How to Treat Fine Line

If you laugh, smile, frown or squint (basically live) your going to get fine lines. Fine lines are a natural ocurance but let’s be honest, they can be annoying. Since fine line removal is the #1 skin concern for women and men we have been researching some of the best methods for prevention as well as treatment.

Prevention through lifestyle changes/improvements

  1. If you smoke – STOP! I know it’s easier said than done if you’re an addicted smoker but it is the single biggest thing you can do for your skin as well as your overall health.
  2. Be sure to stay hydrated. Skin is approximately 30% water so staying hydrated helps to plump skin cells. Drinking water also helps to flush out any toxins or impurities.
  3. Add antioxidants to your routine. They can be found in foods and/or other products. Some of the top foods for overall skin health include Fatty Fish, Avocados, Walnuts, Sunflower Seeds & Sweet Potatoes. For  the full list of 12 check the article from Healthline here. Top vitamins that have antioxidant properties include: Vitamin A (Retinol), Vitamin C, Vitamin E and more. Self Magazine highlights a full list here.
  4. Limit sun exposure and be sure to use sunscreen if outdoors.
  5. Use proven, high-quality anti-wrinkle cream. We’ll get into more details below.
  6. Be sure to get enough sleep. A lack of sleep causes the stress hormone cortisol to be released, which influences inflammation in the skin, causing flare-ups in conditions like acne, psoriasis, and even eczema. To optimize skin the National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
  7. Try to minimize or reduce stress. When you are stressed you tend to make expressions, that if done regularly, form the foundation of fine lines and wrinkles. An example would be frown lines which are the result of stress in the form of marionette lines. Repeated action causes the underlying muscles associated with facial expressions to form permanent expression lines. 

Treatment of existing fine lines

Over the counter

 Retinoids – Are the best basic treatment for fine lines. Retinoids are known for treating various signs of aging such as uneven pigmentation, roughness, and wrinkling. At first, they may cause redness and peeling. Although this can be unpleasant, improvement comes when the peeling stops. If you have sensitive skin, like me, you should consider the percentage of retinoids and/or consider using it every other night vs each night. Best over the counter options are covered well by

Alpha-hydroxy acids – For subtle improvements fruit acids are safe and cause minimal irritation. Some of the top alpha-hydroxy acids include glycolic and lactic acid. Want more details on products? Check the MSN buying guide.

Antioxidants – These include vitamins A, C, and E, as well as beta-carotene. Products that have antioxidants mildly improve wrinkles and may provide some sun protection (though you should still wear sunscreen) .

Moisturizers – These may temporarily make wrinkles look less noticeable. You can find some temporary relief in reducing fine lines but moisturizers can now permanently remove them. There are some very good choices in the drug store – many include vitamins and/or retinoids. Consider your skin sensitivity as well as your goal relative to results and try something over the counter first before making an appointment with a dermatologist.

In-Office Treatments

Peels use ingredients like phenol, salicylic acid, TCA and trichloroacetic acid and penetrate somewhat deeper into the skin. Deep peels do a good job of smoothing fine lines. As a general rule, the deeper the peel, the greater the chance of side effects. There can be scarring and changes in skin color. Peels are uncomfortable and require healing time so it’s important to ask what to expect in advance.

Dermabrasion – is a procedure that “sands” the skin. Dermabrasion can have very positive results. It’s very important to have a qualified, proven technician perform the treatment. Much like peels; side effects include possible scarring and permanent changes in skin color.

Laser resurfacing – doctors use lasers to stimulate the skin’s production of collagen, which plumps up skin. Laser resurfacing can have good results but it is intrusive and requires downtime for skin to heal. Once again, it’s critical to get a qualified, proven doctor to perform the treatment and explain the risks.

Ultrasound therapy – this is a noninvasive technique that tightens and lifts skin on the face, neck, chin and chest. The FDA has approved a technique called Ultherapy, which is the commercial form of ultrasound. Treatment can cause swelling, bruising and redness. It typically take a month or more to see full results but they will last for approximately a year. More details can be found here at asds.

Injections – they can serve to relax muscles, which diminish lines and/or plump up fine lines. Botox, relaxes muscles that produce the “frown lines” on the forehead, fine lines around the eyes, and other wrinkles. There are also numerous wrinkle fillers that improve the look of fine lines. Improvement lasts several months (3-6) and must be repeated to maintain the look. There are many offering injections who are not board certified, you should be sure to only get injections from a doctor.

Permanent Change

Surgery – Plastic surgery. Facelifts, brow lifts, and other cosmetic surgeries help some people. If you have time and money, a permanent change may be what you choose. It is critical to research and only choose a board certified Plastic Surgeon with proven results. Sounds easy? Just consider how many famous people have botched procedures and they have all the resources in the world.

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Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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