What are fine lines and wrinkles?
Fine lines refer to superficial wrinkles that appear on the skin. Besides the face, these pesky wrinkles can appear on various areas like the decolletage and the back of hands. Fine lines are also known as static lines; they remain etched on the skin even when there is no active muscle movement.
What are the causes of fine lines and wrinkles?
Scientists from University Hospital of Liege have categorised fine wrinkles as atrophic crinkling rhytids, because the severity of superficial wrinkles intensify as skin structure deteriorates. Contrary to dynamic lines that happen when the facial muscles are contracted during active facial expressions, these superficial creases happen due to the inevitable ageing of skin. The skin ageing process is a cumulative result of both biological ageing and external ageing factors. Chronologic ageing, signaled by genetics, causes a severe reduction in the repair and growth of healthy dermal cells like collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. Besides that, the usual skin maintenance process like desquamation—shedding of old and keratinised skin cells—also becomes interrupted. To make matters worse, skin-damaging reactive free radicals contributed by external ageing factors (e.g. excessive sunlight exposure, smoking, unhealthy diet, pollution, etc.) further injure the already weakened and aged skin. Fine lines will then appear on areas of high-movement like periorbital and perioral regions. More often than not, these superficial creases are exacerbated by dehydration.
What are the best treatment methods for fine lines and wrinkles?
Patients are firstly encouraged to reduce engaging in activities that increase the influx of free radicals into the body. Unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking alcohol excessively must be curbed. Those who do spend a lot of time in the sun must also apply a generous amount of sunblock to reduce the skin-damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays. Besides that, patients are greatly encouraged to adopt an effective skincare regimen suited to their skin types. A complete skincare program involves cleansing the skin from dirt, sebum, and makeup with a cleanser; applying toner to remove any remnants of cleanser and impurities; followed by moisturizing the cleansed skin. Special treatment products that contain skin-revitalising ingredients like retinol may also be applied for an extra boost to skin health.
Aesthetic procedures like laser treatments and chemical peels are also beneficial for improving the health and functionality of skin. These procedures help to remove the uppermost dead and keratinized dermal cells. A clear skin is then more receptive to the actions of various active components present in skincare products. However, these procedures may not necessarily volumise the superficial lines. It is then best for patients to opt for biorevitalisation or mesotherapy procedures. These 2 treatments are differentiated by the concentration of active ingredients present, with the latter usually containing a higher strength of skin-rejuvenating components like hyaluronic acid. Nevertheless, both these treatments help to promote the growth of new cells and restoration of damaged cells, resulting in reduced appearance of fine wrinkles.