treatment options you can check out if you are looking for one:
There are certain creams that are produced to help people with
wrinkles deal with them. These contain potent ingredients that are
believed to be beneficial. One of these is retinoic acid, which is
also known as tretinoin. This vitamin A derivative has long been
shown to be effective in combating skin aging and treating fine
lines. Creams containing this ingredient have to be used on an
ongoing basis and helps by stimulating collagen production.
Creams which contain alpha-hydroxy acids, which are also known as fruit acids, may also be helpful. You could possibly benefit from using topical products that come with antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E, and beta carotene as well.
Formally known as botulinum, Botox is a muscle poison which is injected to deal with appearance of wrinkles. It paralyzes or relaxes the muscles responsible for frown lines, fine lines in the eye area, and other forms of wrinkles. While it is mostly safe, possible side effects include headaches and flu-like symptoms.
These are injected into the skin to make it look suppler like that of a younger person. Fillers improve skin volume thereby eliminating folds and creases. These typically use fat or collagen which is injected into the skin by a qualified medical professional. They are now available in more varieties using substances such as lactic acid, hyaluronic acid and calcium hydroxylapatite. These newer substances are believed to offer longer-lasting results.
This is a surgical procedure for dealing with wrinkles. Dermabrasion involves the use of a piece of rotating equipment by a specialist to sand down the skin surface. Sounds painful? Well, it is commonly carried out only after the person to be worked on has been put under general anesthesia. The sanding down can result in fresh-looking skin, but there are risks involved, including skin discoloration and scarring. The outcome depends greatly on the expertise and experience of the specialist in charge.
This treatment option is another form of dermabrasion. Microdermabrasion also involves sanding down the surface of the skin, but to a lesser extent. It is perform using a machine with silica or aluminum crystals. This procedure, which is believed to help smoothen the skin, does not pose risk of unpleasant skin changes that may be experienced after dermabrasion. It is worthy of note that you may require more than one session to get the desired result.
Some experts say chemical peels can deliver similar, or possibly better, results as dermabrasion. A chemical peel involves the use of an acid to remove or sear the skin's outer layer. This is done to promote the production of collagen and, hence, eliminate or reduce wrinkles. Glycolic acid peels can be used to deal with early wrinkles. Deeper peels, involving substances such as trichloroacetic acid and salicylic acid, produce better outcomes in smoothing fine lines by going deeper into the skin. However, their deeper penetration into the skin raises risk of complications.
Laser resurfacing is another treatment method aimed at achieving results similar to what dermabrasion delivers. It involves removing the outer layer of the skin. Be warned that this is an invasive procedure. It is done using erbium lasers and carbon dioxide. A specialist passes the laser over the area to be treated several times until it burns through to the inner skin layer, the dermis. It is believed doing this will ramp up the production of new collagen multiple folds. The procedure has been shown to work, but it leaves you with a wound that will require several weeks or months to heal.
This is a less-invasive version of laser resurfacing. Also referred to as fractionated ablatives, fractional resurfacing does not involve burning off an entire area of the skin. Microscopic energy beams are instead used to target the area of skin that is damaged, leaving all other areas unaffected. This method ensures faster healing time than in the case of laser resurfacing. Up to three or more sessions of fractional resurfacing may be required for best results.
Non-ablative laser resurfacing involves the use of newer lasers to try stimulating collagen production without doing damage to the epidermis. It is, therefore, less painful and less invasive than traditional laser resurfacing, but it is not as effective as the latter.
Facelifts may help. Facelift, also known as rhytidectomy, is a plastic surgical procedure aimed at removing redundant facial skin and, possibly, tightening the underlying tissues. It can be beneficial to certain individuals looking to get rid of wrinkles. Brow lift is another of these plastic surgical procedures that may prove useful.
The decline in the level of human growth hormone (HGH) in the body as a person grows older has been associated with wrinkling. It causes the skin to become thinner and eventually leads to appearance of wrinkles. In a widely-cited 1990 study by Dr. Daniel Rudman and colleagues published in the New England Journal of Medicine, improvement in the appearance of wrinkles was one of the benefits of growth hormone treatment that were observed in the elderly men that took part.
HGH is a protein-based hormone and increasing its level in the body could help boost collagen synthesis, resulting in fuller, more elastic skin. There has been a lot of talk in the media about the use of this hormone. Many celebrities and popular figures are thought to have it as part of their beauty regimen. There are even those who use HGH injections for this purpose and many others that are not approved by the FDA. However, synthetic HGH is expensive and can only be bought with a prescription, except if you are getting it in the black market. HGH supplements like Genf20 Plus, which work on the pituitary gland to secrete more of the hormone, offer a cheaper alternative that can be accessed without a prescription.
It is said that prevention is better than cure. You will save yourself from significant stress by being proactive about keeping wrinkles at bay. But you may ask what can you do to prevent or slow wrinkling? Here are a few tips to work with:
Wrinkling is part of the natural aging process and may be sped up by certain factors. Genetics is believed to also contribute to the determination of when you start to have wrinkles. Thankfully, there are treatment options that may help deal with this problem for younger-looking skin. You should endeavor to seek professional guidance on benefits and potential side effects of whatever treatment options you may have in mind.
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