There are many reasons for the appearance of wrinkles from natural ageing to environmental factors, so if we know what causes Wrinkles and sagging skin can we prevent or even reverse the process?
The two proteins in question are Elastin and Collagen where it’s the Elastin providing the property of elasticity and Collagen gives skin its thickness. Due to poor diet and exposure to toxins Elastin loses its elasticity leading to lose hanging skin. As we age Collagen decreases and so to the thickness of skin leading to thin wrinkled skin mainly on the face, neck, the back of the hands, and the arms.
Adding to the ageing process we also have to contend with exposure to environmental factors, so let’s first take a look at reasons wrinkles appear that don’t relate directly to ageing.
The most obvious cause of skin ageing that causes wrinkles is ironically the one thing that supports all life on the planet and that is the Sun. On the one hand the sun provides energy to for vitamin D synthesis, but also UVA and UBV rays penetrate deep into the skin cause sun burn resulting in loss of collagen and elastin that subsequently results in wrinkling of the skin.
Always wear sunscreen
We all know about pollution in our environments but not everyone understands the link between pollution and premature skin ageing. The enemy within is the Free Radicals present in air pollutants that cause damage to our DNA. Basically a Free Radical is an atom, molecule, or ion that has an unpaired valence electron. It’s this missing bond making it unstable and also drives them to seek out a replacement for their missing electron.
It’s true, not getting enough sleep causes or at least contributes to wrinkles. Sleeping a recommended 6-8 hours a night means both the pH value of the skin is kept at the best levels allowing skin cells to remain hydrated, and toxins are flushed from the body.
We all lead busy lives and often find it difficult switch off and relax which can effect our mental and physically health. In stressful situations increased cortisol levels can reduce the skin’s ability to hold moisture, and elevated blood sugar damages the collagen and elastin fibers in the skin which are critical structures that keep skin from sagging and developing wrinkles.”
We already know sugar is something we can cut down on to lose weight, but eating too much sugar can also cause premature ageing due to Glycation.
The process of Glycation is when sugar is ingested it goes through a process involving binding with proteins weakening collagen and elastin which in turn leads to an appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
If you haven’t updated your prescription glasses recently you may be doing more than straining your eyes but squinting for long periods of time results deeper wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity around the eyes. By the same token, always wear shades while out in the sun.
If skin is chronically dry it is susceptible to wrinkles, so it’s a good idea to use a good quality moisturizer night and day and particularity for the face
The best kept to last. Smoking is just the biggest villain after sun when it comes to the wrinkles. Just the act of smoking create wear lines around the mouth and then there are the nicotine and assorted chemicals that cause narrowing of blood vessels leaving skin prone to wrinkling.
Outside environmental factors there are natural factors that Cause skin to sag and wrinkle.
As a young person the skin proteins are in good supply and the skin has a natural elasticity and thickness but as we age the two main protein decrease and the skin become less resilient, with poor diet and bad habits including weight gain and loss means skin starts to sag.
In the past wrinkles were considered a natural process of aging with no way back, but thankfully this is no longer the case. No we have ways to prevent or slow down the ageing process, and treat wrinkles and sag when they appear.
Although ageing is a natural process and some day everyone gets wrinkles and lines that become more prominent over time there are ways to slow down and reduce their appearance.
The easiest way to slow the process would be to stop smoking which causes damage throughout the body but also the skin, accelerated its aging. Hand in hand with this option you should avoid alcohol due to its ability the dehydrate the body and the skin.
Avoiding excessive sun exposure by the use of sunscreen and protective clothing such as wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts and sunglasses. But a total lack of sun is not recommended as it’s a vital source of vitamin D. When using skin care products try to use those with a built-in sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15.
Moisturizers can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles temporarily but it does not prevent the wrinkles from appearing or remove them.
As mentioned previously sleeping at least 7 hours a night can help, as does eating healthily and exercising on a regularly basis help to maintain general good health.
Wrinkle Removal Treatment
There are many areas to look at when talking about treating skin conditions so the first thing to do is identify the problem before seeking treatment.
For example a “one size fits all” product or treatment it not likely to work on everything and there a wide spectrum of skin rejuvenation treatments available surgical and non-surgical. Some examples of skin issues that can be addressed are here below.
Sagging Skin / Skin Laxity
Loose Skin Treatments
Tighten Loose Belly Skin
Face and Neck Skin Tightening
Getting Rid of Wrinkles
Wrinkle Filler for Deep Wrinkles
Surface Lines vs Deep Furrows
The two main types of wrinkle are surface lines and deep furrows, the later needing surgery and or filler injections.
Medications for fine lines are topical retinoids are derived from vitamin A, designed to reduce fine wrinkles, pigmentation, and roughness, but unfortunately this medication can make skin more sensitive and prone to sunburn. There can also be side effects such as dryness, itching, tingling, and some redness.
For over the counter products active ingredients vary so does the effectiveness, but if the product does work it will only be temporary. Reasonable results have been seen by using retinol, alpha hydroxy acids, kinetin, coenzyme Q10, copper peptides, and antioxidants.
Surgical options are available for some conditions.
Dermabrasion is the surgical process where the upper layers of skin are worn away using an abrasive surface like sandpaper. This process is used to remove fine wrinkles, tattoos, moles and acne scars,and can take several months of treatment causing scabbing, swelling and redness.
For a fresher and smoother appearance with decreased appearance of lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores, coarse skin, and sun damage Microdermabrasion employs a vacuum to spray microcrystals of aluminum oxide across the surface of the skin. The results being the removal of the top layers of skin cells stimulating cell growth, although it requires repeated treatments and the effect are temporary.
Laser therapy is a good option and has seen a 90% percent satisfaction one month following RF treatment and up to 75% percent satisfaction after 6 months.
The process uses radiofrequency (RF) to remove the outer layer of skin stimulating development of new elastin and collagen fibers in the underlying skin. The results are a smoother and tighter skin after the wound heals and after several treatments skin feels firmer and appears refreshed.
We have all heard of Botox or Botulinum toxin type A which is injected into into target areas where it blocks the chemical signals that cause muscles to contract.
As the muscles can no longer tighten, the skin flattens, giving a less wrinkled and smoother appearance meaning Botox can decrease the lines on the forehead, frown lines between the eyes, and “crow’s feet,”. The results can good but some work can overdone and the treatment will usually last 3 months.
Chemical Peels can be bought from unlicensed practitioners so always seek real medical advise before moving forward with this. The process involves applying a chemical solution to the area of wrinkle which will peel off then regenerate with a smoother and less wrinkled new layer.
Rhytidectomy or Facelift is the process of removing excess facial skin and fat with the possibility of tightening underlying tissues. As this is an invasive treatment patients will suffer bruising and swelling and recovery can be lengthy, but the results are long lasting and on average, research suggests after 5 1/2 years the facelift is still effective.
Fillers is similar to Botox in that products are injected under the skin, in this case collagen, hyaluronic acid, or fat are injected into deeper face wrinkles to give the skin more volume. Results are temporary so patience will need to repeat every few months and can experience swelling, redness, and some bruising.
The Take Away
There are many options when it comes to approaching ageing skin from prevention to treatment, but the main thing to think about is a holistic approach where we treat ourselves well in order to age slowly. Eating well, exercising, not smoking, cutting back on alcohol is a good start, then always wear sunscreen and sunglasses.
After taking the time and effort to protect ourselves we will still eventually get wrinkles and at this point there are ways to reduce them using moisteners and even more drastic options such as surgery. Basically, we need to use a mixture of all these approaches to get the best out of ourselves, although care must be taken if you are considering surgical options so always seek medical advise.
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