Mercy Hospital & Health Services Contact Us
MyChart
About Mercy
Join Our Team
set font size large set font size medium set font size small
email this page print this page
Health Illustrated Encyclopedia Banner
Health Illustrated Encyclopedia

Disclaimer:
Our Health Information Database is provided by A.D.A.M. the leading provider of electronic and printed information for professionals and consumers in healthcare and industry. It provides authoritative, reliable content written and reviewed by an editorial board who represent a variety of specialty areas. This board reviews and evaluates all healthcare information to ensure it is accurate, reliable, and can be used with complete confidence. And now you have access to the same authoritative, trusted clinical information relied upon by health professionals around the world.
Wrinkles

Definition

Wrinkles are creases in the skin.

Alternative Names

Considerations

Most wrinkles are associated with aging changes in skin. Aging of the skin and related structures (hair and nails) is a natural process. Nothing can be done to decrease the rate of skin aging, but many environmental factors will increase the rate.

Frequent exposure to sunshine results in premature skin wrinkling and increased pigmentation (liver spots). It also increases the likelihood of skin cancer. Exposure to cigarette smoke is another environmental factor that increases wrinkling of the skin.

Besides wrinkles, other skin changes may include liver spots (pigmented areas). The hair and nails also change with aging, including graying of the hair, hair loss, and brittleness of the nails.

Common Causes

Common causes of wrinkles include:

  • Genetic (family) influences
  • Normal aging changes in the skin
  • Smoking
  • Sun exposure

Home Care

To minimize skin wrinkling, stay out of the sun as much as possible. When you are outside, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. If you smoke, stop smoking.

Call your health care provider if

Wrinkles are not usually a concern unless they occur at an early age. Consult your health care provider if you think that your skin is becoming excessively wrinkled at an early age. A referral to a dermatologist or plastic surgeon is sometimes appropriate.

What to expect at your health care provider's office

Your doctor may ask detailed questions about your wrinkles, such as:

  • When did you first notice that the skin was abnormally wrinkled?
  • Has it changed in any manner?
  • Has a skin spot become painful or does it bleed?
  • What other symptoms are occurring at the same time?

A detailed examination of the skin will be performed. If wrinkles are accompanied by a skin lesion that has changed in appearance, diagnostic tests may include a skin lesion biopsy.

Tretinoin (Retin-A) or creams containing alpha-hydroxy acids may be recommended, but these aren't guaranteed to help.

Chemical peels or laser resurfacing are very effective options for early wrinkles.

Botulinum toxin (Botox) may be used to correct some of the wrinkles associated with overactive facial muscles.

Some patients may choose plastic surgery for age-related wrinkles (for example, a facelift).

References

Habif TM. Light-related diseases and disorders of pigmentation. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 19.

View Spanish Version

Encyclopedia Home
Drug Note Home
Health Information Home

Images

Care Points
    Read More

    Review Date: 10/28/2010

    Review By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

    The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

    www.adam.com
    www.mercyweb.org
    follow us online
    facebook youtube


    Contact us
    Home  |  Sitemap

    Disclaimer & Terms of Use  |  Privacy Statement  |  Notice of Privacy Practices
    Copyright ©2013 Mercy. Last modified 2/16/2011