As you age your skin becomes drier, thinner and loses its firmness. The years can take a toll on the appearance of your skin in the form of sagging and deep wrinkles. Wrinkles can be especially pronounced around the mouth and eyes. Treatments available to smooth out deep wrinkles include fillers, peels, laser resurfacing, and conventional surgery.
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Injectable soft tissue fillers such as collagen, fat and hyaluronic acid can temporarily plump skin and smooth out deep wrinkles, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Some fillers work by replacing collagen that diminishes as you age while others can encourage collagen production. Collagen is a protein that keeps skin smooth and taut. Soft tissue fillers are generally regarded as safe. They involve little if any recovery time and you are usually able to resume your normal activities immediately. Side effects are rare but may include minor bruising and swelling. Common injection sites include the cheek and eye area. The results typically last about six months.
Botox (botulinum toxin type A) is similar to fillers but works by blocking the chemical messengers that cause your muscles to contract. The National Institutes of Health says Botox is made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. When your facial muscles are unable to tighten, your skin flattens which effectively smooths out deep wrinkles. Botox is frequently injected into the upper lip area, crows feet around the eyes, forehead lines and the frown lines between the eye brows. Results generally last up to 4 months. Botox is considered to be safe and effective. Temporary side effects include injection-site bleeding and swelling.
Dermabrasion involves sanding down the outer layer (epidermis) of your skin with a speedy rotating brush. The procedure may soften deep wrinkles by allowing a new layer of skin to replace old, damaged and wrinkled skin. Possible side effects are redness and swelling which typically subside within 2 weeks.
Chemical peel treatments may help soften deep wrinkles. Peels typically use glycolic or salicylic acid to essentially burn off the surface layer of your skin. This allows smoother, less wrinkled skin to surface. A series of peels may be required for desired results. Your skin may be red and sun-sensitive for several days following treatment.
Ablative laser resurfacing uses a laser beam to damage the outer layer of skin while heating the deeper layer (dermis). This process encourages the production of collagen which leads to firmer, less wrinkled skin, according to the CNN Health website. Side effects may include redness and inflammation. It may take a few months for your skin to fully recover from laser resurfacing. Non-ablative lasers are less intense and don’t harm the outer layer of your skin. Several treatments may be required for deep wrinkles to soften but the recovery time is shorter.
The most invasive and longest lasting treatment for deep wrinkles is a face lift. This procedure consists of removing excess skin in your lower face and neck area. The underlying muscle and connective tissue is then pulled back for a tightening effective. Results of a face lift can last up to 10 years. You may experience bruising and swelling for a number of weeks following surgery.