Wrinkles come in many forms, settle in many places on the face and are caused by several common aging processes. Just as there’s no single type of wrinkle, there’s no one perfect solution. However, almost as many approaches to minimizing them are available as there are types of wrinkles themselves.
“Nonsurgical procedures to combat wrinkles have become more popular with each passing year,” notes Carey Patton, a nurse practitioner with Aurora Medical Spa. “There are noninvasive treatments that are financially reasonable and deliver amazing results. I do believe that this is allowing people to postpone considering surgical options.”
Dr. Richard Moore, medical director of The Lifestyle Center, adds that as more nonsurgical procedures—those that can be performed on an outpatient basis without anesthesia—are introduced, their popularity continues to increase. “I can’t say that they have overtaken surgery in popularity, but certainly they are performed to a greater extent than surgical procedures,” he says, noting that Botox injections are the most common nonsurgical cosmetic procedure. “Botox Cosmetic, Dysport and Xeomin all function to reduce dynamic wrinkles (wrinkles that occur as a result of muscle contractions) and are the most requested procedure and extremely effective,” he says.
In fact, Botox is becoming increasingly popular among women in their 20s and 30s as a way to prevent dynamic wrinkles in the forehead from ever forming in the first place. Neither Patton nor Moore is surprised, considering that both report patients’ chief complaint is the wrinkles that form between the brows, where Botox is an effective remedy.
Nasolabial folds are another common concern. These lines, which form from the nose to the outer corners of the mouth, may be treated with dermal fillers—another popular nonsurgical intervention. However, Moore notes that a combination of procedures often provides the best results. Botox, fillers and laser resurfacing often complement each other in terms of overall effect.
Fine lines and wrinkles tend to respond well to laser resurfacing treatments, which remove thin layers of skin or stimulate collagen growth and tighten the underlying skin, depending on the specific type of laser used. Other skin imperfections addressed by laser resurfacing include liver spots or age spots, uneven skin tone or texture, sun-damaged skin, and scars caused by acne, chickenpox or injuries.
“The most exciting treatment that is effective and longer-lasting is the ‘liquid lift’ with stem cell-enriched fat transfer,” Moore says. “This involves a small amount of fat harvesting, isolation of stem cells, and subsequent transfer to the face of the stem cell-enriched fat. This procedure can take five to 10 years off one’s appearance and typically lasts for five to 10 years.” (Editor’s Note: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration “cautions consumers to make sure that any stem cell treatment they are considering has been approved by FDA or is being studied under a clinical investigation that has been submitted to and allowed to proceed by FDA.”)
“Everyone wants to know what they can do to fix sagging skin, diminish wrinkles and brighten a dull complexion, but all of this can prove overwhelming,” Patton notes. “First, understand what causes wrinkles. Not all wrinkles are treated with the same treatment. Have an in-depth consultation to understand your treatment options and then go for it!"