Think all wrinkles are the same? Think again. Wrinkles arise from different causes, which makes wrinkles respond to different treatments. If your “anti-wrinkle” treatment is not delivering results, it could be because you are using the wrong therapy to target them. Not sure what type of wrinkles you have and what to do about them? We’ve got the answers right here.
Type #1: Expression lines
What are they: Sometimes called frown, smile or laugh lines, these lines, as their namesake suggests, typically arise anywhere on the face where you make expressions, especially around the mouth, between the brows and at the outer corners of the eyes.
What causes them: These wrinkles are caused by repeatedly making the same expressions over and over again. In the beginning, these lines only appear when you evoke an expression such as a frown or a squint. Over time, as your skin deteriorates, these lines may appear as faint creases even when you are not expressing yourself.
How to treat them: It’s virtually impossible to never move a muscle in your face again. In fact, it is downright scary if you don’t move a muscle in your face. The trend now is to reduce the overactive muscles that gives us these expression lines. We can do this by means of a botulinum toxin such as BOTOX. In the initial stages of the appearance of such lines, BOTOX is effective to reduce such expression lines. In the later stages however, when these expression lines are so deeply etched in your skin that the creases are evident at rest, then adding fillers to plump out the skin creases may be warranted.
Pitfalls: BOTOX needs to be administered skillfully and with a measured hand. Too little BOTOX and you may end up not getting rid of your lines optimally. Too much BOTOX and you may look a little fake and expressionless. Finding the right doctor who can give you a natural look is key. Always communicate your concerns to your doctor prior to starting treatment.
Type #2: Sun damage wrinkles
What are they: Tiny creases that form on the cheeks, lips and neck as a result of UV damage over time. This leads to collagen breakdown in the skin, and a deterioration of your skin from a smooth flat sheet to a lined “leather handbag” look
What causes them: These wrinkles are the direct result of too much time spent in the sun. The ultraviolet damage thins the skin and fine lines and wrinkles become the result. The best way to prevent them from forming is to avoid the sun and wear sunscreen daily.
How to treat them: In the old days, doctors would try face peels to treat the wrinkles with mild improvements. Nowadays, resurfacing lasers such as Fraxel Dual or SmartX carbon dioxide laser are great therapies to resurface a less-than-ideal complexion, promote new collagen growth and enhance the overall texture of the skin.
Pitfalls:It is best to resurface the skin when it is not tanned. After a resurfacing laser, a judicious regime of skin moisturizers and sunscreen will ensure optimal results and recovery.
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Type #3: Sleep lines
What are they: These are the latest subset of wrinkles to be discovered. As their name suggests, they can appear on the face, neck and chest in the morning from sleeping. While some disappear throughout the day, others stay for the long-term.
What causes them: Squishing your face against your pillow while you sleep. Appropriately known as sleep or compression wrinkles, they can be prevented by sleeping on your back or using pillows, like JuveRest Pillow, which alleviates pressure from the skin.
How to treat them: First avoid sleeping on your sides, try sleeping on your back to alleviate pressure off your face. If you already have sleep lines on your face, filling these tiny lines with small particle hyaluronic acid fillers such as Revitalift or baby drop fillers are sufficient to erase the appearance of such lines.
Pitfalls: Skin that is dehydrated tend to form sleep lines more easily. Keep your skin well moisturised to give your complexion the best chance of staying lineless longer.
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Type #4: Resting wrinkles
What are they: Saggy skin accompanied by wrinkles. They can appear anywhere on the face and are the result of skin sagging, leading the facial skin coming to rest in folds as it drapes itself across the face.
What causes them: A loss of collagen and elastin, both from the natural aging process and sun damage.
How to treat them: Hands down, the best way to treat these kind of wrinkles is with a facelift. But, for those who don’t want to go through with surgery, consider a radio-frequency device such Thermage or a focused ultrasound treatment, like Ultherapy.
Pitfalls: There are limitations to the extent of the lift from non-invasive skin tightening treatments such as Thermage and Ultherapy. If you need a greater lift in some areas, add in a facial threadlift to augment the lift in areas exhibiting greater sag such as jowls and jawline.
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Type #5: wrinkles
What are they: Our face loses volume with age, this leads to the formation of lines in such areas such as the areas beside the mouth and cheeks, especially when one smiles. The forehead furrows are another area where loss of overall forehead volume may lead to a ‘perma-frown’ effect.
What causes them: As with other types of wrinkles, these worsen overtime when you lose collagen and elastin in the skin. As one ages, facial volume loss can accentuate the appearance of such lines. Fat loss can also contribute to their formation. Hydration and quality skin care can help to slow the process of them forming.
How to treat them: You want to restore volume and reposition these fat pads, which can be done with fillers or a fat transfer procedure.
Pitfalls: Too much fillers can lead to the classic Hollywood horror story—- the ‘pillow-face’. “The key to getting great results with fillers is using the right type of fillers, in the right amounts and placed on the right anatomical locations” says Dr Low Chai Ling of SW1 Clinic.
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