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General Dermatology


Wrinkles

Wrinkles are a natural part of the aging process. They occur most frequently in areas exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck, back of the hands and forearms. Over time, skin gets thinner, drier and less elastic. Ultimately, this causes wrinkles - either fine lines or deep furrows. In addition to sun exposure, premature aging of the skin is associated with smoking, heredity and skin type (higher incidence among people with fair hair, blue-eyes and light skin).

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Causes

When you get older, skin loses elasticity, becomes thinner and retains less moisture, so wrinkle lines and creases begin to appear. Several factors influence the development of wrinkles, including:
  • Age
  • Exposure to sun and UV rays
  • Heredity
  • Skin coloring (i.e. those with fair skin)
  • Smoking

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Treatment

Treatment for wrinkles runs the gamut from topical creams and moisturizers to cosmetic procedures. The most common medical treatments are:

  • Alpha-hydroxy acid treatments to subtly improve the look of wrinkles
  • Antioxidant creams that reduce the appearance of wrinkles
  • Moisturizers to keep skin looking taut
  • Vitamin A acid to alleviate some signs of aging

Cosmetic procedures include:
  • Chemical peels to burn the outer layer of skin and encourage re-growth of new cells
  • Dermabrasion to remove the surface layer of skin
  • Injected chemicals, such as Botox and Restylane, to make skin look smoother
  • Laser resurfacing to promote growth of tighter, smoother skin
  • Plastic surgery to remove excess skin

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Prevention

  • Frequently moisturize your skin
  • Do not smoke
  • Limit time in the sun
  • Use skin-care products with an SPF of 30 or greater
  • Wear protective clothing and wide brimmed hats while outdoors




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