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All about wrinkles how wrinkle forms causes of wrinkles treatments to cure wrinkle cosmetic therapies for wrinkles medical treatments for wrinkles preventing the development of wrinkles anti-wrinkle creams and cosmetics

What causes wrinkles?

Although people may have a genetic predisposition to severe wrinkling, it is known that sun exposure promotes and exacerbates wrinkling of the skin. Smoking may also negatively affect the skin.

Ageing Process

As a person ages, skin cells divide more slowly, and the inner skin, or dermis, starts to thin. Fat cells beneath the dermis begin to atrophy, and the underlying network of elastin and collagen fibres, which provides scaffolding for the surface layers, loosens and unravels. Skin loses its elasticity; when pressed, it no longer springs back to its initial position but instead sags and forms furrows. The skin's ability to retain moisture diminishes; the sweat and oil-secreting glands atrophy, depriving the skin of their protective water-lipid emulsions. As a consequence, the skin becomes dry and scaly. In addition, the ability of the skin to repair itself diminishes with age, so wounds are slower to heal.

Frown lines (those between the eyebrows) and crow's feet (lines that radiate from the corners of the eyes) appear to develop because of persistent small muscle contractions. Habitual facial expressions also form characteristic lines, contributing to the formation of jowls and drooping eyelids. Skin loses its elasticity. When pressed, it no longer springs back to its initial position but instead sags and forms furrows. The sweat- and oil-secreting glands atrophy, depriving the skin of their protective water-lipid emulsions. The skin's ability to retain moisture then diminishes and it becomes dry and scaly. Frown lines (those between the eyebrows) and crow's feet (lines that radiate from the corners of the eyes) appear to develop because of permanent small muscle contractions. Habitual facial expressions also form characteristic lines. Gravity exacerbates the situation, contributing to the formation of jowls and drooping eyelids. (Eyebrows, surprisingly, move up as a person ages, possibly because of forehead wrinkles.)

Sun Damage (Photoageing)

The skin can also age prematurely as a result of prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation emanating from the sun (called extrinsic or photoageing). The role of the sun cannot be overestimated as the most important cause of ageing skin and skin cancers. Overall, exposure to ultraviolet (referred to as UVA or UVB) radiation from sunlight accounts for about 90% of the symptoms of premature skin ageing, and most of these effects occur by age 20. Both UVA and UVB rays cause damage leading to wrinkles, lower immunity against infection, ageing skin disorders, and cancer. Even small amounts of UV radiation damage collagen fibres (the major structural protein in the skin) and cause accumulation of abnormal elastin (the protein that causes tissue to stretch). During the process, large amounts of enzymes called metalloproteinases are produced. The normal function of these enzymes is to remodel the sun-injured tissue by synthesising and reforming collagen. This is an imperfect process, however, and to achieve it, some of these enzymes actually degrade collagen. The result is an uneven formation (matrix) of disorganised collagen fibres called solar scars. If this process of imperfect skin rebuilding occurs over and over, wrinkles result. Sunlight damages collagen fibers (the major structural protein in the skin) and causes accumulation of abnormal elastin (the protein that causes tissue to stretch). In response to this sun-induced elastin accumulation, large amounts of enzymes called metalloproteinases are produced. (One study indicated that when people with light to moderate skin color are exposed to sunlight for just five to 15 minutes, metalloproteinases remain elevated for about a week.) The normal function of these metalloproteinases is generally positive, to remodel the sun-injured tissue by manufacturing and reforming collagen. (They may even have factors that protect against melanoma, although this is not clear.)

Other Factors

Other environmental factors, including cigarette smoke and pollution, particularly ozone, may hasten ageing by producing oxygen-free radicals. These are particles produced by many of the body's normal chemical processes; in excessive amounts they can damage cell membranes and interact with genetic material, possibly contributing to the development of a number of skin disorders, including wrinkles and, more importantly, cancer. Rapid weight loss can also cause wrinkles by reducing the volume of fat cells that cushion the face. This not only makes a person look gaunt, but can cause the skin to sag. Air pollution. Ozone, a common air pollutant, may be a particular problem for the skin. One study reported that it might deplete the amount of vitamin E in the skin; this vitamin is an important anti oxidant. Rapid weight loss can also cause wrinkles by reducing the volume of fat cells that cushion the face. This not only makes a person look gaunt, but can cause the skin to sag.

More information on wrinkles

What're wrinkles? - Skin wrinkles are grooves in the skin. Wrinkles can be on the surface of the skin or can be quite deep. Wrinkles are the thin, creased, and sagging skin.
How a wrinkle is formed? - Normal ageing leads to the formation of skin wrinkles. Wrinkles are also caused by facial expressions.
What causes wrinkles? - As a person ages, skin cells divide more slowly. Sun exposure promotes and exacerbates wrinkling of the skin. Smoking may also negatively affect the skin.
What treatments are available to cure wrinkle? - For fine wrinkles, retinoic acid may be applied to the skin to fill in the crevices. Wrinkles may also be treated by topical creams and ointments.
What cosmetic therapies are available for wrinkles? - Cosmetic therapies for the treatment of wrinkles are facelifts, laser resurfacing, non-ablative laser resurfacing and iImplantation.
What medical treatments are available for wrinkles? - Topical products is beneficial for skin damaged by the sun and also by natural aging. Alpha hydroxy acids facilitate the shedding of dead skin cells.
How to prevent the development of wrinkles? - Onset of wrinkles and further progression of those already present can be prevented by avoiding episodes of excessive sun exposure.
What anti wrinkle creams and cosmetics are available? - Cosmetics, if properly applied, can be surprisingly effective in camouflaging the signs of aging skin, including wrinkles and age spots. 
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005