Wrinkles are the fine lines and creases that develop in your skin. You may start noticing them at some point in your life. Your face and body start to show wrinkles as you get older.
Winkles occur more on those parts of your body that are exposed to sun e.g., your face. Chronic exposure to the suns rays can damage your skin making it dry, saggy, and extremely wrinkled.
Your neck, hands, and the top of your forearms can also be equally affected by wrinkles. Some say wrinkles indicate wisdom, but many of you certainly will not like to have them on your face!
Wrinkles are classified in two categories: fine surface lines and deep furrows. Treatments available today are generally effective for fine lines. Deep furrows are more noticeable around your eyes, mouth, and neck.
It is natural to have wrinkles as you get older. As you age, your skin loses its elasticity and becomes more fragile. Also, skin produces less oil and becomes dry and fat in the deeper layers of your skin. This causes the skin to appear loose and saggy.
Wrinkling can be premature too. Premature wrinkling can occur due to long exposure in the sun. Exposure to the suns rays speeds up the natural aging process. Not only exposure to the suns rays, but also environmental exposure such as to heat, wind, and dust can contribute to wrinkles.
If you are a chronic smoker, chances are that your face may start getting wrinkles at a much younger age.
Heredity may also play a role in developing wrinkles.
Mental stress is another important reason for the development of facial wrinkles.
It has also been noticed that women tend to develop more wrinkles around the mouth as compared to men.
Nutritional deficiencies like vitamin B12 or an iron deficiency is also believed to contribute to wrinkles.
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Drinking plenty of water can reduce wrinkles because it hydrates your skin. If you smoke, you should stop. If you do not stop smoking, you run the risk of developing wrinkles at an earlier age. Eating a nutritious diet is also a great preventative measure for maintaining a younger image.
There are many products available over the counter to reduce wrinkles. Some help while others do not. Patients generally opt for any of these numerous creams and lotions that claim to reduce or diminish wrinkles. These creams contain a lower concentration of the most active ingredient (the ingredient which actually is going to fight wrinkles) when compared to a medical prescription treatment. Therefore, results are limited and they do not last very long. There is no permanent cure. Some people still continue to use them, and others who are more aggressive to treat their wrinkle issues seek medical advise from a dermatologist.
Medical treatment may include an application of a topical drug known as retinoids. Retinoids are derived from vitamin A. Once applied to the skin, it reduces fine wrinkles and roughness, but this drug has many side effects. It may cause redness, increased drying of the skin, itchy skin, and a burning or tingling sensation.
Another set of drugs called antioxidants contain vitamins A, C, and E that protect the skin from harmful sun rays.
Certain outpatient procedures can be performed as well to help with wrinkles. A procedure known as “micro-dermabrasion” is performed where wrinkles are removed with a machine containing silica or aluminum crystals. This makes the skin smooth and does not change the skin texture. There is another procedure called dermabrasion that produces excellent results, but has potent side effects that could affect your skin color. Immediate side effects can ocurr such as redness and swelling of the skin.
Wrinkles can also be treated by a laser. A procedure called laser resurfacing employs the use of a laser beam that destroys the outer layer of skin and heats the underlying skin, which stimulates the growth of new skin tissue. The new skin that forms is smoother and tighter. It can take up to several months to fully heal from laser resurfacing.
A recent development in laser technology, such as nonablative fractional resurfacing is frequently used to reduce wrinlkes. In this procedure, the laser beam is divided into many smaller pulses. This is effective because it makes the laser beam less intense so that it doesn’t injure the outer layer of skin. As a result, there is less pain, less redness, and comparatively shorter healing time.
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Another well known treatment which many of us have heard of is Botox. When Botox is injected in small doses into specific muscles in areas that are wrinkled, it blocks the chemical signals that cause those muscles to contract. When this happens, the overlying skin flattens and appears smoother and less wrinkled. It works well on frown lines in between the eyebrows and across the forehead. It also works well on crow’s-feet at the corners of the eyes. However, it does not give permanent results and injections have to be repeated every three to four months to maintain results.
When all these measures fail, some people choose plastic surgery. A Face-lift involves removing excess skin and fat in the face and tightening the underlying muscles. These results last for a number of years, but the healing time can be much longer
Each treatment works differently, and each treatment has its own set of potential results and side effects. Some dermatologists or cosmetic surgeons recommend a combination of several treatments to get the most satisfying results.
