Wrinkles (cont.)

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What factors promote wrinkles?

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Factors that promote wrinkling include the following:

  • Smoking
  • Degree of skin pigmentation (more is better)
  • Sun exposure
  • Hair (some styles provide cover and protection against sun damage)
  • Dress (hats, long sleeves, etc.) can provide sun protection.
  • Occupational and recreational sun exposure (farming, sailing, golfing, using tanning booths)
  • Heredity (some families wrinkle more)
  • Amount of subcutaneous fat on a person's body (people with more subcutaneous fat have fewer wrinkles)

Some of these factors are beyond our control. The main preventive measures we can take are to minimize sun exposure and not smoke. These measures can, at best, delay wrinkles.

SPF numbers on sunscreen labels refer to protection against UVB radiation (shortwave ultraviolet light, the "sunburn rays"). More and more sunscreens offer protection against UVA radiation (longer-wave ultraviolet light) as well. UVA rays are the ones you get in tanning salons; they may not cause immediate sunburn but do produce sun damage and increase skin cancer risk over time. (Sorry, but there is no such thing as a "safe tan.") Sunscreens that block UVA indicate this on the label and include such ingredients as Parsol 1789. The FDA approved Mexoryl, another UVA-blocking ingredient, which has been available in Europe for some time. For more, please read the Sunburn and Sun Sensitizing Drugs and Sun Protection and Sunscreens articles.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/20/2014

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Wrinkles - Personal Experience Question: Discuss your personal experience with wrinkles. Where on your face and at what age did they first appear?
Wrinkles - Causes Question: Do you know the causes of your wrinkles? What lifestyle changes have you made to prevent wrinkles?
Wrinkles - Treatments Question: Describe the various treatments you've received for your wrinkles. What works, and what does not?