Fine Lines & Wrinkles

Wrinkles and fine lines, an inevitable part of aging, can make a person look old, sad, angry or tired. To look younger and/or more refreshed, many people who have wrinkles and fine lines seek treatment. Fortunately, there are countless options, including creams, dermal fillers, peels, laser treatments and surgery, for improving the look of the skin.

Causes of Wrinkles and Fine Lines

Wrinkles and fine lines are the result of several factors, some of which are beyond a person's control. During aging, skin naturally thins and loses elasticity, which allows lines and creases to form, usually around the eyes, on the forehead and at the corners of the mouth. Through years of repeated muscle contraction, lines and wrinkles tend to develop in these areas. Certain people may be genetically prone to getting wrinkles.

Many people also develop wrinkles and other unwanted skin changes as a result of excessive exposure to harmful substances over a long period of time. Ultraviolet light from the sun or artificial tanning is the leading cause of premature aging; it causes collagen and elastin fibers to break down, resulting in sagging, weakened skin that can more easily develop wrinkles and other signs of aging. Smoking also affects the skin; it can result in early aging by triggering changes in the skin's blood supply. These factors lead to photoaging, which accounts for up to 90 percent of premature skin aging.

Treatments for Wrinkles and Fine Lines

There are many treatments, including the following, designed to improve skin and make the patient look younger:

  • Topical creams
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Laser treatments
  • Chemical peels
  • Soft-tissue fillers
  • Facelifts

The treatment chosen depends on the cause and severity of wrinkles, as well as the age and personal preference of the patient.

Prevention of Wrinkles and Fine Lines

There are many ways to prevent or reduce the effects of photoaging. If avoiding the sun is not possible, it is essential to use sunscreen with an adequate SPF, and wear a hat and/or protective clothing. Avoiding smoking, eating a balanced diet and minimizing stress also help skin to look its best.