Laser Wrinkle Reduction
The appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the skin is considered an inevitable part of the aging process for most people, resulting in creases, folds and hanging skin, on the face, neck, hands and other areas of the body. These changes in the skin often make you older, sad, angry or tired, and may not reflect the energy and youthfulness you still feel.
Many people are bothered by the appearance of wrinkles and seek treatment to rejuvenate the skin and restore a younger-looking appearance. Fortunately, there are countless treatment options available to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, including creams, dermal fillers, peels, laser treatments and surgery. The best procedure for each patient depends on the patient’s individual skin condition and amount of correction desired.
Causes of Wrinkles and Fine Lines
The skin is made up of three different layers, the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous tissue, each of which contribute to the full, strong and smooth appearance that we are born with. The epidermis, which is the outer layer, protects the skin from environmental toxins with special cells called keratinocytes. Underneath the epidermis is the dermis layer, which provides connective tissues including collagen, elastin and other proteins that provide strength and flexibility to the skin. The subcutaneous tissue at the bottom layer is made up of fat cells that insulate the body and produce a full, plump appearance to the skin.
Each of these layers is affected over time as a result of aging, genetics and environmental factors, leading to a more wrinkled, sagging appearance. The skin layers tend to thin while production of tissue slows down, making the skin more susceptible to damage and changes as it lacks its previous support and fast repair abilities. The result is thinner skin with visible lines and wrinkles that can no longer be “filled in” by collagen and fat cells.
As the skin ages, lines and creases form in areas that are affected by common muscular movement, such as facial expressions around the eyes, on the forehead or at the corners of the mouth. Through years of repeated muscle contraction, lines and wrinkles tend to develop in these areas. Over time, habitual sleeping positions, poor hydration, and rapid changes in weight loss and gain may also lead to the formation of wrinkles.
Many people also develop wrinkles and other unwanted skin changes as a long-term result of excessive exposure to harmful substances. Ultraviolet light from the sun or artificial tanning is the leading cause of premature aging, and causes the collagen and elastin fibers to break down, resulting in sagging, weakened skin that can more easily develop wrinkles and other signs of aging. Smoking and air pollution also affects the appearance of the skin and can result in early aging by triggering changes in the blood supply to the skin. These factors lead to photoaging, which accounts for up to 90% of premature skin aging.
Treatment of Wrinkles and Fine Lines
Fortunately, there are a wide range of treatment options to help restore a natural, younger-looking appearance that help patients look as good as they feel. Treatment depends on the cause and severity of wrinkles, as well as the age and personal preference of the patient, and may include:
- Topical creams
- Laser treatments
- Chemical peels
- Soft tissue fillers
During the initial consulation, the doctor will work with the patient to determine the most effective long-term treatment plan to help achieve a refreshed and rejuvenated appearance.
Prevention of Wrinkles and Fine Lines
There are many ways to prevent or reduce the effects of photoaging on the skin which require simple lifestyle changes and adjustments. If avoiding the sun is not possible, it is essential to use sunscreen with adequate SPF and wear a hat and protective clothing. Avoiding alcohol and smoking can also keep skin healthy and prevent wrinkles from developing. Eating a balanced diet and keeping stress at a minimum helps maintain an overall healthy lifestyle and allows skin to look its best as well.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help prevent or postpone wrinkles and other signs of aging. There are also many over-the-counter anti-aging products available to help prevent wrinkles from developing. The doctor will help the patient develop a comprehensive individual plan for long-term prevention of the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and other skin changes.