Although everyone associates wrinkles with aging, that’s not necessarily their primary cause. Knowing more about why wrinkles form can help you reduce the incidence and lessen the appearance of wrinkles.
Lauren Amico Reed, PA-C, MMS, our aesthetic specialist at La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre & Medical Spa, shares five facts about wrinkles everyone should know:
- There are two types of wrinkles caused by different factors. Dynamic or active wrinkles are those that are created from muscular movements, such as frowning or furrowing the brow. Static wrinkles are seen when the face is at rest and are caused by aging, environmental exposure, or lifestyle factors; dynamic wrinkles become static wrinkles over time. These wrinkles form when collagen is lost and the skin’s elastin structure is compromised.
- Sun damage is the main catalyst for premature aging of the skin and is an easily preventable cause of wrinkles. Sun damage can be avoided simply by using an effective sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Sun damage also causes changes in the pigmentation of the skin and can lead to skin cancer.
- Smoking is another cause of wrinkles and skin damage. Nicotine deprives the dermis of oxygen, causing it to deteriorate. Cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals that also damage elastin and collagen, the proteins that make the skin elastic and strong. The act of smoking also creates dynamic wrinkles. Quitting smoking will prevent further damage, and topical skin products containing antioxidants, retinol, or vitamin C and E can help repair the skin.
- Poor diet is another factor that contributes to the appearance of wrinkles. Excessive sugar contributes to glycation, a process that causes protein fibers (including collagen and elastin) to become stiff. This contributes to wrinkle formation. Avoiding sugary foods and adding foods high in vitamin C, vitamin E, and antioxidants will improve skin texture.
- Stress is another contributing factor in the formation of wrinkles. Prolonged stress can lead to dynamic wrinkles formed by repeated facial expressions such as scowling, frowning, or grimacing. These wrinkles can transform into static wrinkles through repetition. Stress reduction techniques can help prevent this transformation.
While genetics also play an important part in determining whether or not wrinkles will appear, preventing wrinkles is possible by making changes such as improving diet, wearing sunscreen, lowering stress, and quitting smoking. If bothersome skin damage is already present, Lauren says there are several cosmetic options to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Dermal fillers, such as JUVÉDERM®, Perlane®, and Restylane® can help address the appearance of static wrinkles. BOTOX® and Dysport® are neurotoxins that immobilize or weaken the muscles that create dynamic wrinkles. Lauren will be happy to discuss the wide variety of treatments with you.
If you have more extensive, deeper wrinkles, a surgical procedure such as a facelift, brow lift, or neck lift might be more appropriate. Talk to one of our board certified plastic surgeons to determine the best approach for facial rejuvenation.