April 01, 2013

Smoothing facial wrinkles

Resurfacing your skin

Smoothing facial wrinkles

You've heard them called "lines of distinction," but to you they're just face wrinkles. And you're none too fond of them, nor the other blemishes you see.

Can something be done to make them go away?

Maybe not completely, but resurfacing the skin can help. This involves removing one or more layers of skin that have wrinkles, spots or other blemishes. When the skin grows back, it may be tighter and smoother. Spots or wrinkles may diminish, or in some cases they may go away altogether.

Most resurfacing choices involve trade-offs. Generally, milder therapies produce more-modest results with minimal risk and discomfort. Harsher therapies produce more-pronounced and longer lasting benefits, but with greater risk, discomfort and recovery time. Fortunately, new technologies and techniques that are less harsh but still deliver good wrinkle-erasing results are starting to change this equation.

Whether a wrinkle treatment option is worth the effort and expense — which isn't typically covered by health insurance — is entirely up to you and how you feel about your appearance.

Incurring damage

Of the skin's three main layers, the middle layer (dermis) is the thickest and most important in terms of aging. The dermis contains fibrous connective tissues called collagen and elastin that give skin its strength and elasticity. Thinning and breakdown of collagen and elastin contribute significantly to the aged appearance of skin.

Wrinkles and sun spots are commonly the result of exposure to sunlight, which breaks down collagen and elastin. That's why the face, tops of the...