How do I get Rid of Skin Wrinkles?

wiseGEEK Writer

There are a variety of treatments that can help minimize the look of skin wrinkles. Some of these will make the skin wrinkle free, at least for a time, and others simply make wrinkles look less prominent. The degree to which a person needs treatment is really an individual decision, and one that may be controlled by financial status too. Another factor is amount of wrinkling. Small creases and lines might be treated by a variety of over the counter or prescription topical lotions and creams, and more extensive creasing may require injected substances, plastic surgery skin treatments or surgery on the skin to smooth it.

Retinol face cream may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Retinol face cream may help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Lots of over the counter creams or lotions may reduce the appearance of skin wrinkles. The most effective treatments typically contain retinol, or retin-A, or they have other active ingredients like alpha hydroxy acid or citric acid. Of these retinol is thought most effective, but it can irritate the skin of some people who use it. Even more effective is retinoic acid or tretinoin. This is only available by prescription but it has been clinically shown to be efficacious in reducing look of skin wrinkles and in stimulating the skin to produce collagen, something the skin begins to lose the ability to do as it ages.

Botox® can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Botox® can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

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This would be the next step for most people. If over the counter creams or lotions aren’t adequate, seeing a dermatologist to get a prescription cream may be the best bet. These creams are expensive though, and typically aren't covered by medical insurance because they’re not viewed as necessary. Still, for some, beauty has no price tag, and a cream that helps reduce skin wrinkles is very desirable.

Another way that people may attack the wrinkle issue is to use skin-resurfacing techniques. These may be a faster method than using a cream for producing collagen. There are several methods to resurface the skin employed by dermatologists and plastic surgeons, which may reduce appearance of skin wrinkles. Microdermabrasion removes a tiny amount of surface skin and may help small wrinkles look less evident. Chemical peels and dermabrasion take off more skin, and the newer skin underneath the layers removed may be smoother. Another related treatment that might be effective is laser resurfacing.

Those people who have skin irritation problems can find procedures that remove the skin very difficult to take. They may instead opt for the use of several chemical or natural fillers that can be injected into the skin to get rid of skin wrinkles, at least temporarily. Products like collagen, natural fat derived from the body, or Restylane®, are injected into the wrinkled area, and this is often very effective, though the results can be temporary. Another temporary injectable treatment is Botox®, which paralyzes the muscles underneath the skin so wrinkling can’t occur.

When skin wrinkles are severe, dermatologists and plastic surgeons might recommend a face-lift. This cuts the skin and pulls it back so that the wrinkling is gone. It takes a skilled person to perform this without making the skin looked stretched. Repeated lifts begin to alter appearance, as evidenced by the many unapologetic fans of lifts, such as comedian Joan Rivers. Her example may be extreme, however, and many are pleased with the results of this surgical procedure. It’s wise to remember though, that face-lifts aren’t permanent treatments, either, though they can last for several years before skin wrinkles start to reappear.

A diagram of younger skin and older skin showing how the decrease in collagen in older skin can lead to wrinkles.
A diagram of younger skin and older skin showing how the decrease in collagen in older skin can lead to wrinkles.

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