Wrinkles are a natural part of the aging process. They occur most frequently in areas exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck, back of the hands and forearms. Over time, skin gets thinner, drier and less elastic. Ultimately, this causes wrinkles - either fine lines or deep furrows. In addition to sun exposure, premature aging of the skin is associated with smoking, heredity and skin type (higher incidence among people with fair hair, blue-eyes and light skin).
Treatment for wrinkles runs the gamut from topical creams and moisturizers to cosmetic procedures. The most common medical treatments are:
- Alpha-hydroxy acids, preparations made from "fruit acids" that produce subtle improvements in the appearance of wrinkles.
- Antioxidants, creams consisting of Vitamins A, C and E and beta-carotene that improves the appearance of wrinkles and provides some additional sun protection.
- Moisturizers, which temporarily reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Cosmetic procedures include:
- chemical peels
- plastic surgery
The best prevention for wrinkles is to keep the skin moisturized and use sunscreen and sunblock to prevent additional damage from the sun.