Anti aging guide

Anti-Aging: The Treatment of Wrinkles



The many ways to treat droopy skin and wrinkles when aging

There are many ways for people who are aging to deal with droopy skin and wrinkles. One example is dermabrasion, where the skin is rubbed away with an abrasive device made of sand or diamonds, or by laser, and then allowed to heal. After healing, a new layer of skin is formed, which looks younger than before. This operation (sometimes needing a general anesthetic) can be used either together with a facelift or on its own to smoothen out skin irregularities.

Another method, chemical face-peel, works on the same principle. The practitioner uses phenolic acid or strong concentrations of alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), sometimes under local anesthetic, to bring about a controlled superficial burn which heals after about a week to reveal a younger-looking skin.

AHAs are also included in creams aiming to reduce the effects of skin aging. They come from natural sources and have a stronger effect than moisturizers, but a weaker effect than Retin A. The regular use of creams containing AHAs encourages the exfoliation of dead skin cells.

The natural supporting tissue of the skin consists mainly of collagen fibers, which lose their effectiveness with age, resulting in wrinkles, so one effective skin treatment is injecting purified bovine collagen into the wrinkles to smooth them out. The problem is that this foreign collagen is inactivated by the body, so further treatment is necessary every 3-12 months. New materials are being tested, including Gortex.

Other operations for the aging face include the well-known facelift, technically called `rhytidectomy’, which literally means ‘the pulling out of wrinkles’. This involves tightening of skin through incisions near the ears and the hairline. It stamps out any loose and inelastic skin, but doesn’t have much effect on the lines of the lips.

Creams containing strong agents such as Retin A are also used to obliterate wrinkles. Retinol, retinyl, Retin A and similar sounding names are all chemicals related to vitamin A. Retinol is a milder variant than Retin A and is used frequently in many types of creams. Retin A was developed in order to treat bad acne but was found to have a super effect on reducing wrinkles and other signs of sun-damaged skin. It is best used under medical supervision, because it may cause skin allergies, mouth ulcers or lip sores. Stop using Retin A and you will be back to square one – wrinkles may reappear.

A new retinoid, tazarotene, was found to reduce wrinkles, skin roughness and age spots in a small but properly performed scientific trial. It looks promising.

All of these treatments have both advantages and disadvantages. So far none of them has proved very popular with the public at large. Celebrities and other people who depend on their appearance do use these methods regularly, however.

Many other treatments have been tried in an effort to ‘anti-age’ the skin. These include:

  1. Botulin toxin (botox). This paralyzes and relaxes the muscles of the face and reduces squinting. The injection needs to be repeated every few months.
  2. Electrical treatment with CACI (computer aided cosmetology instrument). This is a non-surgical facelift which tones the muscles.
  3. Oxygen therapy. This therapy, in theory to improve the oxygen supply to the skin of the face, is becoming very popular. But does it make matters worse in the long-term by increasing free radical damage?
  4. Thymus extracts to stimulate cell regeneration.
  5. Laser treatment to literally zap blemishes away.
  6. Muscle exercises of the face and mouth.


Posted by Carol Hudgens - March 10, 2012 at 6:15 pm