One morning you look in the mirror and they are there; creeping across your forehead and lurking around the edges of your eyes and mouth. They are wrinkles.
“For many people, wrinkles are a natural part of the skin’s aging process,” says Dr. Howard Brooks, dermatologist and director of Skin: Cosmetic Dermatology of Georgetown. “Fortunately, there are many products and procedures available to temporarily eliminate wrinkles.”
Treatment of wrinkles depends primarily on the size and depth of the wrinkles.
Small surface wrinkles can often be treated with over-the-counter or professionally available skin care products. This option requires consistent use of the products to maintain the effect, and, the effect often lessens over time as the skin continues to age and the wrinkles become deeper.
A chemical peel is another option for fine wrinkles. This involves the application of a mild acid to the skin to improve the texture by removing damaged outer layers.
Various laser skin resurfacing treatments are also used to provide the same basic results as a chemical peel
As wrinkles progress, so do the treatment options.
For deep wrinkles or furrows, more intense chemical peels and laser procedures can be used, as well as injectables. There are two basic types of injectables for treating wrinkles: botulinum toxin-based products and fillers.
The two botulinum toxin products currently available in the U.S. are Botox and Dysport. These products work by blocking nerve signals to muscles, reducing activity and temporarily preventing contraction of the muscles that cause frown lines and wrinkles.
Fillers, as the word implies, are various types of solutions that are injected under the surface of the skin used to plump up wrinkles and fill in lost volume. Commonly used fillers include Juvederm, Radiesse and Restylane.
“As every person’s skin care need differs, I spend a lot of time with my patients explaining the benefits and the expected results of the many options available.” says Brooks, who has been trained in treating wrinkles and other skin rejuvenation procedures.