Why Do We Get Wrinkles?
There are two types of wrinkles most commonly affecting all of us. The first are dynamic wrinkles caused by the repetitive movement of facial muscled (i.e. smiling or frowning). The second are static wrinkles usually caused by aging skin and loss of elasticity.
As a person ages their skin becomes thinner and the fat cells get smaller. The thinner skin in combination with less volume leads to more noticeable wrinkles and sagging. This is even more apparent if you loose a lot weight, as the fat cells cannot fill-in the space. The skin’s thickness decreases by 10% per decade of life, and skin grows more slowly as we age making the skin less able to repair itself.
Regular exposure to ultraviolet light, UVA or UVB (see Sun Damage section, What is Sun Damage of the Skin?), from sunlight accounts for most of the premature skin aging (photoaging) we see. Some patients in their early 20s already have signs of sun damage, making their skin look older and damaged. The amount of damage to the skin caused by the sun is determined by the total lifetime amount of radiation exposure and the person's pigment protection.
How Can We Prevent Wrinkles?
There are many overall factors that can affect wrinkles and aging. Below is a list of easy steps to prevent premature aging. For those with already damaged skin and signs of premature aging, we have many options for the little lines that mark the passage of time; including prescription creams, chemical peels, and DermaSurfacing and Botox / Dysport.
Here are the most important steps to prevent wrinkles:
- Don't Blame Your Genes: Although we all age at a different rate, our genetics have little to do with how gracefully we age. Genetics will affect 30% of how you age, with 70% controlled by you and your lifestyle choices.
- Protect your skin from the sun. Exposure to UV radiation from the sum causes more genetic mutations, thereby decreasing your body’s ability to heal itself. This causes more wrinkles, skin discoloration, and increases your risk of skin cancer. Use sun screen with SPF 30 or higher and wide-brimmed hat.
- Use antioxidants in your food and on your skin. Since UV rays can damage your skin and cause free-radical, you must make an effort to block the molecular damage. Antioxidants can help your body defend against free radicals. Start by eating foods and drinking beverages that contain antioxidants, including pomegranates, acai berry, blueberries and green tea. In addition you can apply special creams, such as Prevage MD (by Allergan Pharmaceuticals) that contact free radical blockers.
- Wear sunglasses. This will protect both the skin around your eyes and prevent squinting, which directly contributes to wrinkling (crow’s feet).
- Sleep on your back. This will prevent sleep lines from pressing just one side of your face, which can eventually turn into wrinkles.
- Stop smoking. Smokers are more likely to show early signs of aging and wrinkling as compared to nonsmokers. Smoking will damage collagen fibers, dehydration and smoker’s lines around the lips (from lip pursing).
- Limit your facial expressions. Be expressive but keep in mind that unusually animated expressions will cause more creases and wrinkles. You can actually control how you frown, move your eyebrows, and squint.
- Be happy and stress-free. Maintain happy relationships with an optimistic outlook on life. Less stress and worry will help reduce wrinkles.
What Treatments are Available for Wrinkles?
Keep in mind that each person will have a different treatment requirement based on their own wrinkles and aging process. For patients with dynamic wrinkles such as forehead creases, brow furrows or eye lines (crow's feet) produced by specific facial expression muscles repeatedly creasing the skin, the treatment of choice is BOTOX or Dysport. Botulinum toxin (Botox and Dysport) is a sterile, purified protein produced from the bacteria, Clostridium botulinum, in the laboratory. Botox injected in small amounts into facial muscles binds to the nerve endings supplying the muscle and prevents nerve impulses from traveling to the muscle. When injected into muscle, it weakens the muscle around the area injected for a typical period of several months. The weakening temporarily reduces or eliminates previous skin creasing and new skin creasing is avoided.
For patients with more extensive static and dynamic wrinkles Dr. Melamed will use a combination of different treatments, including:
- Botox muscle relaxation: results last 3-4 months. Treatments will reduce or eliminate dynamic wrinkles, and prevent future wrinkles. Treatments are quick and easy.
- Collagen (NASHA) volumizers: results last 6-18 months. Treatments will add volume, making your face look fuller more youthful. Treatments take 30 minutes and will have 1-2 days of redness afterwards.
- Fat transfer volumizers: results last a lifetime. Treatments will add volume using your own fat. Treatments are done as an out-patient surgical treatment by a Certified Cosmetic Surgeon. Using your own fat as a volumizer creates a natural augmentation for the face, especially for the lips and mouth region.
- Laser DermaSurfacing: results last 3+ years or more. Treatments will take away the damaged and wrinkled skin, leaving you with youthful and vibrant skin. It is a new beginning. Treatments take 60 minutes and will have 4-7 days of redness afterwards.
Crow's Foot Treated with Botox
Eyes, Cheeks and Lips: Collagen & Botox
What is the Best Treatment for You?
Expectations of any facial wrinkle therapy must be realistic. While an expectation for the complete and permanent removal of facial wrinkles for those persons considering treatment may be attractive, it is unrealistic, due to the ongoing nature of wrinkle formation and the currently available methods for treatment. The patterns and severity of facial wrinkle formation are highly individual.
Dr. Melamed will evaluate your individual needs and provide you with a comprehensive recommendation. The goal is to improve or reduce the appearance of wrinkles and to give you a fresh look. The final choice will be up to you depending on the location and extent of your wrinkles, the desired duration of the results, and the tolerance for potential side effects. All of these treatments provide additional and complimentary aesthetic benefits when combined with another facial rejuvenation procedure such as facelift, browlift, blepharoplasty or DermSurfacing.
If you have any questions about DermaSurfacing or the various wrinkle treatments or any other procedure or would like to make a Complimentary Consultation please schedule and Online Appointment or call toll free 1-88-88-West LA (310-473-1734).