Read about the causes of wrinkles and how best to maintain youthful, tight, and smooth skin.
What are Wrinkles?
Wrinkles are caused by the natural aging of your skin. Various causes are associated with wrinkle formation as defined by external and internal factors. In other words, what happens on the inside of your body and outside of your body contributes to the wrinkles you form.
Overall, wrinkles are caused by several processes:
Firstly, your top layer of skin, the epidermis, thins or atrophies. The deepest wrinkled areas are the areas of most severe atrophy.
Secondly, atrophy of the subcutaneous adipose (fat) tissues of the face can cause loss of fullness in the skin.
Thirdly, the skin loses collagen, glycosaminoglycans, and elastin tissue. These three deal with skin elasticity.
Collagen is one of the most well-known aspects of skin elasticity and the target of many wrinkle care treatments. With aging collagen synthesis decreases and both the enzyme and non enzyme processes associated with collagen breakdown are increased. Other, more complex reasons behind skin aging, such as advanced glycation end products (AGEs), discuss how our bodies naturally deposited products onto collagen and elastin to make it stiffer and less able to adapt. As well, AGEs also increase oxidative stress (the bane of your skin and why antioxidants are so good for you), which also breaks down collagen. Both elastin and collagen are critical to maintaining youthful, full skin.
Another current area of study is telomeres, or the end points on our chromosomes. Telomere shortening is associated with aging and the eventual destruction of cells (because they can only replicate so many times). Sun exposure has been associated with telomere shortening. So what does that mean for aging skin? Everything. The destruction of these cells causes atrophy, collagen loss, elastin loss, and overall signs of aging. New research in the benefits of stem cell therapy show how they work to replace the lost telomeres (end base pairs used for cellular replication) so that cells are able to replicate longer (and maintain your youthful skin).
Your immune system also plays an important role in aging. Essentially, aging skin increases something called pro-inflammatory cytokines, which causes inflammation. This inflammation destroys collagen and elastin. Hormones and their factors on aging are also currently being studied.
How Do I Prevent and Treat Wrinkles?
Sun exposure, smoking, diabetes, hormone imbalances, and chronic conditions such as COPD have all been associated with premature signs of aging. UVA light, specifically, has been shown to increase cutaneous aging or wrinkle formation.
The main step in treating wrinkles is preventing the formation of wrinkles. Having said that, smoking cessation, reducing UV light exposure, proper use of sunscreen and effective management of chronic conditions have all been shown to have a positive influence on skin aging.
Taking antioxidants and using retinoids have also been hailed as mainstay treatment.
Antioxidants, help to prevent oxidative stress and inflammation that destroys collagen. Topical vitamin C (ascorbic acid), especially has been a subject of interest. Not only is it an antioxidant, but it also improves collagen synthesis. Green tea and vitamin E are also strongly recommended in your dietary and topical treatment regimens.
Retinoids are the powerhouse of your skincare regimen. They have been shown to increase collagen synthesis and decrease the levels of enzymes that destroy collagen. They can also be utilized in the treatment of acne.
New studies in IPL (lasers) and LED light therapy have shown promise in the treatment of wrinkles. Red light therapy, in particular encourages collagen synthesis.
Botulinum toxin injections and dermal fillers have been making waves in the cosmetic industry for their ability to treat existing wrinkles and prevent new ones from forming. Botulinum toxin smooths the muscles that pull on weakening skin, causing divots to appear in the skin. Dermal fillers smooth over the divoted areas, giving you a smooth, plump complexion.
Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, formulates new collagen cells over a periods of months to create long-lasting, younger-looking skin. This is an innovative treatment that is rapidly gaining popularity.
Chemical peels wipe away the appearance of sun damage by changing the fundamental layers of your skin and taking off the old, dead layers. It rapidly produces new, younger-looking skin.
Wow. It's a lot, and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what is right for you. That's where your healthcare professional comes onto the field. Nurse injectionists, estheticians, and dermatologists are specifically trained to assess your skin and make clinical decisions about what is right for you. Not everyone is a candidate for toxin, and not everyone can tolerate chemical peels. Overall, making an appointment to be assessed and having a skincare regimen created for you is the way to go.
Having said that, please see our guides on the various skincare treatments located under the services tab. They provide excellent and thorough descriptions of the benefits of each treatment and how they can help your skin.
Baumann, Leslie. Cosmetic Dermatology: Principles and Practice. 2nd ed., McGraw-Hill Medical, 2009.