If you have skin, then you will get wrinkles.  Wrinkles are usually the first visible signs of aging that most people will experience.  It often starts with a small crease at the corner of the eye or a line near your mouth, and then with every passing year, the lines get deeper and more numerous.  And while there is no way to prevent them entirely, there are ways to delay their arrival.  Here is everything you need to know about wrinkles:

According to Dr. Dominic Castellano, a board-certified facial plastic surgeon in Tampa, Florida, wrinkles occur as we age because the skin loses elasticity.  This happens because as we get older, the outer layer of skin (epidermis) become thinner and does not retain moisture as well.  The epidermis pulls away from the second layer (dermis) which reduces the flow of blood and nutrients to the outer tissue.  At the same time, the dermis which contains most of the elastic properties begins to degrade.  Less collagen is produced and the elastin fibers that allow our skin to stretch back into shape wear down.  Our skin dries out and cracks or wrinkles appear.  In the subcutaneous layer under the skin, the fat cells shrink and so the wrinkles get deeper and the skin begins to sag. This process happens to everyone but the timing can differ greatly depending on several factors:

1) Genetics: Our genes can determine if we are prone to wrinkling or not.  Barring other factors, heredity plays a role in when facial aging begins to appear.

2) Sun: Exposure to the sun accounts for up to 90% of all cases of premature aging.  The sun dries out the skin and damages sensitive tissue.  It is the exposure to UV light that breaks down the connective proteins (collagen and elastin) that gives the skin its strength and flexibility.

3) Facial Expressions: All our facial movements and expressions contribute to wrinkles.  When we squint, smile, laugh and scowl, we use small facial muscles over and over again.  With time, these form a groove beneath the skin which will turn into lines and grooves on the face.

4) Smoking: Smoking accelerates the normal aging process in a couple of ways.  Smoking dries out the face and lessens the blood flow.  Also crucial nutrients are lost which are needed to keep our skin hydrated and supple.

5) Poor Hydration and Nutrition: Not drinking enough water or eating enough nutritious food can affect your skin and lead to wrinkles.

6) Gender: Women seem to develop more wrinkles, especially around their mouths.  This may be because women have fewer sweat glands and sebaceous glands that lubricate the skin.  It is also thought that women tend to exhibit facial expressions more frequently than men.

7) Hormonal Imbalance: Woman who have hormonal swings, especially during menopause, tend to have an increase in the formation of wrinkles.

8 ) Free Radicals: These unstable oxygen molecules (called free radicals) can damage cell function and alter genetic material.  These free radicals break down the production of collagen which leads to wrinkles.

9) Alcohol: The use of alcohol can increase wrinkles because alcohol dries the skin and hinders the absorption of nutrients.

10) Age: No matter what we do to prevent wrinkles from forming, we cannot stop getting older.  Over time, the natural aging process will lead to the breakdown of collagen, elastin, and fat which sets the stage for wrinkles.

Of the causes listed, there are many that we can control to delay the creation of wrinkles.  Staying out of the sun or wearing protective sun-screen is a big plus.  We can also watch what we eat, drink more water, avoid smoking and too much alcohol to give our skin the healthiest atmosphere for the growth of new elastic tissue.

However, if you have wrinkles and want to reduce their appearance, there are now many ways to turn back the clock on aging.  The development of injectable products such as Botox or Xeomin can help relax the underlying muscles to ease the tension on the outer skin.  These miracle drugs can not only diminish the existing wrinkles but also stop new ones from forming (as least for several months).  Dermal fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane and Radiesse are great for replacing the lost fat cells and filling in the deeper creases and lines.  Plus fillers can help plump up the cheeks and lips to restore the natural contours of youth.  For more information on how to reduce wrinkles, contact Elite Facial Plastic Surgery in Tampa Florida.

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