As we go through life, it is inevitable that we develop some wrinkles – some appear with laugher and some with frowning, others become obvious as the overlying skin loses its thickness and elasticity…
Not all wrinkles make us look old and some, like crow’s feet in men, can even be considered a distinguishing feature. Then, of course, there are those that annoy us and all we want to do is get rid of them. Luckily, there are plenty of options available to treat wrinkles if that is what you would like.
WHAT TYPES OF WRINKLES ARE THERE?
Wrinkles and grooves that appear when we move your facial muscles are called dynamic wrinkles. If we frown or raise our eyebrows a lot, that is when dynamic wrinkles become apparent.
Static wrinkles are those that show on the skin even when the face is at rest. These lines are due to the skin losing collagen and elastin. Many dynamic wrinkles, specially in the forehead, will eventually cause static lines that are visible all the time.
WHAT CAUSES WRINKLES?
Loss of collagen and elastin as we age causes our skin to become thin and easily “overwhelmed” by the underlying muscles when we laugh or smile.
Sun damage, stress, smoking, not drinking enough water and poor diet can all contribute to and speed up the ageing process. The UV light damages the DNA in the deeper layer of your skin, tobacco smoke narrows the blood vessels and restricts the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the skin. Toxins in the smoke destroy collagen and elastin. Stress causes our body to produce a hormone called cortisol that reduces collagen and elastin production. All this leads to skin that is dull, thin and has very pronounced lines.
HOW CAN WE TREAT WRINKLES?
Several non-surgical treatment options exist for treating wrinkles.
TOXIN INJECTIONS are extremely popular for treatment of dynamic wrinkles. They relax the muscle that forms the skin creases and the skin remains smooth because the movement is diminished. Static wrinkles may improve if you use Toxins for a period of time, but this effect is not seen for a few months.
Lines that can be treated with Toxins are forehead lines, crow’s feet and sometimes smoker’s lines. . I am also seeing many younger patients who use Toxin injections to prevent static and dynamic wrinkles from occurring.
Toxin injections last on average 3 months, but you may find that you need treatments less frequently over time.
DERMAL FILLERS are used to smooth out static wrinkles and lines and are extremely effective. They are injected into the affected area to smooth and plump out the skin. Fillers are made of hyaluronic acid that is made by our bodies naturally. Over time hyaluronic acid in the filler is broken down, but the treatment effect does last around 6-9 months.
SKIN BOOSTERS AND BIOSTIMULATORS: This is an injectable treatment that aims to improve overall skin condition and firmness. The substances injected are either a form of “light” (non-dense) hyaluronic acid or another substance that causes skin to produce collagen, plus vitamins and anti-oxidants. Normally a larger area of skin is treated, rather than individual lines, but as the skin gets firmer, the lines and wrinkles are smoothed in a very natural way.
This is a great treatment if you are new to injectables or would like to improve the overall glow of your skin without changing the contours of your face or treating one specific line.
Any area of the face can be treated with an appropriate product. The best results are seen after 2 sessions and last around 4-6 months.
SKIN RESURFACING and MICRONEEDLING are great treatments for those areas that cannot be injected safely with either Toxin or Fillers. They both act by stimulating collagen production in the skin and improving its overall strength and elasticity. Resurfacing uses thermal energy for collagen stimulation and microneedling relies on creating microscopic channels in the skin that heal by laying down new collagen.
Smokers’ lines, laugh lines and wrinkles under and around the eye area are commonly treated by resurfacing or microneedling with great results.
Normally several treatments are required to achieve the best result, but the effects are long lasting – improvements can be seen for over a year; shorter maintenance sessions can be scheduled once every 6-9 months.
CHEMICAL PEELS exfoliate the skin, remove old skin cells and stimulate new skin growth. The depth of the peel can be adjusted depending on the severity of the wrinkles. Superficial peels work on just the top layer of the skin. They are ideal for reducing fine lines and wrinkles in a younger skin. Since the procedure is quick and has virtually no downtime, it can be seen as part of your regular skin care routine.
Medium depth peels are more aggressive and deal with deeper forehead wrinkles and uneven skin tone due to sun damage. The downtime can be a day or two, but the effects can last up to 1 year. It is a great treatment if you are usure about injectables or do not like the idea of energy based skin resurfacing.
WHAT IS THE BEST ANTI-WRINKLE TREATMENT FOR ME?
That depends not only on the type of wrinkles you have but also your lifestyle, your preferences and your treatment goals. At my clinic we will take into account all of the factors above and together decide on the option to get the best result for you.