Wrinkles are visible creases in the skin.
Most wrinkles are associated with aging changes in skin.
Aging of the skin and skin structures (hair and nails) is a natural
process. Nothing can be done to decrease the rate of skin aging, but many
environmental factors will increase the rate.
Frequent exposure to sunshine results in premature skin
wrinkling and increased pigmentation (liver spots). It also increases the
likelihood of skin cancer. Exposure to cigarette smoke is another
environmental factor that increases wrinkling of the skin.
Besides wrinkles, other skin changes may include liver
spots (pigmented areas). The hair and nails also change with aging,
including graying of the hair, hair loss, and brittleness of the nails.
Wrinkles can develop because of:
- Sun exposure
- Normal aging changes in the skin
To minimize skin wrinkling, stay out of the sun as much
as possible. When you are outside, wear protective clothing and use
sunscreen. If you smoke, stop smoking.
Call your health care
- A spot on the skin has more than one color, has an
irregular shape, or is raised.
- You notice any new or changing pigmented lesions
Note: Wrinkles are not usually a concern unless they
occur at an early age. Consult your health care provider if you think that
your skin is becoming excessively wrinkled at an early age. A referral to
a dermatologist or plastic surgeon is sometimes appropriate.
expect at your health care provider's office
The medical history will be obtained and a physical
Medical history questions documenting skin wrinkling in
detail may include:
- When did you first notice that the skin was
- Has it changed in any manner?
- Has a skin spot become painful or does it bleed?
- What other symptoms are occurring at the same time?
A detailed examination of the skin will be performed. If
wrinkles are accompanied by a skin lesion that has changed in appearance,
diagnostic tests may include a skin lesion biopsy.
A dermatologist or plastic surgeon may provide choices
from wrinkle creams to plastic surgery for dealing with aging problems.
Current alternatives have relatively low risk, but are generally
Tretinoin (Retin-A) or other creams may be recommended
but aren't guaranteed solutions.
Chemical peels or laser resurfacing are very effective
options for early wrinkles.
Plastic surgery (for a facelift, browlift, or other
procedure) is available as an elective procedure that is generally paid
for entirely by the patient (not by insurance).
After seeing your health care provider:
You may want to add a note related to early skin
wrinkles to your personal medical record.