What are wrinkles?
Although wrinkles can signify wisdom or at least some level of maturity, there is no question that newly born infants also have wrinkles. The real concern that most of us have is that certain types of wrinkling are associated with the aging process. In our current "pop" culture, people do not view aging positively. Generally, the treatment of normal skin aging that does not result in a functional abnormality is termed "cosmetic." Most cosmetic procedures are not covered by health insurance.
Many products and procedures promise to reduce wrinkles. Some do little or nothing (like the products that claim they reduce "the appearance of fine lines," which means that they don't reduce the lines themselves). Others can achieve a fair amount of success.
Although all of our skin ages, sun exposure dramatically enhances the rate at which this occurs. Changes brought on by sun damage (photoaging) include dry skin (really roughness), sagginess, skin growths like keratoses, lentigos ("liver spots"), and wrinkles. Just compare the skin on the face and neck of a poorly pigmented farmer to the skin of his buttocks.
Most wrinkles associated with aging appear on the parts of the body where sun exposure is greatest. These sites are the face, neck, the backs of the hands, and the tops of the forearms. Wrinkles come in two categories: fine surface lines and deep furrows related to muscular contraction. Some deep furrows are anatomical in nature and have little to do with aging.
Generally, it is only the aging wrinkles that really bother people. There are two basic approaches to the amelioration of these signs of aging: prevention and treatment.
Topical wrinkle treatments are, in general, much more effective for fine lines. Deeper creases may require more invasive techniques, such as injection of fillers, local muscle paralysis, or plastic surgery.
There is a special form of wrinkling called "cellulite" that produces a "cottage cheese-like" appearance to the skin. Cellulite most commonly appears in the hips and buttocks of women and is due to fat deposition in certain anatomical areas in the dermis.