WHAT CAUSES WRINKLES? Aging Process and Wrinkles

As a person ages, skin undergoes significant changes:

·                     The cells divide more slowly, and the inner layer of skin (the dermis) starts to thin.

·                     Fat cells beneath the dermis begin to atrophy (diminish).

·                     The underlying network of elastin and collagen fibers, which provides scaffolding for the surface layers, loosens and unravels.

·                     Skin loses its elasticity. When pressed, it no longer springs back to its initial position but instead sags and forms furrows.

·                     The sweat and oil secreting glands atrophy, depriving the skin of their protective water-lipid emulsions. The skin's ability to retain moisture then diminishes and it becomes dry and scaly.

·                     Frown lines (those between the eyebrows) and crow's feet (lines that radiate from the corners of the eyes) appear to develop because of permanent small muscle contractions. Habitual facial expressions also form characteristic lines.

·                     Gravity exacerbates the situation, contributing to the formation of jowls and drooping eyelids. (Eyebrows, surprisingly, move up as a person ages, possibly because of forehead wrinkles.)

·                     In addition, the ability of the skin to repair itself diminishes with age, so wounds are slower to heal.

Sun Damage (Photoaging) and Wrinkles

The role of the sun cannot be overestimated as the most important cause of prematurely aging skin (called photoaging) and skin cancers. Overall, exposure to ultraviolet (referred to as UVA or UVB) radiation emanating from sunlight accounts for about 90% of the symptoms of premature skin aging, and most of these effects occur by age 20.

Initial Damaging Effects of Sunlight -Sunlight consists of ultraviolet (referred to as UVA or UVB) radiation, which penetrates the layers of the skin. Both UVA and UVB rays cause damage leading to wrinkles, lower immunity against infection, aging skin disorders, and cancer. They appear to damage cells in different ways, however.



·                     UVB radiation is the primary cause of sunburn. Because of its shorter wavelength, however, UVB primarily affects the outer skin layers. UVB appears to damage skin cells by directly bombarding the genetic material, the DNA , inside the skin cells.

·                     UVA radiation is composed of longer wavelengths. They penetrate more deeply and efficiently into the inner skin layers and are responsible for tanning and allergic reactions to sunlight (such as from medication). The main damaging effect of UVA appears to be the promotion of the release of oxidants, also called oxygen-free radicals. These unstable particles are the result of many chemical processes in the body. In excess, however, they can damage cell membranes and interact with genetic material. They possibly contribute to the development of a number of skin disorders, including wrinkles and, more importantly, cancer. The large surface area of the skin makes it a prime target for oxidants.

Protective Measures.
The skin protects itself against DNA damage from ultraviolet radiation in different ways:

·                     In response to sunlight enzymes in the skin produce melanin, the dark pigment and the source of tanning, which helps shield the sun's rays.

·                     Other enzymes are also released that use regenerated DNA to try to repair damaged skin cells.

·                     It these processes fail to preserve skin cells, the system signals severely damaged cells to literally kill themselves, a process called apoptosis. (Peeling after sunburn is the shedding of these severely damaged or dead cells).

Processes Leading to Wrinkles.
Even small amounts of UV radiation trigger the following process that negatively effects skin :

·                     Sunlight damages collagen fibers (the major structural protein in the skin) and causes accumulation of abnormal elastin (the protein that causes tissue to stretch).

·                     In response to this sun-induced elastin accumulation, large amounts of enzymes called metalloproteinases are produced. (One study indicated that when people with light to moderate skin color are exposed to sunlight for just 5 to 15 minutes, metalloproteinases remain elevated for about a week.)

·                     The normal function of these metalloproteinases is generally positive, to remodel the sun-injured tissue by manufacturing and reforming collagen. (They may even have factors that protect against melanoma, although this is not clear.)

·                     This is an imperfect process, however, and some of these enzymes actually degrade collagen. The result is an uneven formation  of disorganized collagen fibers called solar scars .

·                     Repetition of this imperfect skin rebuilding over and over again causes wrinkles.

·                     UV radiation also promotes oxidation, the release of damaging and unstable oxygen-free radicals. Oxidation contributes to wrinkling, possibly by activating the metalloproteinases that degrade connective tissue.

Other Factors Responsible for Wrinkles

In addition to sunlight, other factors may hasten the formation of wrinkles:

·                     Cigarette smoke produces oxygen-free radicals and is known to accelerate wrinkles and aging skin disorders. A 2001 study also found that smokers have considerably higher levels of metalloproteinases than non-smokers, which may help account for the skin-aging effects of smoking.

·                     Air pollution. Ozone, a common air pollutant, may be a particular problem for the skin. One study reported that it might deplete the amount of vitamin E in the skin; this vitamin is an important anti oxidant.

·                     Rapid weight loss can also cause wrinkles by reducing the volume of fat cells that cushion the face. This not only makes a person look gaunt, but can cause the skin to sag.


IPL Facial Rejuvenation  





What is photorejuvenation
It is non ablative (bruise – free) process using intense pulse light (IPL) laser, causing fresher, younger looking skin. Broad spectrum light in the visible and infrared range, between 550nm upto 950nm, penetrates the skin layer and stimulates connective tissue growth, which is responsible for toning of the skin.

For which conditions photorejuvenation is useful?
Sun damaged skin with fine wrinkles
Broken facial capillaries
Visible blood vessels
Age spots
Lack of glow
Discoloration & pigmentation

Which part of the body can be photorejuvenated?
Photorejuvenation is usually done for face, neck and upper breast portions of body but any part of body can be photorejuvenated.

What are the advantages of photorejuvenation?
Photorejuvenation erases skin damage with no “downtime” & it can simultaneously treat different facial changes ranging from sun damage to broken facial capillaries to discoloration & pigmentation changes.

What precautions are needed after photorejuvenation?
It is advised to limit sun exposure and to use sun screen with SPF 30+ for few weeks’ after treatment.

How many treatment sessions are required?
Though there is improvement after each treatment session, for maximum benefit 5 to7 treatment sessions are required at 3 weeks interval.

Are there any complications of treatment?

Usually none but there may be temporary redness and burning sensation and very rarely superficial burn, if skin is very sensitive