Wrinkles: Causes and Treatments of lines in Skin

Wrinkles (rhytides) are folds, creases, grooves or lines in the skin. Smiles and frowns temporarily cause skin wrinkles. Permanent wrinkles occur with skin aging, in both men and women. Prolonged sun exposure speeds up wrinkles, but other risk factors are also known. The skin wrinkles themselves usually appear on parts of the body that have been exposed most often to the sun, such as the face, neck and back of hands and arms. Some people find wrinkles unsightly, so they opt for treatment to have them removed. There are various wrinkle treatments that remove fine to deep lines. These treatment techniques are not very successful.

Natural aging process of the skin

With skin aging wrinkles occur. Skin aging is a natural process. As people age, the skin thins, dries out and becomes less elastic. The skin is therefore less able to protect itself against damage. This leads to wrinkles, folds and lines on the skin. The speed of progression is often unstoppable. Facial expressions, such as repeated smiling or frowning, sometimes lead to fine lines and wrinkles even at a young age. When a person uses a facial muscle, a groove is created under the surface of the skin. In a young person, the skin recoils, but as the person ages, the skin loses its flexibility. The spring back is no longer so smooth and also less frequent, which results in permanent grooves.

Risk factors of skin aging

However, some environmental factors accelerate the aging of the skin.

Smoking and alcohol consumption

Exposure to cigarette smoke is a risk factor for the faster appearance of wrinkles on the skin. This reduces blood flow to the skin. The (excessive) use of alcohol is also out of the question as it causes the skin to wrinkle. The skin dries out by drinking alcohol, and with dry skin wrinkles are formed more quickly. Stopping smoking and drinking alcohol excessively are useful tips to prevent the skin from aging rapidly.

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Regular exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet light for recreational or work-related activities results in early skin wrinkles and dark areas of the skin ( age spots ). UV light breaks down the collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. These fibers form the connective tissue of the skin. They are located below the skin surface and support the skin. When this layer breaks down, the skin thins and weakens and becomes less flexible. This results in ‘hanging’ skin and wrinkles. Exposure to sunlight also increases the chance of getting skin cancer. It is advisable to always wear clothing that covers the body, such as wide-brimmed hats and garments with long sleeves so that wrinkles are less likely to manifest. Sunlight is a vital source of vitamin D, and vitamin D is needed for good bone strength, among other things.