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Ten to Go: 5 things you should know about wrinkles

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By Dr. Paul Flashner

Wrinkles: we’ll all get them eventually but to what extent depends on us. Genetics and lifestyle both play significant roles in determining how we’ll age and should be considered in choosing how and when to combat wrinkles. Here are some facts you may not have known about wrinkles:

  • Sun exposure is the leading cause of wrinkles: Ultraviolet radiation breaks down skin’s connective tissue, causing it to lose strength and flexibility.
  • The severity of wrinkles is genetic: A significant factor in determining how we will age is hereditary. If you want to know how you’ll look as you age, look at your parents and grandparents to see where the signs of aging are likely to appear on you.
  • Skin tone matters: Those with fairer skin tend to experience a higher level of sun damage and are more prone to wrinkles than those with darker skin tones.
  • Smoking makes you age faster: Nicotine impairs blood flow to the skin, limiting its access to oxygen and vital nutrients. The toxins in cigarettes also damage skin’s collagen and elastin, making it less elastic.
  • Repeated facial expressions can cause wrinkles: Facial movements such as smiling, frowning and squinting cause grooves to form beneath the skin’s surface, eventually leaving their mark over time.

Regardless of the causes for wrinkles (we’d hate to have wrinkles prevent you from smiling!), steps can be taken to treat wrinkles and slow down the signs of aging to begin with. On the prevention side, reducing sun exposure and not smoking are two of the biggest steps a person can take to prevent wrinkles. Once formed, topical creams containing retinoids are great options to reduce fine lines.

A skincare line like SkinMedica can improve the appearance of wrinkles, while stimulating cellular turnover and enhancing skin texture. For deeper furrows, sublative rejuvenation treatments, such as eMatrix, use radio energy to stimulate collagen beneath skin’s surface. Microdermabrasion is another great treatment that works by removing dead skin and stimulating collagen production in new cells. Other treatments, such as SilkPeel Dermalinfusion, pair microdermabrasion with an infusible serum to further amplify results.

The author, Dr. Paul Flashner, is chief medical director of American Laser Skincare.

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