Skin Care Cosmetic Procedures Wrinkle Treatment

Because aging is inevitable, eventually we will all develop wrinkles. While taking measures to prevent wrinkles is best, if you have developed wrinkles, you can still take some measures to minimize them and prevent them from worsening.

The type of wrinkle treatment that will work best for you will depend on your age, overall health and the degree to which your skin is showing the signs of aging. Your budget will also play a role in limiting your options.

BOTOX®

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved BOTOX®, a substance derived from the botulinum toxin type A, as an effective wrinkle treatment. Administered through injections to the site of wrinkles, BOTOX® works by paralyzing the underlying muscle, preventing wrinkles from forming or current wrinkles from worsening. Although BOTOX® can’t reverse sun damage to the skin, it can minimize:

  • creases in the forehead
  • crow’s feet
  • deep wrinkles in the neck area
  • wrinkles at the top of the nose
  • wrinkles between the brow.

Keep in mind, however, that BOTOX® can’t be used to treat wrinkles around the mouth. Because BOTOX® works by numbing the muscles below the wrinkles, getting these injections around the mouth area would make eating, talking and other necessary actions impossible.

The BOTOX®Procedure

During a BOTOX® treatment, a specialist will inject small amounts of BOTOX® into the muscles beneath the chosen area. The number of injections you need will depend on the area being treated, as well as the severity of your wrinkles. For example, while mild crow’s feet can take as little as two injections, more severe forehead wrinkles may require more that eight injections.

In general, BOTOX® sessions are performed in your doctor’s office, with the procedure usually lasting less than 15 minutes. Most patients feel minimal pain or tenderness. No anesthesia is necessary during BOTOX® treatments.

BOTOX®Side Effects

BOTOX® treatments have no associated recovery time. However, although this wrinkle treatment won’t disrupt your daily activities, it can be accompanied by any of the following side effect:

  • general pain or achiness
  • headaches
  • nausea
  • redness
  • temporary drooping at injection site
  • temporary weakness of the muscles at the injection site
  • tenderness at injection site.

To get the best possible results from your BOTOX® wrinkle treatments, avoid touching or rubbing the injection site, as this can move the underlying BOTOX® to different areas.

Wrinkle Creams

As one of the least invasive and least expensive wrinkle treatments on the market, wrinkle creams refer to any lotion, gel or other type of topical ointment that you apply to the skin to reduce wrinkles. However, while many wrinkle creams claim to minimize wrinkles, none have yet been approved by the FDA.

If you are looking for an inexpensive, non-invasive way to reduce fine lines and/or prevent future wrinkles, make sure that the wrinkle cream contains at least one of the following ingredients, as these have proven skin benefits regardless of their effect on wrinkles:

  • copper peptides
  • hydroxy acids
  • retinol.

Laser Resurfacing

Laser resurfacing is a type of wrinkle treatment in which a laser removes the top layer of aged, damaged skin to bring younger, healthier skin to the surface. Unlike BOTOX®, laser resurfacing can effectively treat a wide range of skin problems, including:

  • acne scars
  • chickenpox scars
  • liver spots (medically referred to as solar lentigines)
  • more pronounced wrinkles (usually those deemed to be moderate)
  • skin discolorations
  • sun damaged skin
  • wrinkles around the mouth area.

To prepare for your laser wrinkle treatment, your doctor will recommend that you:

  • Avoid sun exposure for two months before the procedure to prevent further skin damage.
  • Don’t use any makeup or lotions on the face before the procedure.
  • Stop taking aspirin and other blood-thinning medications that could increase bleeding during the procedure and prolong recovery time.

The Laser Resurfacing Procedure

During laser resurfacing, your doctor will stream a high-energy laser beam over the chosen areas. Depending on the area treated and the severity of the wrinkles, the laser resurfacing process can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.

After the laser has been run over the chosen areas, your doctor will apply an ointment and gauze to the treated skin. For more extensive, deeper laser resurfacing treatments, you may be required to wear a facial wrap or bandage for a few days. Recovery times for this wrinkle treatment can last up to one year.

Laser Resurfacing Complications

Because laser resurfacing is a more invasive procedure, it has a more extensive list of associated side effects, including:

  • acne outbreaks
  • hyperpigmentation (a condition marked by patches of darker areas of skin)
  • hypopigmentation (a condition marked by blotches of lighter areas of skin)
  • inflammation
  • redness
  • scarring
  • sensitivity to the sun
  • tenderness on the treated area
  • viral infection, especially by the herpes simple virus type 1.

To optimize the results of this wrinkle treatment, be sure to regularly moisturize your skin. Similarly, avoid contact with the sun for about six months after the procedure to prevent damage from occurring on new layers of tender skin.

If you are considering undergoing any cosmetic procedure for treatments, talk to your doctor about which wrinkle treatment will be effective for you.

Resources

MayoClinic (n.d.). Wrinkle Treatments. Retrieved November 4, 2007 from the MayoClinic Web site: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cosmetic-surgery/SN00032.