Wrinkles are an inevitable sign of aging and tend to appear on the parts of the body most exposed to the sun, including the face, hands, neck and tops of forearms. They appear as creases or folds in the skin, appearing increasingly as we become older and our skin gets drier, thinner, less elastic and less able to protect itself from damage.
However, whilst wrinkles are inevitable there are still plenty of treatments out there today to keep them at bay for much longer – although they naturally come at a price. There are two main types of wrinkles: surface lines and deep furrows. The former can be treated by lighter therapies, whilst the latter may need more aggressive non-surgical treatments. The kinds of non-medical treatments readily available are:
Botox: Whether you choose this brand, or other forms of botulinum toxin A, this is a very safe treatment for the reduction of moderate to severe wrinkles. The treatment is simple and quick – requiring just 10 minutes from start to finish – and can be used for forehead lines, lines around the eyes or around the mouth. Within 10 days you will see a real improvement but the effects will only last up to four months, after which it will need to be repeated. Botox is popular because it is much cheaper than surgery and it doesn't take time out of your life to have the treatment.
Fillers: Today there is a pretty wide range of dermal fillers available on the market and they have proven to be effective in the reduction of wrinkles. Some will simply 'fill out' the lines, as their name suggests, whilst others will help boost the skin's production of collagen. The brands available include Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse or Sculptra. Some are natural and some synthetic, but the person carrying out your treatment should decide which product is right for you following an initial consultation. You should never have fillers injected without going through this process first.
Microdermabrasion: This is one of the simplest non-medical forms of wrinkle treatment. Essentially, it involves the use of a powerful mechanical exfoliation machine on the skin which will shoot out tiny crystals to remove the uppermost layer of dead skin cells. This will cause the skin to 'heal' itself by producing new cells. In the days after the treatment you will notice that fine lines and wrinkles are softened, skin is smoother, pores are decreased and age spots are less obvious.
IPL: Photorejuvenation, or Intense Pulsed Light treatments, can tighten pores and soften fine lines as well as improving the appearance of skin conditions such as rosacea or sun damage. The treatment involves the application of an intense light over the skin. A cool gel will be applied to the skin beforehand so discomfort is minimal and you can expect to see results over a period of time rather than immediately. Some IPL treatments are designed to stimulate collagen as well which will also help to keep the wrinkles at bay.
But whilst any of these treatments will produce noticeable results, it's always a good idea to know what causes wrinkles in the first place so you can do everything you can to slow down their appearance yourself. Smoking and exposure to UV light are the biggest culprits: the former because of reduced blood supply to the skin. People who frequently smile, frown or squint will find that wrinkles appear more readily as well, because they cause creasing of the skin.
To help prevent wrinkles appearing you should always wear sunscreen, no matter what time of year it is. It has been found that people who frequently wear hats and long sleeves also tend to get wrinkles later in life so try doing this as much as possible – particularly if your job involves working outside. A good skincare routine is essential so cleanse, tone and moisturize every day. Eating and drinking healthily is also a must, so make sure you drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as pulses and proteins. If you do all this then you will find that the effects of any of the above treatments will last for longer.