Until someone discovers the fountain of youth, the quest to smooth out wrinkles will continue. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments available to reduce them. Remember, though, that there's no permanent fix for the signs of aging, and some treatments can bring distressing side effects.
Topical medicines and creams can be effective in reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Creams that contain alpha-hydroxy acids can make small improvements on the skin, but they can cause very mild irritation. Retin-A, also known as retinoic acid, is more effective at reducing fine lines, but it must be used for several months. It can also make your skin red and more sensitive to the sun.
For a more intensive treatment, you may wish to try dermal fillers or Botox. Dermal fillers are fat or collagen that doctors inject into the skin. Botox, also known as botulinum, is a toxin that relaxes the muscles and reduces frown lines. Rare side effects of Botox injections include headache, nausea and flu-like symptoms.
During skin treatments such as dermabrasion and microdermabrasion, specialists sand down the surface of the skin. The two techniques are similar, but microdermabrasion attempts to remove less surface skin. A similar treatment is a chemical peel, which uses an acid to burn the outer layer. All three of these treatments leave your skin smoother for up to several weeks, but you'll also probably experience redness and irritation.
Laser treatments can also break down the outer layer of the skin. Although it's effective, it can take a few months for the skin to recover from the treatment. A facelift can also erase lines by removing excess skin and tightening the remaining skin to smooth out lines.
To learn more about skin wrinkles and skin health, check out the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Mature Skin." (Aug. 19, 2009) http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/sun_mature.html
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Botulin Toxin." (Aug. 19, 2009) http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/cosmetic_botulinum.html
- Baumann, Leslie. "Too Much Sugar Causes Wrinkles." Yahoo Health. (Aug. 19, 2009) http://health.yahoo.com/experts/skintype/15198/too-much-sugar-causes-wrinkles
- Bernstein, Eric. "Causes of Aging Skin?" (Aug. 19, 2009) http://www.wrinkles.org/agingskin.aspx
- Roan, Shari. "It May be Vitamin D's Day in the Sun." Los Angeles Times. Aug. 1, 2009. (Aug. 19, 2009) http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-sci-vitamind1-2009aug01,0,4706112.story
- Mayo Clinic. "Botox Injections." (Aug. 19, 2009) http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/botox/MY00078/METHOD=print&DSECTION=all
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- Mayo Clinic. "Wrinkles." (Aug. 19, 2009) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/wrinkles/DS00890
- Rockoff, Alan. "Wrinkles." MedicineNet. (Aug. 19, 2009) http://www.medicinenet.com/wrinkles/article.htm
- Simon, Harvey. "Skin Wrinkles and Blemishes." University of Maryland Medical Center. (Aug. 19, 2009) http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/skin_wrinkles_000021.htm
- Stein, Rob. "Vitamin D Deficiency Called Major Health Risk." The Washington Post. May 12, 2004. (Aug. 19, 2009) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43711-2004May20.html
- WebMD. "Cosmetic Procedures: Wrinkles." (Aug. 19, 2009) http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/guide/cosmetic-procedures-wrinkles?ecd=wnl_wmh_081709
- WebMD. "A Wrinkle in Time: Preventing Damage to Aging Skin." (Aug. 19, 2009) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/how-life-affects-aging-skin?