What are Wrinkles?
Wrinkles are creases, folds, or ridges in the skin. They normally appear as people get older, but they can also develop after spending a long time in water.
The first wrinkles to appear on a person’s face tend to occur as a result of facial expressions.
Sun damage, smoking, dehydration, some medications, and environmental and genetic factors affect when and where people will develop wrinkles.
Most wrinkles tend to appear in the parts of the body which receive the most sun exposure, especially the face and neck, the back of the hands, and the arms.
How do facial lines and wrinkles form?
Facial lines and wrinkles (rhytides) form because of the following factors:
Other skin diseases with a tendency to scar (e.g. discoid lupus)
There is often a degree of asymmetry to the lines, as people tend to smile or frown more on one side than the other, or consistently sleep on the right or the left cheek.
Fine lines and wrinkles arise because of irregular thickening of the dermis and because of a decrease in the amount of water held by the epidermis. This is mainly caused by sun damage and exposure to environmental toxins particularly tobacco smoke.
Deeper lines or furrows are classified as dynamic or static. Dynamic lines appear with movement i.e. the activity of facial muscles. Static lines are unchanged with muscle movement. Eventually dynamic lines become static.
Crow’s feet around the eyes are due to smiling and activity of the eyelid muscles (orbicularis oculi).
Worry lines on the forehead are due to contraction of the frontalis muscle when raising the eyebrows
Frown lines between the eyebrows are due to contraction of corrugator supercilii muscles and procerus muscle when concentrating or angry
Sags and bags
Skin laxity or drooping is caused by several factors:
A reduction of the fat cells under the skin (subcutaneous tissue)
Loss of collagen and elastin fibres in the dermis reducing cutaneous strength and elasticity
Gravity, which allows the lax tissue to sag
The result is:
Brow ptosis (the forehead sags so the eyebrows drop over the eyelids, which then feel heavy)
Eyelid ptosis (the upper eyelid drops, sometimes obscuring the pupil)
Baggy upper and lower eyelids
Sagging lower eyelids, revealing the reddened mucosal surface (ectropion)
Hollow look to the eyes
Tired-looking eyes with a prominent groove beside the nose (tear-trough deformity)
Jowls (loss of jaw line)
Loss of neckline
Dropping of the tip of the nose
Thinning of the upper lip