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Wrinkles and Anti-Wrinkle Treatments

Written by Kalyani Thivakaran, B.Tech (Industrial Biotechnology) | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nithin Jayan, MBBS, DNB on Dec 10, 2014
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What are Wrinkles?

A wrinkle is a fold or ridge in the skin. Wrinkling of the skin may be caused by habitual facial expressions, aging, sun damage, smoking, poor hydration and various other factors.


Anti-Wrinkle Treatments

Anti-wrinkle treatments are those methods by which the deep wrinkles, crow’s feet (wrinkle around the eyes) can be controlled to an extent. Many people undergo these, to maintain a youthful skin even in the later parts of their lives. A few of the anti-wrinkle or anti-aging methods available are laser wrinkle removal, anti wrinkle creams and other anti-aging products.

Cause of Wrinkles and How Anti-Wrinkle Treatment Helps

What Causes Wrinkles?

Wrinkles can be classified into two types, namely surface lines and deep furrows. The major causes of wrinkles are explained as follows:

  • Aging: The skin becomes less elastic and more fragile naturally with age. One of the reasons is the decreased production of natural oils in the skin. The aging process causes the fat in the deeper layers of the skin to diminish, as a result this causes loose, saggy skin and more pronounced wrinkles
  • Exposure to Sun: Over exposure to sun leads to breaking down of collagen and elastin fibres of the skin, damage to the cell DNA and depletion of antioxidants necessary for collagen production and skin repair, ultimately causing wrinkles
  • Smoking: Smoking slows down the process of collagen production. Breaking down of collagen and elastin fibres, narrowing down of blood vessels in the skin leading to slower delivery of vital oxygen and nutrients to the skin etc., are some of the side effects of smoking that promote wrinkling
  • Diet: Unhealthy eating habits can often cause early signs of aging. More intake of processed, packaged foods, fast foods and fried foods can cause bodily reactions that may even lead to premature aging

How do Treatments Help?

In the case of laser treatments, the idea is to use thin laser beams and project them on the skin. The laser beam acts on the surface of the skin and vaporizes the damaged cells that are present on the surface. Henceforth, the natural mechanism of the skin kicks in and new skin cells are produced, thus smoothening out the creases and folds. The anti-aging products and serums, on the other hand, contain ingredients that may act as anti-oxidant, moisturizer and help in smoothening wrinkles or increase collagen production.


Types of Anti-Wrinkle Treatments

What are the Treatments Available for Wrinkles?

The types of anti-wrinkle treatments available can be classified as follows:

  • Laser therapy: There are two types of lasers that are mainly used. They are CO2 laser and Erbium laser. Lasers are used to vaporize the skin's damaged top layer, leaving a softer, smoother skin surface with less pronounced wrinkles
  • Light therapy: Also known as Heliotherapy or Phototherapy, light therapy is a process which consists of exposure to daylight or to specific wavelengths of light such as LED or Infra Red lights
  • Chemical peels: They are used to rejuvenate skin and reduce wrinkles. It involves the removal of damaged skin surface by applying a mild acid solution
  • Dermabration: This involves the abrasion of the skin surface that is damaged, by a small metal brush or file rotating at high speed, to smooth out skin irregularities and wrinkles
  • Injections: Botulinum toxin A and fillers such as bovine collagen, polymer implants and so on are used as injections to wipe out and smoothen wrinkles
  • Anti-aging/wrinkle creams and serums: There are many creams and products with ingredients that have anti-wrinkle properties available over the counter

Effectiveness of Anti-Wrinkle Treatments

How Effective are the Anti Wrinkle Treatments?

There are a myriad number of anti-wrinkle claims in the market today, but are those over the counter creams, serums and treatments really effective? The answer to this, from most of the dermatologists, is an unsure no, in the case of anti-aging creams. The ingredients present in most of these creams, such as retinol, antioxidants, alpha hydroxyl acids, estrogen, hyaluronic acid etc, do help in smoothening out wrinkles and keeping the skin moisturised but the efficacy of these products can’t be surely stated as the products do not come with proper proof for all their claims. There are only a few studies on the safety and ability of these products.

However, if the other options such as laser therapy, light therapy, anti wrinkle injections etc are to be considered, they do have the ability to transform the skin, repair under-eye wrinkles and deep wrinkles etc, and result is a much desired youthful skin. Given the results, it has its own negatives. These treatments are to be performed by experienced professionals. Inexperienced hands can wreak havoc. Also, they are so very expensive and do have side effects. Anything goes wrong in the procedure, the consequences can be devastative.

Food and Drug Administration Concerns

According to the FDA norms, anything that is marketed as a cosmetic need not be proven safe or effective. However for any product, the claims cannot state that it alters the structure or function of the body. While this is the rule, many of the cosmetic companies, even the most popular of them, do not follow this. They make all sorts of claims, which has been a growing concern for the FDA people. Also, the anti wrinkle injection such as Botox, is to be administered only for the fine lines between the eye brows but it is widely popular for various other purposes such as smoothening forehead lines, neck markings etc.

Alternative to Treatment: Aging Gracefully

When it comes to the question, “how to prevent wrinkles naturally?” the answer would lead to a healthier, happier and stress free lifestyle. There are a number of anti aging foods and anti aging diets that can be followed to prevent the much-dreaded wrinkles in a more natural way. The best of anti aging products are no match for the benefits that these regimens can provide for the skin as well as the overall health of the body. There are a number of home remedies for wrinkles. Wrinkles are a part of becoming old and people should learn to accept that. Keeping oneself beautiful is fine but it should not become an obsession and cause stress. Aging beautifully and gracefully is a much better option than putting oneself through so much of pressure and pain in the name of expensive therapies and creams.

  1. Photoaging: What You Need to Know About the Other Kind of Aging - (http://www.skincancer.org/healthy-lifestyle/anti-aging/anti-aging-treatments)
  2. Do anti-aging skin creams work? Mostly no, dermatologists say - (http://phys.org/news/2011-02-anti-aging-skin-creams-dermatologists.html)

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