Wrinkles are one of the most natural and obvious progressions of aging. While most of us would like to deter the changes occurring in our skin, unfortunately we cannot simply wish away the rate of aging. Wrinkles and creases that appear around the eye area or on the cheek bones or forehead prematurely are often due to environmental influences. Ironing out these wrinkles can be avoided at an earlier age with the correct skin regimen, a healthy diet, eliminating smoking and excessive exposure to the sun.
What Causes Skin Wrinkles?
Wrinkles develop as a result of the gradual wearing away of the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin) which is made up of dead tissue. When cells in the deepest most part of the epidermis known as the dermis dies and becomes smaller, the skin loses its elasticity and resilience. As the tissue in the dermis shrinks, wrinkles are caused in the epidermis.
Diagnosing Skin Wrinkles
If you notice any abnormal changes to your skin that accompanies your wrinkles, it would be best to consult a health practitioner or a dermatologist. For instance, if your skin is excessively wrinkled at an early age, any spots or pigmentation occurs, skin lesions appear or a spot becomes painful or bleeds, certain tests may need to be performed. These tests include a detailed examination and skin biopsy.
Help for Skin Wrinkles
Although wrinkles are a natural part of the aging process, there are various treatment options to reduce the appearance of skin wrinkles. Several anti-wrinkle creams and lotions containing alpha-hydroxy acids are available over-the-counter to smooth lines or wrinkles and increase the volume of tissue cells – these creams are not a miracle cure and cannot remove wrinkles!
Chemical peels and laser resurfacing are techniques used to remove dead cells from the surface layer of the skin thereby stimulating the regenerative process. Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections may also help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles temporarily. More recently, people are choosing plastic surgery to eliminate wrinkles.
Herbs have been used for centuries to support and maintain skin health by retaining moisture and elasticity as well as alleviating wrinkles. Two well known herbs such as Galium aperine (Cleavers) and Trifolium pratense (red clover) have a wide range of therapeutic benefits that act as a cleansing tonic, blood purifier and lymphatic cleanser. Homeopathic ingredients such as Natrium muriaticum, Kalium muriaticum and Kalium sulphate help to maintain skin health and support the regenerative processes of the skin.
Stretch marks appear on the body in many different places for a variety of reasons. Stretch marks occur when the dermis, the middle layer of your skin, is stretched to a point where its elasticity begins to break down. At this point, microscopic bleeding occurs along with tissue inflammation which gives us the raised reddish purple look of newly formed stretch marks.
As the dermis is stretched, the outer layer of skin, the epidermis, also stretches making it translucent enough that you can see the reddish purple stretch mark forming. As these marks heal, scar formation occurs, and you have a stretch mark. Over time the marks fade to a silvery white color that is a few shades lighter than your natural skin tone. The lighter color occurs because during the overstretching of the dermis, natural collagen production gets disrupted. This in turn may cause loss of skin pigment producing cells.
Stretch Mark Treatment
You don’t have to settle for living with your stretch marks or undergo plastic surgery to treat them as a best choice as many people believe. With new knowledge about stretch marks, you now have many treatment options to effectively treat your stretch marks.
What is the best treatment available?
Prevention is by far the best treatment available for stretch marks. Once you get them though, don’t overlook the prevention strategies because all of the steps you take for prevention can be carried over for treatment. Healthy skin on a healthy body is much easier to treat than skin that is not well taken care of.
Covering up your stretch marks with cosmetics definitely disguises the marks but does not treat your stretch marks. It just makes them less visible to the public eye.
One of the least expensive ways to treat stretch marks is by using topical creams and ointments. There are many over the counter creams that can help treat your stretch marks. Look for creams that will help with scar tissue reduction and collagen synthesis. Strivectin has long been noted for its ability to decrease the appearance of stretch marks over time. Keep in mind that for these creams to work, you must be patient and diligent in your application. Also, when applying the creams or ointments, take time to massage the area to help increase blood flow. Increased blood flow to the area can decrease the healing time needed for stretch marks.
There are also prescription creams that are used for stretch mark treatment. These creams contain Retin A, retinol, or other derivatives of Vitamin A. The concentrated derivatives of Vitamin A have been proven to stimulate collagen synthesis to cause the skin to heal itself over time. These particular creams work best on the reddish colored stretch marks.
Another form of stretch mark treatment is a chemical peel. Usually performed in a dermatologist’s office, this type of treatment uses a thin chemical mask to “peel” off the top layer of skin where your stretch marks are located. Chemical peels usually stimulate collagen production and in turn promote healing of the stretch mark scar.
Laser therapy and light therapy are two additional stretch mark treatments. These treatments usually require more than one doctor visit in order to see results. With laser therapy, intense laser light is directed onto the stretch mark in order to break down scar tissue and stimulate collagen production and elastin repair. Light therapy can work on the silvery white stretch marks helping them to build up their normal melanin stores again. This alone can help stretch marks look less visible.
Endermologie has been used for quite some time to reduce the appearance of unsightly cellulite in the body, but recently it has been gaining popularity in treating stretch marks. Through the use of rollers and gentle suction, circulation is increased in the affected areas. This increase in circulation has been shown to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks because of the stimulation of increased healing from increased circulation.
Whichever stretch mark treatment you choose, make sure you consult with your doctor. Be confident that you are comfortable with every aspect of the option you choose before you undergo any treatment.