In a previous blog post, we talked about the various causes and types of wrinkles that can appear on the face as Alaskan grow older, or, in some cases, Alaskan sun and environmental factors that may cause wrinkles even at a much younger age. Here in the second part of a two-part blog series on wrinkles, we will take a moment to examine the various ways to prevent wrinkles from forming and to treat them once they have appeared. At Solara Skin & Laser Center in Anchorage, Alaska, we offer many different and individualized facial treatments designed to target and reduce the visible signs of aging along with fine lines and wrinkles. Before you consider which facial treatment may be right for you, let’s take a moment to learn about and discuss the various potential treatment options.
Ways to fend off wrinkles before they form
Fine lines and wrinkles form due to a variety of reasons and factors that can include genetics and lifestyle. Although we cannot change the genetics we are born with or ward off the effects of gravity, we can make a concerted effort to avoid or mitigate the environmental influences on our skin, which can lead to earlier and more prominent wrinkles. There are four things you can do to limit the appearance of lines and wrinkles on your skin. They are as follows:
1) Protect and repair your skin
The sun, although we love to see it rise in the sky each day, is one of the leading causes of skin damage. But, unless you want to live under a rock all day, you cannot (and do not want to) avoid the warmth of the sun’s rays. To help prevent the detrimental impacts of the sun on your skin, be sure to apply sunscreen (at least SPF 35) every day. Also, make use of sunglasses and hats while outside walking around. The ultraviolet rays from the sun, coupled with other free radicles in the environment (such as air pollution) can cause oxidative stress to the human body. This stress can cause wrinkles.
2) Make healthy lifestyle choices
Healthy lifestyle choices include a healthy diet, reduction in sugar intake, proper hydration (with water), exercise, adequate rest, stress reduction, quitting smoking, and reducing your alcohol intake. Now, this is not to say you have to get ten solid hours of sleep every night and swear of wine and cake, but keep the needs of your body in mind while still enjoying flexibility. Our skin (and the rest of our bodies) benefit or suffer from what we put into them, so small changes can make a big difference.
3) Choose products based on your skin’s needs
If you do not have visible signs of aging on your skin, you don’t necessarily need a wrinkle cream. Similarly, if your skin is very oily, you need to use caution when using heavy moisturizers as they can increase the chances of breakouts on your face. Take the time to examine your skin and use products that are designed for the problems (or lack of) that you currently experience. If you are unsure which products to use, contact a skincare professional at Solara Skin & Laser Center. Our trained and experienced team can help you determine which products will help your skin and which products are more likely to be a waste of money.
4) Be mindful of habits which promote creases
In the previous post, we focused on the causes and types of wrinkles and discussed how some facial gestures and motions could increase the presence of wrinkles on your face over time. This does not mean you need to stop laughing and smiling to avoid wrinkles; however, take stock in things you do each day that could exacerbate wrinkle formation. These are things such as rubbing your eyes, squinting or scowling, resting your cheeks in your hands, and smoking. Yes, the facial gestures associated with smoking (consistently puckering your cheeks) can cause the early formation of wrinkles.
Treatments and procedures
If lines and wrinkles have begun to make themselves present on your face, keep in mind that all is not lost. There are a wide variety of treatments available that can help to reduce the signs of aging on your skin. There are generally two main types of wrinkles that tend to appear-These are fine lines and deep furrows.
Topical creams such as retinoids are derived from vitamin A. These topical creams are generally used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They are also successful in reducing the appearance of pigmentations and skin roughness. Unfortunately, topical creams can make it easier for the skin to burn when exposed to sunlight. Topical creams also tend to cause various side effects, including dryness, burning, itching, redness, and tingling sensations. These side effects will vary in their intensity, depending on the level of individual skin sensitivity.
When topical creams do not work as well as you would like, there are various other options available to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Dermabrasion is a surgical procedure that involves wearing away the upper layers of skin via some form of “mechanical” methodology. Dermabrasion is used to remove fine lines and wrinkles as well as moles, acne scars, tattoos, and other types of scarring on the skin.
Dermabrasion is not without side effects. The procedure can cause scabbing, swelling, and redness; however, most of these generally fade after about two weeks. The desired results (complete removal of the offending wrinkle or scar) are not usually immediate and typically require several treatments over a period of months to achieve.
Laser, light source, and radiofrequency treatments destroy the out layer of skin with a laser light source. The underlying skin, or dermis, is heated up during this process. This heating process stimulates the development of new collagen fibers, which are integral for the youthful appearance of skin.
Similar to dermabrasion, laser therapies do have side effects, including bruising. When the bruise or wound heals, the skin under it appears smoother and tighter, but the healing time can be slow-sometimes taking several months. Non-ablative lasers, radiofrequency devices, and pulsed light sources do not damage the outer layers of skin and, therefore, minimal bruising results from these treatments. These less abrasive treatments often require more treatments over months to achieve desired results.
Botox is an injectable treatment derived from Botulinum toxin type A. When injected into the skin, this toxin blocks the chemical signals that cause muscles to contract. Botox injections are used to treat a variety of medical conditions as well as facial wrinkles.
Botox is injected into targeted muscles in small doses. Since the muscles can no longer tighten, the skin over them flattens, resulting in a less wrinkled and smoother appearance. Botox treatments generally last for three months, so repeated injections are needed to maintain desired results. Botox injections can decrease the appearance of lines on the forehead, frown lines between the eyes, and “crow’s feet” around the corners of the eyes.
A chemical peel is a process that involves applying a specially designed chemical solution to wrinkly areas on the face. This process causes the dead skin to shed and eventually peel off. The skin that appears below tends to be smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin was. Although some chemical peels can be purchased over the counter, it is highly recommended that chemical peels be applied in a professional setting to reduce the potential for skin damage or facial injury.
Soft tissue fillers include fat, hyaluronic acid, or collagen. Fillers are injected into deeper facial wrinkles to plump and smooth them out. This results in more even skin volume. Some people may experience swelling, bruising, and redness in the treatment area for a short time after their procedure. As with Botox, fillers will need to be repeated every few months to maintain desired results.
With the wide range of wrinkle treatments available, it is easy to see how choosing the right one for your skin may be confusing. If prevention has not worked to the extent desired and you wish to treat and reduce the appearance of visible aging on your skin, contact as at Solara Skin & Laser Center. Our premier Alaskan medspa center offers a wide variety of skincare treatments designed to target lines and wrinkles while improving the tone, texture, and appearance of your skin. If you are interested in learning more about these treatments and how they may help you achieve your skincare goals, give us a call today.