Friday, December 19, 2008

Facial Wrinkles

How many times have you guessed someone's age just by looking at his/her face, specifically the skin? As people age, it's normal to get wrinkles. And if the person has spent a lot of time in the sun, at tanning salons, or smoking cigarettes, he or she might have a lot of them.

The skin is made up of three layers:

the outermost layer everyone can see, called the epidermis

the middle layer, called the dermis

the innermost layer, called the subcutaneous layer

When a person is young, he or she doesn't have wrinkles because the skin does a great job of stretching and holding in moisture. The dermis has an elastic quality thanks to fibers called elastin that keep the skin looking and feeling young. A protein in the dermis called collagen also plays a part in preventing wrinkles, because collagen is the most important component in the skin regeneration process.

However, over time, the dermis loses both collagen and elastin, so skin gets thinner and has trouble getting enough moisture to the epidermis. The fat in the subcutaneous layer that gives skin a plump appearance also begins to disappear, the epidermis starts to sag, and wrinkles form.

Here are some things people can do to prevent getting many wrinkles at an early age:

Avoid spending too much time in the direct sun.

Ultraviolet (UV) rays cause many wrinkles. If you are outside a lot, be sure to wear a sunblock with sun protection factor.

Don't go to the tanning salon.

Don't smoke! Smoking robs your skin of precious moisture and causes premature wrinkles.

Drink water.

Moisturize dry skin, especially during months when the air is drier.

Posible treatments

Restylane is effective for filling moderate to severe wrinkles around the nose and mouth. More than one injection is necessary to get a satisfactory result. The effect lasts for about six months.

Botox (botulinum toxin) is approved for treating frown lines between the eyebrows.

Other treatments for wrinkles include topical creams, chemical peels and laser and electro-surgical resurfacing.

Side effects

Restylane. While more severe reactions occur in only 1 of 2000 patients on average, some have experienced localized swelling at the injection point, thought to be brought on by hypersensitivity.Tenderness, redness, and very rarely acne-like formations have appeared.

BOTOX: Reactions to the treatment: Redness, and an increased incidence of severe bruising, severe swelling, allergic reaction, pruritus, severe pain, urticaria and psoriasiform eruption, skin rash and severe tenderness. These incidents were lower with follow up injections for both products.

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