The largest and heaviest organ of the human body is the skin, making up nearly 15% of your overall weight.
Your skin performs vital functions, such as protecting your body from harm, storing fats and water, creating sensations through nerve endings, and helping regulate body temperature through sweating and dilating blood vessels.
But your skin changes over time. A common change we see as people get older is an increase in fine lines and wrinkles, but those also can develop when you’re younger.
If you’re starting to see creases in your skin and want to do something about them, Dr. Javier Zelaya and his skilled medical team at Skinworks Dermatology, with three New York City locations, can help.
What determines your skin’s firmness?
Your skin has three main layers:
The skin’s outermost layer is responsible for creating new skin cells, giving your skin its color, and protecting your body from the external environment.
This layer works as connective tissue to protect your body from stress and strain. But it also provides your skin with its elasticity and firmness, uses glands to make sweat and oil, provides blood and tactile sensation, and grows hair.
The deepest layer of skin helps attach skin to bone and muscles. It mainly consists of fat, connective tissue, and elastin, one of the proteins responsible for your skin’s flexibility.
Elastin and collagen are vital proteins abundant in your skin and throughout your body, giving your skin its structure, firmness, and ability to stretch yet retain its form.
The conditions that affect your skin’s firmness and elasticity directly contribute to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
What conditions cause wrinkles?
Age is the most common cause of wrinkles, because your body slows down production of the aforementioned proteins as you get older due to hormonal changes and other natural changes.
Aging skin is less efficient at maintaining moisture, secreting oil, and healing, all of which play a role in the development of wrinkles. But there are other reasons for wrinkles to form, including:
Repeated facial expressions
We all express ourselves by smiling, frowning, and squinting, and the facial muscles responsible for those actions form grooves in the skin that become more noticeable as you age.
Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can speed up the skin’s natural aging process by breaking down the elastin and collagen that help your skin retain its firmness and flexibility.
Likely due to the effect of smoking on your skin’s collagen, this dangerous habit can also speed up your skin’s aging, leading to wrinkles.
How can you reduce wrinkles?
To protect your skin and slow the aging process, consider these lifestyle changes:
- Limit your exposure to direct sunlight
- Use products that include sunscreen
- Moisturize your skin
- Eat a healthy diet
- Quit smoking
If you’re ready to deal with the wrinkles you have already, we offer a variety of services to make your skin look as young and healthy as possible. These include laser treatments, Botox®, and dermal fillers to help reduce the appearance of creases, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Wrinkles happen to everyone eventually, but you can control how many and how soon by calling the Skinworks Dermatology office in Maspeth, Chelsea, or Park Slope or requesting your appointment online today.