Wrinkles - Symptoms, causes and treatment

Wrinkles are folds, lines, or wrinkles that appear on the skin. This condition is a major sign of the aging process. Wrinkles generally appear on parts of the skin that are often exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck, arms, and hands.

Wrinkles Causes and Risk Factors

Wrinkles are caused by many factors, including:

  • Age.As a person ages, the elasticity of his skin will decrease. Decreased production of fat and collagen will make the skin dry and wrinkled.
  • Exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation in the long term can accelerate the skin aging process. In fact, more than 80 percent of wrinkles are caused by UV exposure. This is because UV rays damage elastin and collagen in the deep layer of the skin (dermis). Damage to both connective tissue will cause the skin to sag and wrinkle faster.
  • Smoke.Nicotine can cause blood vessels in the outer layer of the skin to constrict. This condition makes blood flow to the skin disturbed, so the skin lacks oxygen and nutrients. The 4000+ chemicals in cigarettes can also damage collagen and elastin, thereby accelerating the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Facial expressions. The habit of expressing your face can also cause wrinkles. Every time a person makes a facial expression, such as frowning or squinting, facial muscles form indentations under the skin's surface. With age, facial muscles will lose flexibility, and curves will become more visible.

In addition to those already mentioned above, the appearance of wrinkles can also be associated with several factors, such as:

  • Descendants
  • Melanin deficiency
  • Hormonal changes
  • Weight loss.

Wrinkle Treatment

There are several methods for dealing with wrinkles, one of which is medication, such as:

  • Retinoids. Retinoids are vitamin A derivatives that are known to be effective in dealing with wrinkles and skin aging. Retinoids work by neutralizing free radicals that can trigger the breakdown of collagen, an important type of protein that keeps skin healthy and youthful. In addition, retinoids can also stimulate collagen production.

    In order to get the desired results, it would be better if the patient first consulted a doctor. The doctor will prescribe the right retinoid, according to the patient's needs. In general, doctors will prescribe a retinoid cream that contains tretinoin.

    Retinoid creams are only used at night, because they are very sensitive to UV rays. Make sure to always use sunscreen and clothes that protect the skin when you are active during the day, to avoid side effects such as sunburn. It is important to read the instructions for use and perform patch test before using skin care products, including retinoid creams. This is to prevent allergic reactions on the skin.

  • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA). AHAs are a group of naturally occurring acids that can be found in fruit, such as lactic acid or glycolic acid. AHAs work by removing the top layer of dead skin cells, and increasing the thickness of the inner layers of the skin.
  • Antioxidant. Antioxidants are compounds that function to prevent or slow down cell damage. These compounds can be found naturally in vegetables and fruits, or in artificial supplements. Some examples of antioxidants are beta-carotene, lutein, and vitamins A, C, and E.
  • Normal moisturizer. Patients can also use over-the-counter anti-wrinkle creams. However, these creams do not remove wrinkles, but only disguise them.

Another method of treating wrinkles is with medical procedures, such as dermabrasion, botox, and PRP. Each of these procedures has different results and side effects. Keep in mind that, there is no way to stop the skin aging process. Therefore, patients need to undergo the procedure repeatedly, in order for the results to persist. Some medical procedures to treat wrinkles include:

  • Peeling.Peeling is an acid peeling procedure. This procedure aims to remove the top layer of skin, and grow new, younger-looking skin. Some of the acids commonly used in this procedure are glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and trichloroacetic acid.
  • Dermabrasion. This procedure aims to scrape the outermost layer of skin using a special tool. The skin area treated with dermabrasion will be red and sensitive, but after that new, firmer skin will grow.
  • Microdermabrasion. Just like dermabrasion, microdermabrasion also aims to rejuvenate the skin, by removing the outermost layer of skin. The difference is, if dermabrasion is more suitable for light-skinned patients, microdermabrasion can be performed on all skin types.
  • Type A botox injections. Botox injections (botulinum toxin) in small doses can prevent muscles from contracting. Botox can remove wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes. However, the results only last 3 to 4 months, so it is necessary to re-inject to maintain the results.
  • Laser resurfacing. This method aims to stimulate the production of collagen to grow new, firmer skin. Depending on the condition of the patient's wrinkles, the doctor may perform laser ablation or non-ablation therapy.
  • Therapy ultrasound. Apart from being a method for diagnosing a disease, ultrasound It can also be used to remove wrinkles. Therapy ultrasound or ultherapy,as HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound), can treat wrinkles on the face, neck, chin, and chest.
  • Plastic Surgery. One example of plastic surgery for the face is facelift or facial pulling surgery. In facelift, the plastic surgeon will remove excess skin and fat in the lower part of the face, then tighten the muscles and connective tissue around it. The results can last 5 to 10 years.
  • Injection of tissue filler. This method involves injecting fat, collagen, or hyaluronic acid into deep wrinkles on the face. This procedure is only effective for a few months, so it must be repeated.

Wrinkle Prevention

Some simple steps that can be taken to prevent wrinkles and make skin youthful, include:

  • Avoid sun exposure. Protect your skin from UV rays by wearing a hat, glasses and long sleeves. In addition, always use sunscreen every time you leave the house. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more, with protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use a moisturizer. Moisturizing products will prevent dry skin which can cause wrinkles to appear more quickly. In addition, certain products, such as hydrating toner and essence, can also be used to help prevent and treat dry skin.
  • Quit smoking. A person who has smoked for many years can still prevent more wrinkles from appearing by quitting smoking.
  • Healthy diet pattern. Research shows that a good intake of vitamins in the diet can protect the skin from premature wrinkles.