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Wrinkles - Causes and Treatment Options

Wrinkles - Causes and Treatment Options

As we mature our skin ages as well. How we age and how our wrinkles appear are the result of genetics, time, and cumulative environmental damage, most notably Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sun exposure. In younger skin, skin colour is even, and the skin’s surface is smooth acting as a barrier against water, bacteria, and environmental assaults. Collagen provides the skin’s firmness, and elastin provides skin elasticity and rebound. Hyaluronic acid, a natural sugar, keeps the skin hydrated.

The anatomy of wrinkles

Intrinsic ageing (chronological ageing) is a natural process that occurs beginning in 20s. After age 20, we produce about 1% less skin collagen each year. It is a natural ageing process known as intrinsic ageing. The collagen and elastin fibres become thinner and looser as we age, which means our skin is less elastic, which eventually causes wrinkling and sagging. In our twenties, the skin’s exfoliation process decreases by 28%. This means our dead skin cells stick together for longer periods of time.

In our thirties, the transfer of moisture from the dermis to the epidermis is slowed and fat cells begin to shrink. These effects make the skin look dull and thin.

When we reach our forties, our collagen is reduced significantly – meaning the collagen and elastin fibres break and lose their elasticity in the process. Finally, in our fifties, the skin becomes dry and more easily bruised as the sebaceous glands (which produce oil) have decreased in size. In women, menopause also decreases oestrogen levels, leaving the skin drier and less toned. The production of hyaluronic acid also decreases. Elastin production decreases and the skin thins and becomes more fragile, and can no longer bounce back. Fat volume is lost with age increasing skin wrinkling. The result is the skin folds upon itself creating static wrinkles.

You cannot stop the intrinsic ageing process that takes place over the years, but you can take steps to replenish the collagen and hydration in your skin. You can also control extrinsic ageing which happens as a result of environmental and lifestyle factors.


One of the biggest causes of ageing is smoking. Not only does smoking cause health complications such as lung cancer and impacts cardiac health - it also accelerates the ageing process. This is because when you smoke, the blood vessels from your epidermis constrict. The decreased blood flow to your skin prevents oxygen and other nutrients from reaching the skin. This then damages collagen and elasticity fibres in the skin, which accelerates wrinkles and causes sagging.

Smoking also reduces the skin’s moisture as well as well as vitamins, in particular vitamin C which are required for neutralising free radical damage. This causes a reduction in collagen and causes skin dryness.

Quitting smoking is one of the best ways to improve skin damaged by smoking. As the blood flow improves, your skin receives more oxygen nutrients, helping you develop a healthier complexion

UV Exposure

Extrinsic ageing is due to the sun (photo ageing) and environmental damage. Photo ageing is excessive exposure to UV light which accelerates the deterioration of collagen and elastin, increasing static wrinkles, and producing freckles, age spots, sun spots and uneven skin tone.

Muscle Contractions

Repetitive muscle contractions that create facial expression pull the skin over years resulting in dynamic wrinkles, those deep forehead creases, crow’s feet, and smile lines, called nasolabial folds that run from the corners of the nose to the corners of the mouth.

Treatment Options:

Anti-wrinkle Injections 

Neurotoxins reduce the formation and deepening of dynamic wrinkles. Botox® Cosmetic belongs to a family of medications known as neuromodulators. They are commonly used on frown lines, the 11s between the eyebrows, forehead wrinkles, and wrinkles around the eyes (crow’s feet). They work by temporarily paralysing the muscle movements that cause dynamic wrinkles.  The result is relaxed and softened wrinkles and lines. In the hands of an expert like Dr. Sarah Kate neurotoxin injections can produce amazing aesthetic improvements beyond the smoothing of dynamic wrinkles.

Dermal Fillers

Injectable fillers offer the opportunity to add back lost volume, correct surface irregularities, smooth wrinkles and restore more youthful contours. They work by literally filling in the wrinkles from underneath the skin. They have a temporary effect because the materials they are made from are absorbed by the body over time. To retain the effects, maintenance treatments are needed.

Many fillers also contain lidocaine (a numbing agent) to decrease discomfort during injection. Combinations of the different types of fillers can provide subtle yet noticeable changes in your appearance. Results are almost immediate with minimal risk and no down time.

The results of dermal fillers are technique dependent which is why an expert injector like Dr. Sarah Kate can deliver the most personalised beautifying results. She will evaluate your skin and customise treatment to your needs and desired effect. Fillers can last anywhere between 3 months and one year or more depending on the depth of the lines and creases, the type of filler used, and where on your face the filler was used.

IPL/Laser Skin Rejuvenation 

IPL / Laser skin rejuvenation can treat static wrinkles, dynamic wrinkles, skin discolorations and sunspots, freckles and hyperpigmentation. It can also reduce acne scars, visible broken blood vessels and loose skin due to weak structural support from collagen and elastin fibres.’

Chemical peels

Chemical peels refresh your appearance improving skin clarity, tone, and texture. A peel will remove skin imperfections due to sun damage, acne, aging and the normal buildup of dead skin cells that make your skin look dull, wrinkled, and blotchy. They will also diminish fine lines and wrinkles.

October 02, 2023

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