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Wrinkles are creases or folds that appear on your skin naturally as a person ages. At a younger age, wrinkles form on the face when you’re giving certain facial expressions. This is because the skin on your face is thin and elastic. Over time it loses its elasticity and becomes thinner, which leads to the appearance of permanent wrinkles. They are commonly noticed on sun-exposed areas such as the face, hands, and feet. These days, many anti-aging treatment options are available which can delay or reduce the appearance of wrinkles on your skin. 


The most predominant cause of wrinkles is aging. The color, texture, and features of your skin are determined by genetics and influenced by environmental factors. As you age, your skin loses its youthful appearance and forms wrinkles. This may occur early in some individuals and very late in others. There is no defined age range for the appearance of wrinkles.

Another important cause of wrinkles is sun exposure. The UV rays from the sun affect your skin in multiple ways. These UV rays break down your skin’s elastic fibers, which results in the beginning of the early aging process. Prolonged exposure to harsh sunlight can increase the chance of wrinkles and premature aging.

Dehydration can also cause early wrinkles formation. Your skin cells are kept plump by an adequate intake of water. Reduced water intake, especially during hot, dry weather, can lead to skin dehydration. Dehydrated skin loses its plump appearance and appears dry and wrinkled.

Other factors that can cause the formation of wrinkles include repeated facial expressions, smoking, certain medications, and some environmental factors. 

Risk Factors And Epidemiology

The risk of developing wrinkles increases as you age. Certain genetic conditions may also increase the risk of wrinkles at an early age. One of the most important risk factors is sun exposure. People whose profession demands them to work under sunlight for long hours may develop wrinkles at a comparatively young age. Smoking can also accelerate the appearance of wrinkles. This is because smoking reduces blood supply to the skin and affects its connective tissues. Irregular diet, dehydration, alcohol, and certain medications are among other risk factors.

Wrinkles appear earlier in individuals with light skin compared to those with a dark skin tone. This is because the greater amount of melanin in dark-skinned individuals protects them to a certain extent from the harmful effects of UV rays. 

Signs And Symptoms

Wrinkles appear as creases, folds, or ridges on the surface of your skin. They are predominant on sun-exposed skin areas, including the face, neck, hands, and feet. Most people are concerned about the appearance of wrinkles on their faces. They can be noticed in areas utilized while making certain facial expressions such as the forehead, under and around eyes, nasolabial folds, and smile lines. They appear as fine lines during the early stages. They can form deep folds or crevices in your skin regions in later stages of life. 


Wrinkles are not a harmful skin condition, but they can signify premature aging. If you are concerned about the appearance of wrinkles on your skin, consult a dermatologist for better guidance. Your doctor will look for the possible causes of wrinkles, apart from aging. 

Differential Diagnosis

Wrinkles are a natural part of aging. If you begin to form wrinkles at a fairly young age, consult your doctor to look for other possible causes. Environmental factors such as high temperature, less humidity, and prolonged sun exposure can be possible causes. 


Nowadays, a variety of surgical options and other techniques are available to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Chemical peel, dermabrasion, and microdermabrasion are some examples of less invasive options. The basic purpose of these techniques is to remove the dead layer of skin and facilitate the growth of new healthy skin.

Botox is another technique in which a botulinum toxin type A is injected into specific skin regions. This chemical reduces the contraction of skin muscles. Reduced contraction decreases the appearance of wrinkles, especially in your forehead and around your eyes. Soft tissue fillers can also be used to plump up the wrinkled areas of your skin. Repeated injection may be necessary for a long-lasting effect.

Topical retinoids are considered a suitable option for reducing the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. Retinol is derived from vitamin A. It increases the production of collagen in the skin and reduces dryness. The effect of topical retinoids may appear in a few weeks or months. These products can make your skin burn, so it is necessary to use a protective sunscreen every day.

Some other anti-aging skin creams can be effective to some extent. These may contain retinol, glycolic acid, or lactic acid. These agents promote the growth of collagen and healthy skin cells. 


The prognosis of wrinkles after medication or treatment procedures depends on your age and other factors. Remember that wrinkles will continue to form as you age, and the process cannot be halted. It can only be delayed or diminished to a certain extent by using medical or surgical measures. 


To prevent the early formation of wrinkles, always use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher to protect your skin from sun damage. Wear protective clothing and keep caps or sunglasses when going outside. Keep your skin moisturized at all times. Maintain a healthy diet and drink an adequate amount of water to keep your skin hydrated. Smoking and alcohol intake should be avoided or limited.

Our clinical experts continually monitor the health and medical content posted on CURA4U, and we update our blogs and articles when new information becomes available. Last reviewed by Dr.Saad Zia on June 04, 2023.



Wrinkles - Better Health Channel


Wrinkles: Causes, treatment, and prevention (medicalnewstoday.com)


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