What causes wrinkles?
Sagging skin and wrinkles are two of our biggest patient concerns. There are many factors that cause our skin to wrinkle:
- Lack of support – The collagen and elastin that provides your skin’s deep supporting structure and resilience begin to slow their replacement rates beginning in your late 20’s. This means the underlying collagen and elastin fibers which provide the foundation of your skin begin to loosen and unravel, creating less support and tightness. As more collagen and elastin is affected, we begin to see the outward effect – wrinkles and sagging.
- UV exposure – UVA/UVB exposure severely compromises collagen’s ability to rejuvenate its normal basket-weave matrix. Collagen literally gets “out of line”. UV rays damage collagen fibers and cause the accumulation of abnormal elastin which creates enzymes called metalloproteinases. These enzymes normally remodel sun-damaged skin by manufacturing more collagen. However, during sun exposure, this enzyme actually breaks down elastin. When this damaged rebuilding process is repeated over and over, you develop wrinkles.
- Environmental factors – Pollution, smoking, stress, lack of sleep, and harsh climate all contribute to reducing healthy skin rejuvenation.
- Sleeping position – Sleeping in the same position on a pillow every night can create “sleep lines” which can become permanently etched on your face. Sleeping on the side of your face results in chin and cheek wrinkles. Sleeping face-down enhances forehead wrinkles.
- Repetitive facial expressions – Just as exercising your body muscles causes them to strengthen, facial expressions cause your facial muscles to become stronger through habitual repeated use. As the supporting skin loses resilience, the stronger facial muscles repeatedly fold and refold skin in the same places. These typically develop into frown lines, crow’s feet, lip lines, and deepening nasolabial folds (the “parentheses or smile lines” on either side of your nose.)
- Smoking – Smoking definitely prematurely ages skin. Tobacco chemicals and decreased oxygen levels damage your skin’s natural rejuvenative capacity. The action of smoking also creates repetitive muscle motions resulting in vertical wrinkles around your mouth. Studies of identical twins, where one is a smoker, show the smoking twin to look many years older.
- Hormone reduction – It’s difficult to determine exactly which skin effects result from normal aging hormonal changes and which are caused by sun damage, but studies indicate that loss of estrogen has some effect on wrinkling.
Wrinkle formation follows a life cycle time line and starts earlier than you think. That is why we recommend early intervention, using mild modalities to maintain and support collagen. You get to go into the next ten years with the collagen-creating abilities you preserve and develop now; which means postponing wrinkles and preventing deep, distracting and annoying creases.
20-25 (Yes that early!) Vertical wrinkles appear lightly on the forehead and eyebrows. Fine lines, the prelude to deeper wrinkles, are barely noticeable.
25-35 Wrinkles begin to deepen, caused by the natural slowing of your skin’s cellular renewal and aided by superficial skin drying.
35-50 As collagen breaks down and is unable to renew itself correctly, deeper wrinkles and lines appear around the thin skin of the eyes, mouth, forehead and temples. Skin loses its elasticity and facial contours become less well-defined.
50+ With menopause, hormonal changes accelerate the skin’s aging process. Lines become more closely packed and furrows become deeper.
Fortunately we have a large array of procedures and effective prescription strength products that are quite effective on wrinkles. Like sagging skin, the secret to resolving wrinkles is getting the skin to produce collagen as it did during earlier stages of life. Therapies like MicroLaserPeel®, Ultherapy®, fractional laser, and Botox® help firm and tighten skin, and relax the underlying wrinkle-creating muscles. Dermal fillers, e.g. Juvéderm® and Restylane®, can help fill deep wrinkles, especially when applied using one of Dr. Mudd’s unique injection methods. For those who are looking to get an early jump on wrinkles or who want to add an extra layer to their wrinkle-fighting regimen, there is Gentle Waves® and Hydrofacial®. These are less intense but effective for early wrinkle prevention, and effective in supporting more intensive wrinkle-fighting programs. A good skin support program for daily skin health, including a good cleanser, anti-wrinkle serum, moisturizer and SPF 30 daily protectant, along with good nutrition and hydration, are essential to wrinkle prevention.
If you are interested to eliminating your wrinkles, you owe it to yourself to call and arrange a consult with Dr. Mudd to find out what options are best for you.