They start as barely noticeable creases around your eyes. They are there while you are laughing or smiling, but they quickly go away when you relax your face. Over time, you notice that they have become a more permanent feature on your face. The same process repeats itself on other parts of your face such as your frown line and forehead. You realise that these little wrinkles are not only here to stay, but they are becoming deeper and more defined with each passing year.

You may not realise it, but wrinkles are only one of several visible signs of ageing. Your skin texture and pigmentation also change, but the truth is that most people notice their wrinkles before anything else. There are a wide range of reasons as to why our skin age. These can be roughly lumped into two categories: biological and external.

In this article, we will look at the biological causes of wrinkles and some of the external factors that are contributing to the appearance of the wrinkles.

Why does your skin wrinkle with age?

1.     The epidermis (outer layer of skin) becomes thinner. The epidermis is responsible for protecting you from the elements. The thinner it becomes, the thinner your skin looks. It also allows less moisture to be retained, which dries out the skin and makes it less able to repair itself.

2.     The dermis (second layer of skin) undergoes significant changes. The dermal layer also becomes noticeably thinner. This effect, coupled with less collagen and the weakening of the elastin fibres creates wrinkles and sagging skin.

3.     The fat cells in the subcutaneous tissue (bottom layer of skin) become smaller. This shrinking of the fat cells causes a loss of volume, which manifests itself in sagging skin.

What environmental factors cause wrinkles?

1.     The Sun. Harmful rays from the sun are probably one of the most preventable causes of premature ageing. The sun’s rays release a barrage or free radicals in your skin, which cause damage to the healthy skin cells. This damage makes it very difficult for the skin to repair itself from the effects of ageing.

2.     Smoking. Smoking also produces a lot of free radicals, which can significantly damage your skin. Smoking has the added bonus of giving your skin a yellow or grey tint.

3.     Poor diet. If you are not giving your skin all of the nutrients that it needs, it will not be able to repair itself or fend off free radicals.

Although it is impossible to completely reverse the effects of ageing, it is possible to significantly reduce their appearance and slow them down.

How can wrinkles be treated?

1.     Prevention. The easiest way to get rid of wrinkles is to make sure that they don’t appear in the first place. This means that you need to wear sunscreen and limit your exposure to the sun’s rays. Don’t smoke and make sure that you eat a healthy, well balanced diet.

2.     Anti-Wrinkle Injections. Anti-wrinkle injections can significantly reduce fine lines and wrinkles. There are now 3 anti-wrinkle injection treatments available in Australia. It is important to know that the products we use are TGA approved. Also the result you get is dependent on the injector, not the product so choose wisely.

3.     Dermal Fillers. Dermal fillers can restore lost volume to the face, which will reduce the appearance of sagging skin. This volumised skin will greatly diminish the appearance of wrinkles. Always choose dermal fillers that are dissolvable (hyaluronic), ask your injector if the product is removable. Dermal fillers can be very natural looking in appearance, make sure your injector has a natural looking face.