Wrinkles are a natural part of aging, but they’re most prominent on sun-exposed skin, such as the face, neck, hands and forearms. Although genetics are the most important determinant of skin structure and texture, sun exposure is the major contributor to wrinkles. Environmental exposure, such as to heat, wind and dust, as well as smoking, also may contribute to wrinkling.
If your wrinkles bother you, you have more options than ever to help eliminate or at least diminish their appearance. Medications, skin-resurfacing techniques, fillers, injectables and surgery top the list of effective wrinkle treatments.
Many wrinkle creams and lotions sold in department stores, in drugstores and on the Internet promise to reduce wrinkles and prevent or reverse damage caused by the sun. But these products are not likely to make a noticeable difference in your skin.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies these creams and lotions as cosmetics, which are defined as having no medical value. So the FDA regulates them less strictly than it does drugs. This means that products don’t need to undergo rigorous testing for safety and effectiveness before approval to go on the market.
Because the FDA doesn’t evaluate cosmetic products for effectiveness, there’s no guarantee that any over-the-counter product will reduce your wrinkles.
Here are ways to make the most of your skin’s appearance:
If your wrinkles bother you, you have many options to help eliminate or at least reduce their appearance. Wrinkle treatments include:
Surgical procedures and other techniques
A variety of skin-resurfacing techniques, injectables, fillers and surgical procedures are available to smooth out wrinkles. Each works a little differently and has its own set of potential results and side effects. Some studies indicate that a combination of treatments may yield the most satisfying results.
Keep in mind that results vary depending on the location of your wrinkles and how deep your wrinkles are. However, nothing stops the aging process of skin, so you’ll likely need the treatments repeated to maintain benefits.
These procedures aren’t usually covered by insurance. In addition, any of the procedures can have side effects, so be sure to discuss them with your doctor. Make sure your dermatologist or plastic surgeon is specially trained and experienced in the technique you’re considering.
When you make an appointment with a dermatologist, it’s a good idea to prepare for your appointment by making a list of questions about your skin you want your doctor to answer. For wrinkles, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
Don’t hesitate to ask any other questions you have.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
Wrinkles are caused by a combination of factors — some you can control, others you can’t:
Wrinkles are the lines and creases that form in your skin. Some wrinkles can become deep crevices or furrows and may be especially noticeable around your eyes, mouth and neck.
When to see a doctor
If you’re concerned about the appearance of your skin, see a dermatologist. He or she can help you create a personalized skin care plan by assessing your skin type and evaluating your skin’s condition. A dermatologist can also recommend medical wrinkle treatments.