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    Wrinkles

    Wrinkles are creases in the skin. They are also called rhytids.

    Considerations

    Most wrinklescome from aging changes in skin. Aging of the skin, hair and nails is a natural process. There is nothing you can do to slow down the rate of skin aging, but many things in theenvironment will speed it up.

    Frequent exposure to sunlight results in early skin wrinkles and dark areas (liver spots). It also increases the chances of getting skin cancer. Exposure to cigarette smoke can also make the skin wrinkle sooner.

    Causes

    Common causes of wrinkles include:

    • Genetic factors (family history)
    • Normal aging changes in the skin
    • Smoking
    • Sun exposure

    Home Care

    Stay out of the sun as much as possible to limit skin wrinkles. Wear hats and clothing that protect your skin and use sunscreen when you are outside.Avoid cigarette smoke.

    When to Contact a Medical Professional

    Wrinkles are not usually a cause for concern unless they occur at an early age. Talk to your health care provider if you think that your skin is getting wrinkled faster than normal at an early age. You may need to see askin specialist (dermatologist) or plastic surgeon.

    What to Expect at Your Office Visit

    Your doctor will ask questionssuch as:

    • When did you first notice that your skin seemed more wrinkled than normal?
    • Has it changed in any way?
    • Has a skin spot become painful or does it bleed?
    • What other symptoms are you having?

    The doctor will examine your skin. You may need a skin lesion biopsyif you have any abnormal growths or skin changes.

    Tretinoin (Retin-A) or creams containing alpha-hydroxy acids may sometimes help.

    Chemical peels or laser resurfacingwork well forearly wrinkles.

    Creams with growth factorsmay make fine lines and wrinkles look better.

    Botulinum toxin (Botox) may be used to correct some of the wrinkles that are caused byoveractive facial muscles.

    Some people choose plastic surgery for age-related wrinkles (for example, a facelift).

    References

    Habif TM. Light-related diseases and disorders of pigmentation. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 19.

    Rohrer TE, Wesley NO, Glogau R, et al. Cosmetic Surgery. In: Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Schaffer JV, et al, eds.Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa:Mosby Elsevier; 2012:chap 152.



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    • Skin layers

      illustration

    • Facelift - series

      Presentation

      • Skin layers

        illustration

      • Facelift - series

        Presentation

      A Closer Look

      Self Care

        Review Date: 11/20/2012

        Reviewed By: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

        The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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