What is it?
Wrinkles are a natural part of aging. As you grow older, your skin gets thinner, drier and less elastic. And it becomes less able to protect itself from damage. As a result, wrinkles, lines and creases form in your skin. Although genetics are the most important determiner of skin texture, a major contributor to wrinkles is spending too much time in the sun. Smoking also can cause premature aging of your skin.
If your wrinkles are bothering 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.
Wrinkles are the lines and creases that form in your skin as you age. Some wrinkles can become deep crevices or furrows and may be especially noticeable around your eyes, mouth and neck.
Wrinkles are caused by a combination of factors — some you can control, others you can't:
- Age. As you get older, your skin naturally thins and becomes less elastic and more fragile. Decreased production of natural oils makes your skin drier and appear more wrinkled. Fat in the deeper layers of your skin, which gives the skin a plump appearance, starts to lessen. This causes loose, saggy skin and more pronounced lines and crevices.
- Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Ultraviolet radiation markedly speeds up the natural aging process and is the primary cause of early wrinkling. Exposure to UV light breaks down your skin's connective tissue — collagen and elastin fibres, which lie in the deeper layer of skin (dermis). Without the supportive connective tissue, your skin loses its strength and flexibility. As a result, skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely.
- Smoking. Smoking can accelerate the normal aging process of your skin, contributing to wrinkles. This may be due to changes in the blood supply to your skin.
- Repeated facial expressions. Facial movements and expressions, such as squinting or smiling, lead to fine lines and wrinkles. Each time you use a facial muscle, a groove forms beneath the surface of the skin. And as skin ages, it loses its flexibility and is no longer able to spring back in place. These grooves then become permanent features on your face.