Wrinkles requiring wrinkle treatment are most likely to develop on those parts of the body that get the most exposure to the sun. They are thus most commonly found on the face, neck, forearms, and the backs of the hands. There are two main types of wrinkles: fine lines and deeper furrows.
Wrinkles have multiple causes. Some, like heredity, are uncontrollable. Others, like smoking and exposure to the sun, can be controlled. Since exposure to the sun is one of the main causes of wrinkles, it is important to protect one’s skin by either staying indoors or wearing sunscreen. There are many types of wrinkle treatment available. Some simply minimize their appearance while others remove them.
Retin-A, Renova, and tretinoin are all retinoid products. These medications have a long track record of effectively treating such signs of aging such as wrinkles, rough skin, and uneven coloring. They put a halt on the breakdown of collagen, a protein that keeps the skin firm and elastic. Retinoids accelerate the turnover of epidermal cells by encouraging old skin cells to die so they can be replaced by healthy new cells. Retinoids also make the dermis thicker and more resistant to wrinkling.
Retinoids can be prescription strength or over-the-counter, and the prescription products can be 100 times more potent than the non-prescription medications that contain retinol. Some dermatologists prefer to be cautious and use retinol on new patients before giving them a prescription. Retinoids can cause skin irritation if they are used too much or in combination with other skin care products, like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
The patient should use only a pea-sized dollop of retinol or prescription retinoid each day. The patient using a prescription retinoid will start to see results in about six to eight weeks. The weaker non-prescription treatments take three to six months to produce results.
More properly known as dermal fillers, these injections quite literally fill in the lines on a client’s face. As a person ages, they lose the subcutaneous fat in their face. The facial muscles are thus closer to the surface of the skin, which makes crows’ feet, smile lines and other wrinkles more visible.
In addition to filling in wrinkles, dermal fillers can also fill in pitted scars. Dermal fillers can be used to make thin lips plumper.
The treatment is straightforward: The dermatologist injects the filler into the wrinkle. Depending on the number of treatment sites, the procedure can take anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes. Most patients need either a local anesthetic or no anesthetic.
The most popular and common dermal fillers are made with hyaluronic acid, which occurs naturally within the human body. Not only do the injections fill in wrinkles, they also stimulate the body’s collagen production. Consequently, the results of a hyaluronic acid injection can last a long time. Depending on the brand used, the results can last from several months to two years. Eventually, however, the body does absorb the hyaluronic acid, and the wrinkles reappear. Examples of hyaluronic acid fillers include Restylane, and Juvederm.
Collagen wrinkle fillers are the oldest type, and they were originally made from a purified form of cow collagen. While these fillers produced natural-looking results, they didn’t last long, and they could cause allergic reactions in some patients. Modern collagen wrinkle fillers are either processed differently or made from synthetic collagen. Cosmoderm and Zyplast are examples of collagen wrinkle fillers.
Synthetic dermal fillers are made in labs. While they are stronger and last longer than other types of fillers, they are also more likely to cause side effects that can include bumps or nodules under the skin. Silicone and Radiesse are examples of synthetic dermal fillers.
Autologous dermal fillers use tissues taken from the patient’s own body. Most dermatologists use fat taken from the stomach, buttocks, or thighs in a procedure called fat transfer or fat grafting. The removal process is basically a minor form of liposuction. The doctor uses either a special cannula or low-gauge hypodermic to avoid damaging the fat cells. After isolating and purifying the fat, they inject it into the wrinkle. The effects can last for up to two years.
Platelet-rich injections or “vampire lifts” involve drawing blood from the patient’s arm. After purifying the blood, the doctor injects it into the treatment site. The doctor may administer a topical anesthetic to numb the treatment area beforehand. The results can last from 12 to 18 months.
For more information about wrinkle treatment and the best options for you, contact our office today.