What is a wrinkle?
The specific treatment of wrinkles is related to the cause and location of the wrinkle. Filling the wrinkle, smoothing the tissue next to the wrinkle, or weakening the muscle that causes the wrinkle are all methods to decrease skin irregularities.
There are three types of wrinkles: dynamic wrinkles, static wrinkles, and wrinkle folds.
DYNAMIC WRINKLES: caused by contraction of muscles attached to the overlying skin. Each muscle contraction causes the skin to bunch together, forming lines between the bulk of the muscle. The most common locations for dynamic wrinkles are between the eyebrows, across the forehead, and on the cheeks near the outer corners of the eyes, referred to as “crow’s feet”. It follows, then, that weakening these muscles will cause a reduction in the severity of the facial wrinkles, or can prevent them altogether when muscle weakening is done before wrinkles form.
STATIC WRINKLES: due to lack of elasticity of the skin caused from sun damage, smoking, genetics, poor nutrition, or from prolonged dynamic wrinkling. Static facial wrinkles are visible regardless of muscle contraction; they stay (hence the name “static”) even when the muscles are not contracting. This leads to the classic “crepiness” and multiple cross-hatching as is often seen in wrinkles on the cheeks and around the eyes. Techniques that increase the thickness of the skin or that remove the damaged skin are effective wrinkle treatments. Laser skin resurfacing and deeper chemical peels remove the damaged skin and stimulate new collagen formation to improve the skin’s appearance, elasticity and thickness.
WRINKLE FOLDS: due to sagging of the underlying facial structures, most notably causing the deep grooves between the nose and mouth known as the naso-labial groove. Surgical procedures such as midface lifts, cheek lifts, and neck lifts offer the best corrective measures for these problems. Alternatively, the folds can be camouflaged temporarily by plumping up the groove from beneath with substances like collagen Fat transfer, whereby your own fat is removed from one area and then injected into the area where fullness is desired, is an excellent alternative, and is one of the more permanent wrinkle treatments.
Most people have a combination of all three types of facial wrinkles, especially with advanced age
What causes wrinkles?
GENETICS: The most common cause of wrinkles is a loss in the elasticity of the collagen layer. Collagen is a connective tissue layer that supports the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis). As we age, there is a loss of collagen elasticity and support of the overlying skin. This causes facial wrinkling. Although our genetic make-up predisposes us to have either relatively smooth or wrinkled skin, we clearly can do things to affect our skin texture, hydration, and overall health.
ENVIRONMENT: There are many detrimental environmental agents that negatively affect the health of our skin. Smoking clearly decreases the microcirculation to the skin and increases the amount of facial wrinkles. Many chronic tobacco users have a marked increase in the number wrinkles around their mouth (particularly on their upper lip). Exposure to the sun or in tanning beds also decreases the elasticity of the skin, dehydrates the skin, and increases wrinkles in the skin. Harmful UVA and UVB solar rays deplete the skin of moisture and thin the dermal layer of the skin. Ultraviolet radiation also injures the cells that produce elastin and collagen fibers, causing wrinkles. It over-stimulates pigment cells, creating irregular coloring, including the brown blotches, erroneously called liver spots that appear on faces, forearms, and hands.
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