However, whatever treatment you choose, bear in mind that nothing stops the aging process. Aging is natural and with aging comes the development of wrinkles.
PRP Treatment for Wrinkles
The aged skin looks wrinkled because it has reduced elasticity and a much lower ability to retain moisture. Procedures available today as a treatment to combat wrinkles come with their own set of side effects and questions regarding general effectiveness. PRP (Platelet rich plasma) Skin Regeneration Therapy is one therapy that uses patient’s own blood to rejuvenate the skin. It is the ultimate biological skin rejuvenation therapy practiced in many cosmetic clinics worldwide with success.
PRP has been long recognized in medical science for its wound healing properties. It is widely used today by several different medical specialties that include orthopeadics, podiatry, dental, plastic surgery, vascular, and spine.
This therapy uses blood components called platelets that contain growth factors which activates and rejuvenates cells in the body. These growth factors when introduced in the body generate new cells to rejuvenate the skin.
Many film stars are now having this procedure performed simply because it rejuvenates the skin with no side effects. Some treatments (Botox) can potentially cause side effects.
PRP is commonly used in areas where the skin has lost its elasticity. It is a treatment that tightens the skin and can give you a younger, healthier look.
However, not everyone can benefit from this form of treatment. Patients with certain skin diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus or porphyria or allergies cannot be treated with this treatment. Also patients with cancer, chemotherapy, severe metabolic and systemic disorders, and abnormal platelet function (i.e. blood disorders) cannot have themselves treated with PRP.
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PRP Treatment for Wrinkles Procedure
Along with red blood cells and white blood cells, our blood also contains platelets. These platelets contain growth factors that stimulate the tissues of the body to produce new cells. Approximately 20-60 ml’s of your blood is drawn from your arm, just the way blood is drawn for a blood test. The blood can be drawn by a nurse, perfusionist, or any other healthcare professional that has a license to draw blood. This blood is then placed in a plastic disposable. The disposable is then placed in a special centrifuge that is designed to spin down your blood. Approximately 15 minutes later, the components of your blood have been separated. Roughly 4-10ml’s of Platelet rich plasma has now been created. The PRP is then extracted from the disposable and is now ready to be injected.
PRP is applied after the area is numbed by injecting a local anesthetic. After the procedure, a simple Band-Aid can be applied. Because there is no surgical incision, there is little or no pain after the procedure.
The entire process takes about 45 minutes to an hour and can be performed in an office setting.
Results are usually visible within 3 weeks and gradually improve with time. If the patient is older and the wrinkling is in advanced stage, minimum improvement is seen. Also results are not generally good in patients who abuse alcohol and tobacco.
The procedure is simple and convenient and causes minimum discomfort. Swelling and redness will be visible for first 12 to 24 hours. Some may experience minimal bruising.
In very very rare cases, one may develop an infection of the skin that can be treated with antibiotics or cold compresses.
There is no risk of allergic reactions or immune reaction as the therapy employs the use of patient’s own blood. Several factors, primarily the absence of a surgical incision, makes the treatment a safe option. Initially, three to four injections may be required in the area that needs treatment. Repeat treatments should be performed within 2 years or after every 2 years to maintain the health of the skin as well as the results you have achieved.
An important thing you need to remember is that a lifestyle that incorporates smoking will hinder the results obtained with this treatment.
Patients have had positive results with this treatment and have noticed improved texture and tone of their skin.
PRP treatment for the entire face can cost approximately 600 to 850 USD. You will have to bear the cost since currently there is no insurance cover, but it has many advantages over the other approaches of treatment. Advantages include safety, convenience, faster healing, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use. Since PRP harvesting is done with only 20-60 ml of blood in the doctor’s office, the patient need not incur the expense and inconvenience of the procedure performed in a hospital or at a blood bank.
You can read more about PRP for wrinkles from a physician perspective.
Questions to ask your doctor about Wrinkles
- What can I do to further prevent wrinkling of my skin?
- Why are certain parts of my body more wrinkled than others?
- What could be the cause of my wrinkles?
- How is PRP treatment different from other treatments?
- Is PRP treatment for my wrinkles safe?
- What does the PRP procedure involve?
- Which facial and body areas can be treated?
- How long will the PRP procedure take?
- Does it require hospitalization?
- Are there any side effects of this therapy?
- How many sittings will I require?
- What results should I expect from this treatment?
- What kind of medications should I avoid after the procedure and for how many days?
- What is the cost involved for this treatment?
- Is it covered by insurance?