What Causes Wrinkles?
Repeated facial expression. Many facial wrinkles occur when we make repeated facial expressions. These are known as “dynamic wrinkles” and are caused by the repetitive movement of the underlying facial muscles over the years. Examples of dynamic wrinkles are horizontal forehead lines, vertical frown lines and “crow’s feet” or smile lines around the eyes. Dynamic wrinkles in the upper face are most commonly treated with Botox which relaxes the underlying facial muscles. The lines will gradually smooth out from disuse and new lines are prevented from forming. Expression lines or dynamic wrinkles which are deeply entrenched, even at rest, may require treatment with an injectable filler. These replace volume in the skin and “plump out” the lines. The best results are often achieved with a combination of both Botox and filler.
Loss of collagen and elasticity. Wrinkles can also be caused by gravity and sagging skin. With aging the skin loses its elasticity and gradually begins to sag under the effects of gravity. Examples of these “wrinkles at rest” are the deep creases between the sides of the nose and the sides of the mouth and the “marionette lines” which extend from the lip corners to the jowls. Volume enhancing injectable fillers are a good choice for the treatment of “wrinkles at rest”
Chronic sun exposure. One of the other most important causes of wrinkles is chronic ultraviolet light damage caused by sun exposure. Chronic exposure to the sun’s ultra-violet rays causes the skin to develop fine wrinkles, mottled pigmentation, broken veins, “liver spots”, roughened patches and ultimately skin cancer. A high protection factor sun-screen should be used every day, even in winter. Vitamin C cream used regulrly can also help protect skin from the effects of U-V radiation. Moderate improvement in fine facial wrinkles can be achieved with laser skin rejuvenation or skin peels.
Smoking. Smoking can cause premature aging of the skin by damaging collagen, lowering skin moisture content and reducing vitamin A levels. Chronic cigarette smoking diminishes blood flow within the skin leading to fewer nutrients and less oxygen, a build up of waste products and a reduced ability of the skin to heal. Smokers are particularly vulnerable to the development of lines around the mouth. Viamin A and C creams may improve skin quality, dermal fillers can improve wrinkles, skin peels or laser treatments may improve fine lines and skin tone; however, these will all reappear quite quickly with continued smoking!
Treatments for Wrinkles
Botox. Botulinum Toxin or Botox has been widely used in the past 15 years to successfully soften frown lines; forehead lines and crows feet. It is an injectable protein that stops the transmisson of nerve impulses to muscles and therefore stops the muscles from working. The first treatment lasts for about 3 months , however subsequent treatments will last progressively longer until treatments are only needed every 6 to 9 months. The treatment involves a small number of relatively painless injections taking up to 15 minutes to administer. The full benefit of the treatment can take up to 2 weeks to work. The effect is subtle and people often receive comments that they look really well or are asked if they have just come back from holiday. At the Skin Rejuvenation Clinic we tailor the treatment to what you want. Many people see the “frozen” face that is sported by some Hollywood actresses and are under the impression that they will have no facial expression after Botox. This is not true. We can target only those areas that bother you, leaving other muscles free to move.
Dermal Fillers. At the Skin Rejuvenation Clinic we use hyaluronic acid fillers (Restylane and Juvederm). A filler is an injectable product that is used to fill in a “wrinkle at rest” or well established line. This treatment is especially good for lines in the lower face, such as the naso-labial or smile lines. Fillers can smooth the lines that radiate from the lip border making the mouth look friendlier and younger and reducing lipstick bleeding. For all treatments we provide pain relief in the form of local anasthetic injections or nerve blocks, similar to those used by dentists. Some treatments only require the use of ice to reduce discomfort. The effects of fillers can last anywhere between 6 and 12 months, depending on the product used, the site of injection and other factors.
Chemical Peels. Chemical peels are used to improve dull, lifeless skin, blotchy pigmentation, sun damage, fine wrinkles and open pores. Using Lactic acid – a naturally occuring product found in milk – very fine lines and overall skin texture can be improved. This works by assisting the outer “dead” layer of skin to shed leaving healthy “new” skin to shine through.We initially suggest 30 -50% lactic acid peels, which give a faster result than skin care products but are still a relatively superficial peel with minimal potential for complications. With these peels there is little, if any visible skin shedding, treatment takes about half an hour and there is no need for time off work. A series of 4-6 fortnightly treatments are recommended for optimal results.
IPL Skin Rejuvenation. This treatment is perfect for those looking for a safe, quick procedure to rejuvenate and revitalise the skin. The IPL works by stimulating collagen production which causes a reduction in wrinkles and acne scarring and produces a more even skin tone, smoother texture and decreased pore size. Usually 4-6 treatments are required, spaced 3-5 weeks apart. The treatment is not painful and produces only mild redness, which usually fades within an hour of treatment.
Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been
Mark Twain 1897