Wrinkles are a natural part of the aging process. They occur most frequently in areas chronically exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck, back of the hands and forearms. Over time, skin gets thinner, drier and less elastic. Ultimately, this causes fine wrinkles. Deeper lines are a result from facial movements that fold the skin over years. In addition to sun exposure, premature aging of the skin is associated with smoking, heredity and skin type (higher incidence among people with fair hair, blue-eyes and light skin).

Treatment for wrinkles run the gamut from topical over-the-counter creams and moisturizers to cosmetic surgical procedures. The most common medical treatments are:

  • Alpha-hydroxy acids- These are preparations made from "fruit acids" that produce subtle improvements in the appearance of fine wrinkles.
  • Antioxidants- These lotions, serums and cream consist of vitamins A, C and E, beta-carotene and others that minimally improve the appearance of wrinkles and provides some additional sun protection.
  • Moisturizers- Hydration of the skin temporarily reduces the appearance of fine wrinkles and can make healthier, more pliable skin that will be less likely to wrinkle.
  • Retinoids- These are vitamin A derivatives that help skin cells to growth more rapidly and appropriately. Over time, they can improve the appearance of fine wrinkle.

Non-surgical cosmetic procedures include:

  • Chemical peels- An acid is used to remove the outer layers of the skin. Results depend on the strength and number of treatments
  • Dermabrasion- A sanding device is used to remove the outer layers of the skin. This is used less-commonly today.
  • Fillers- Substances are injected into the wrinkles to fill them up to the level of the surrounding skin. There are multiple options depending on the location and depth of the wrinkle.
  • Laser resurfacing- A laser vaporizes the outer layer of the skin

            Surgical options include:

  • Face and neck lift (rhytidectomy)
  • Brow lift
  • Upper or lower eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty)

The best prevention for wrinkles is to keep the skin moisturized.  People should utilize sun protection measures  to prevent and reduce additional damage from the sun.