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DefinitionWrinkles are visible creases in the skin.
ConsiderationsMost wrinkles are associated with aging changes in skin . Aging of the skin and related structures (hair and nails) is a natural process. Nothing can be done to decrease the rate of skin aging, but many environmental factors will increase the rate.
Frequent exposure to sunshine results in premature skin wrinkling and increased pigmentation ( liver spots ). It also increases the likelihood of skin cancer. Exposure to cigarette smoke is another environmental factor that increases wrinkling of the skin.
Besides wrinkles, other skin changes may include liver spots (pigmented areas). The hair and nails also change with aging, including graying of the hair, hair loss, and brittleness of the nails.
Common CausesWrinkles can develop because of:
Home CareTo minimize skin wrinkling, stay out of the sun as much as possible. When you are outside, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. If you smoke, stop smoking.
Call your health care provider if
Your doctor may ask detailed questions about your wrinkles, such as:
A detailed examination of the skin will be performed. If wrinkles are accompanied by a skin lesion that has changed in appearance, diagnostic tests may include a skin lesion biopsy .
A dermatologist or plastic surgeon may provide choices from wrinkle creams to plastic surgery for dealing with aging problems. Current alternatives have relatively low risk, but are generally expensive.
Chemical peels or laser resurfacing are very effective options for early wrinkles.
Update Date: 4/15/2003Michael Lehrer, M.D., Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT