Wrinkles are a completely natural and normal part of the aging process. They generally start to appear as you age, but can be caused prematurely by poor sun protection habits and smoking.
Genetics play a role in the texture of your skin. You probably know somebody in their late 70s who doesn’t look a day older than 60. And on the other hand, you probably know somebody in their 40s who looks like they’re nearing 60. Even if genetics are in your favor, you still need to take care of and protect your skin.
Fortunately, there are more safe and effective options to reduce and prevent wrinkles than ever before. Read on to learn more about what causes wrinkles and how to treat wrinkles.
What Causes Wrinkles?
Aging is the primary cause of wrinkles; however, we all age differently. Some people will start to see wrinkles years before their peers, while others may enjoy smooth, younger looking skin into retirement. Wrinkles cannot be prevented, but it is helpful to understand why they happen.
- The skin becomes fragile and loses elasticity
- Less natural oils are produced, causing the skin to dry out and look more wrinkled
- Fat diminishes in the deep layers of skin, resulting in more prominent lines and sagging
- Wrinkles are worse on areas of the body that have been exposed to the sun, even in individuals who never used tanning beds and were diligent about sunscreen/sunblock use
While natural aging cannot be prevented, having a healthy diet with a variety of fruits, and vegetables and taking measures to prevent damage from the sun, may help slow the process.
Ultraviolet (UV) Light
UV radiation is known to cause premature aging. The UV light causes collagen and elastin fibers in the deeper layer of your skin to break down. Collagen and elastin are connective tissues, and they will deteriorate with UV exposure, whether the UV light source is natural (the sun) or artificial (tanning beds).
The skin loses flexibility along with strength, causing premature aging and sagging skin. Tanning beds are much worse than the sun as the UV light is more intense. Most tanning beds emit approximately 12 times more UVA rays than natural sunlight.
To prevent premature aging as a result of UV exposure, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun — and not just in summer. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen or sunblock with SPF 30+ — even in the winter months. Wearing hats, sunglasses and protective clothing is also helpful. To learn more about preventive skin care and protecting yourself from the sun, click here.
Individuals who smoke tend to see signs of premature aging, even if they haven’t been life-long smokers. This is because the 4,000+ chemicals in the cigarettes break down the collagen and elastin fibers in your skin — just like UV rays.
In addition to chemicals from cigarettes breaking down the connective fibers, the nicotine causes blood vessels in the outer layers of your skin to constrict. This means that blood flow to your skin is reduced, and the skin receives less oxygen and vital nutrients.
Smoking is a reliable predictor of wrinkles. Next to age, it is the strongest predictor of whether or not an individual will get wrinkles on their face.
Many people think that it’s too late to quit — the damage has been done. This isn’t the case. You can prevent additional wrinkling and improve your skin’s texture by quitting. If you think you’re ready to quit smoking, you can receive free help here.
Have you ever heard the saying, “stop frowning, you’ll get stuck like that!”? It turns out there is some truth to this old wives’ tale.
When you make the same facial expressions over and over again, grooves start to develop underneath the skin’s surface. As you age and the skin loses its flexibility, it isn’t able to bounce back the same way. Over time, the grooves become permanent.
This doesn’t mean you should smile or laugh less! Many people think smile lines are a sign of a life well-lived. But if you really hate your wrinkles, facial filler products like Bellafill®, and treatments like the MicroPen®, are safe and highly effective.
What is Bellafill?
Bellafill® is a collagen-based dermal filler that provides immediate results by lifting the skin and creating volume. The product allows your own collagen to develop, leading to smoother-looking skin long term.
Depending on the condition it’s being used to treat, Bellafill® can last for up to five years. It’s been clinically proven to be safe and work for both male and female patients. In fact, Bellafill® was a part of the longest and largest prospective dermal filler study ever completed.
The product has been in use for more than ten years, which is why we use it at the Dermatology Center for Skin Health. Our doctors only use leading products that have been extensively researched, tested and proven effective.
Bellafill® is used for smile lines around the mouth and acne scars. If treating either of these conditions is something you’re considering, let your dermatologist know.
What is a MicroPen®?
MicroPen® is a microneedling procedure. It is designed to build your own natural collagen and thicken your skin. It’s regarded as one of the safest cosmetic skin procedures available for all skin types and colors.
It works by using multiple small needles to create tiny punctures in the skin. Your body treats these tiny pricks just like it would a large cut or burn — by creating more collagen in the affected area. Your doctor will numb your skin reducing discomfort. Most patients aren’t able to feel much, if anything, during the procedure.
A growth factor serum is typically used in conjunction with MicroPen® to further encourage the production of collagen.
The procedure is fantastic for smoothing the skin and helping reduce the appearance of acne scars. It can also help with clogged pores and even stretch marks. The procedure is safe for the entire body.
There are at-home microneedling sets available; however, they’re not as effective. They can also be unsanitary. Like all cosmetic treatments and procedures, MicroPen® is best left to a dermatologist.
Why Is the Dermatology Center for Skin Health My Best Option?
Many salons and spas offer facial fillers. They may cost less, but you don’t have a guarantee that the "expert" has experience or is adequately trained.
At the Dermatology Center for Skin Health, our physicians perform all filler procedures. Drs. Maouad and Gharib have extensive experience with dermal fillers, and MicroPen® is performed by a trained clinicians under physician supervision.
To book a consultation with the Dermatology Center for Skin Health, give us a call at (304) 598-3888. We can discuss your options in a completely confidential, no-obligation appointment.
For a more indepth look at other cosmetic procedures we perform, download our Guide to Cosmetic Procedures. We discuss chemical peels, Botox, microdermabrasion and more.