Ask a Dermatologist: Decoding Wrinkles - Cosmetics Magazine - July/August 2009
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Ask a Dermatologist: Decoding Wrinkles - Cosmetics Magazine - July/August 2009

Decoding Wrinkles – Tackling wrinkles is a priority for many Canadian consumers. Our resident dermatologist, Dr. Lisa Kellett offers a crash course in understanding wrinkles

Cosmetics: To start, what are embryonic wrinkles and how do they form?
Dr. Lisa Kellett: Fetal wrinkles commonly known as embryonic wrinkles occur during development in the uterus. They are seen in areas of natural folds such as the neck and palms.

Cosmetics: What are permanent wrinkles and when do they usually form on the face? 
Dr. Lisa Kellett: Permanent wrinkles can be fetal or they can occur as a result of skin laxity (eg. Nasolabial folds) or frequent movement (crow’s feet). They are usually seen more often in patients over the age of 30 and become more pronounced with age.

Cosmetics: What are reversible wrinkles? 
Dr. Lisa Kellett: They are expressive wrinkles that can be treated with Botox to cause a decrease in expressive muscle movement resulting in softening of wrinkles.

Cosmetics: We know that Retinol is a great anti-aging ingredient. But can you tell us about the variations on the molecule? 
Dr. Lisa Kellett: There are many forms of Vitamin A including tretinoin, isotretinion, and Retinol. Retinol is better tolerated as it is not as irritating as its cousins above.

Cosmetics: We’ve all heard about wrinkles that occur from repeated muscle contradictions like laugh lines. Can these be prevented? 
Dr. Lisa Kellett: These are called expressive wrinkles and occur at sites of repeated muscle contraction. Good examples of are the lines between the eyes, forehead, and crow’s feet. If you want to treat them, the best method is Botox cosmetic which softens the muscles of facial expression.

Cosmetics: What effect do UV rays have on wrinkles? 
Dr. Lisa Kellett: Most of skin aging (including wrinkles) found in humans is a result of sun exposure rather than intrinsic factors.

Cosmetics: What effect does smoking have on wrinkles? 
Dr. Lisa Kellett: Smoking has a number of detrimental effects on the skin including skin aging. It definitely contributes to wrinkle formation.

Cosmetics: Does a mild exfoliant help with reducing the look of fine lines? 
Dr. Lisa Kellett: Exfoliation will remove some layers of the stratum corneum (the upper level of the skin) and might temporarily improve the appearance of the top of the skin.

Cosmetics: What is the best way to treat wrinkles without visiting a dermatologist? 
Dr. Lisa Kellett: The most important treatment is prevention…with an SPF Sunscreen of 30 or higher as well as using a hat and avoiding the sun. The second step is using a product with 1% Retinol or higher.

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