Wrinkles are creases, folds, or ridges in the skin. They normally appear as people get older, but they can also develop after spending a long time in water.
The first wrinkles to appear on a person’s face tend to occur as a result of facial expressions. Sun damage, smoking, dehydration, some medications, and environmental and genetic factors affect when and where people will develop wrinkles.
Most wrinkles tend to appear in the parts of the body which receive the most sun exposure, especially the face and neck, the back of the hands, and the arms.
Most people do not welcome wrinkles, and billions of dollars are spent globally on treatments to remove or delay them. Some of these therapies make great claims but have no effect, while others may have moderate, significant, or very considerable success.
Wrinkles are a natural part of the aging process. As people get older, their skin gets thinner, drier, and less elastic, and less able to protect itself from damage. This leads to wrinkles, creases, and lines on the skin. Environmental factors such as smoking can accelerate the development of wrinkles.
Facial expressions, for example, repeatedly smiling, frowning, or squinting can lead to fine lines and wrinkles at a younger age. According to the Mayo Clinic, each time a person uses a facial muscle, a groove forms under the surface of the skin.
When a person is young, the skin springs back, but as they get older, the skin loses its flexibility. Springing back becomes harder and less frequent, resulting in more permanent grooves. A number of avoidable, environmental factors also contribute. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, for example, through sunbathing, tanning booths, and outdoor sports increases the chance of developing wrinkles earlier.
UV light breaks down the collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. These fibers form the skin’s connective tissue. They are located under the surface of the skin, and they support the skin. Breaking down this layer causes the skin to become weaker and less flexible. The skin starts to droop, and wrinkles appear. Clothes that cover the body, such as hats and long sleeves, may delay the development of wrinkles. People who work in the sunlight have a higher chance of early wrinkles. Jobs that involve this type of exposure include fishing and farming. Sailors, golfers, beach lifeguards, and gardeners may also be more prone to skin aging. Regular smoking accelerates the aging process of skin, because of the reduced blood supply to the skin. Alcohol dehydrates the skin, and dry skin is more likely to wrinkle.
The two main types of wrinkles are surface lines and deep furrows. Most basic wrinkle treatments, if they have any effect, tend to help reduce the fine lines. For deeper creases, there are more aggressive techniques, such as plastic surgery or injections of fillers.
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