The Causes of Fine Lines and Wrinkles
As both the earliest and the most obvious form of facial aging, fine lines and wrinkles occur on every face eventually. Despite their inevitability, though, they don’t all come from the same place.
When most people think of their facial aging, they think of it as the result of natural deterioration of the skin. For many types of wrinkles, that’s pretty accurate. This type of wrinkle is called a static wrinkle, and it occurs when essential skin components like collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid disintegrate naturally over time. This process is often accelerated by factors like excessive tanning, smoking, and other activities that damage the skin. Combined with the effects of gravity over time, this weakening of the internal structure of the skin causes slackening and loss of volume that leads to fine lines, drooping skin, and wrinkles.
The other, less-known type of wrinkle is called a dynamic wrinkle. This type of wrinkle is also fundamentally caused by the deterioration of the healing compounds in skin, but instead of coming straight from gravity, it is caused by repetitive movements that crease the skin. Dynamic wrinkles form in areas of the face where the muscles are particularly active and include common wrinkles like horizontal lines on the forehead, furrows between the eyebrows, and crow’s feet at the outer corners of the eyes. Over time, dynamic wrinkles turn into static wrinkles as the aging skin stops bouncing back from repeated facial expressions.
Solutions for Fine Lines and Wrinkles
So what can be done about your facial aging? There are a lot of options, but the right answer for your fine lines and wrinkles depends on both the extent of the problem and the underlying cause.
Dynamic wrinkles can be headed off at the pass with neurotoxins like Botox® and Dysport. When injected into overactive areas of the face, these neurotoxins block nerve impulse, causing the muscles to relax. With a simple injection and practically no downtime, these compounds immediately reduce the appearance of dynamic wrinkles like crow’s feet and brow furrows, and over time, they can prevent them from turning into static wrinkles.
Fillers (Restylane Silk, Volbella and Belotero)
Once deep static wrinkles have formed, the most effective noninvasive treatments are dermal fillers like Restylane Silk, Volbella and Belotero. These smooth gels are made up of a suspension of hyaluronic acid, which is a natural building block of skin. Once injected into the treatment area, the hyaluronic acid stimulates production of collagen and binds to moisture, naturally plumping the area, erasing fine lines, and filling in deeper wrinkles. Quick and practically pain-free, fillers can be effective treatments for everything from nasolabial creases to under eye hollows to smokers’ lines around the lips.
If your facial aging has progressed to a point where topical treatments just aren’t enough any more, E-Matrix is an effective treatment that can visibly reduce fine lines and mild-to-moderate wrinkles as well as improve the texture and evenness of your skin. The radio energy from the applicator penetrates the skin’s surface, heating it to trigger a healing response that produces fresh collagen to naturally firm and smooth the skin. Discomfort from the procedure is minimal, and good results can be seen with just three or four treatments.
CORE Laser Resurfacing
Laser treatments are another good option for reducing or eliminating visible fine lines and moderate wrinkles. It’s especially useful for delicate areas like the under-eye region as well as the sensitive skin on the hands, neck, and décolletage. Using a CORE CO2 laser, the outer layers of the skin are carefully removed by gentle pulses of light. This removes a great deal of the damage as well as stimulating the skin to produce its own natural healing compounds to regenerate fresh, smooth skin. After a ten-day healing period, many patients report that their skin looks and feels a full decade younger.
One of the first lines of defense against fine lines is a good skincare regimen. While there are a number of fine products sold over-the-counter, some of the best and most scientifically-proven performers can only be had by prescription. Topical retinoids such as tretinoin or Retin-A are clinically proven to help prevent fine lines from forming when they’re started early, and in some cases they can help to reduce the initial signs of aging even after they have already appeared. Dr. Walder can help you determine if retinoids would be effective in your situation.
Q. How do I know if I have static or dynamic wrinkles?
A. Generally, static wrinkles are visible even if your face is completely relaxed, while dynamic wrinkles appear only if you raise your eyebrows, furrow your brow, or otherwise tense your face.
Q. What can I do to prevent new wrinkles from forming?
A. A good skincare regimen is key for holding off facial aging as long as possible. In addition to staying moisturized and incorporating a topical retinoid into your routine, be sure to wear sunscreen daily to prevent sun damage that can reduce the elasticity of your skin.
Q. What’s the difference between all the different fillers?
A. The primary difference between fillers is the texture or density of the gel. Thicker fillers are a better choice for filling deeper wrinkles since they have more volume, while thinner fillers work best for smoothing out fine lines in delicate places near the lips or eyes. During your consultation, you’ll be able to find out which is the best for your situation.
Q. How long will these treatments last?
A. It depends on the treatment. The more dramatic results from fillers and neurotoxins normally last 6-12 months, while results from the CORE laser and E-Matrix will be more subtle but longer lasting, as long as you maintain them with good skincare and sun protection.
Q. Can I do these treatments at home?
A. A good skincare routine is vital and can be performed at home once you have the correct products. Laser and injection techniques must be performed by a licensed professional to ensure safety and good results.