The most common questions of patients who visit the experienced cosmetic dermatologists at Skin Spectrum in Tucson, AZ are about facial wrinkles.  People want to know how they can slow the production of new wrinkles and also reverse existing folds and wrinkles. If you’re not happy with the way your skin looks, we can help you. Minimizing or erasing fine lines, wrinkles, creases, and folds allows for an improved light reflection on the skin which also reflects a more youthful face. In this blog, Dr. Jody Comstock of Skin Spectrum walks through answers to the top five frequently asked questions about facial wrinkles.

1 – What Causes Facial Wrinkles?

According to Dr. Comstock, “While many people believe aging is the most common cause of fine lines, wrinkles, creases and folds, the cause of these texture changes on the face and body is multifactorial. Some of the most common causes of wrinkles include:

  • Aging – young people quickly produce healthy skin cells and collagen and elastin that keep the face looking smooth and youthful. As we age, the replication of new skin cells and production of collagen and elastin slow leading to thinner, less healthy skin with less elasticity. We also lose fat as we age so sagging and drooping occur additionally with this volume loss.  The specific genetics of our skin also dictates how we age.  For example, thicker Italian skin with natural oils will age much better than thin, fair Anglo skin.
  • Sun exposure – it’s no secret that the sun’s UVA/UVB/UVC and infrared rays damage the skin. From sunburns to skin cancer, it’s clear that sun exposure accelerates aging and creates cancer in the skin. The sun’s UV rays allow for Vitamin D absorption through the skin, but unfortunately damage elastin fibers, collagen, and fat cells that keep skin looking smooth and supple. Over time, this damage leads to fine lines, wrinkles, creases, and folds, in addition to broken blood vessels and age spots.
  • Repetitive facial movements – whether facial movements occur consciously or unconsciously, repeated motions can lead to wrinkles. This process is called neuromyomodulation. (The nerves stimulate the muscle to move and the chronic movement creates a breakdown of tissue and a memory in the skin).  Think of a freshly ironed shirt. As you wear the shirt and you sit, stand, and move through the day, the shirt wrinkles and creases in the areas where you repeatedly move. The same can happen to your skin. After years of repeated movement, collagen and elastin break down and secondary wrinkles and creases form in the skin.
  • Sleep position – like repeated movements, sleeping with the same side of your face against a pillow can place pressure on the skin that breaks down collagen in that area, and as we age, new collagen is produced more slowly, which can cause fine lines and wrinkles to form.
  • Heredity – some people are naturally more likely to develop wrinkles due to genetic predisposition. If you have parents or grandparents with noticeable fine lines and wrinkles, make sure to take steps to keep your skin healthy and free from wrinkles early.
  • Families often grow up in the same geographical area and the environmental sun, etc. simultaneously compounds genetics.
  • Pollution & smoking – like UV rays from the sun, pollution, cigarette smoke, and other toxic substances can form free radicals within skin cells that breakdown healthy cells and slow the production of collagen and elastin, leading to the development of fine lines and wrinkles.

2 – What is the Best Non-Surgical Treatment for Wrinkles?

The best non-surgical wrinkle treatment really depends on the type and etiology of the wrinkle.  We break down wrinkles into dynamic and adynamic wrinkles.  This means wrinkles with expression, dynamic, and wrinkles that exist without any expression, adynamic.

According to Dr. Comstock,  “All wrinkles and texture will improve with a medical-grade, or cosmeceutical, skin care program”.  This is always the best, safest, and most cost-effective way to treat the skin no matter what is causing the texture changes on the skin. We approach aging changes on the skin with a combineese formulation.  We use Botox, Dysport, or Jeuveau to slow down the muscle movement, fillers such as Voluma, Restylane Lift, or RHA 2, 3, or 4 to help replace volume loss from aging, lifestyle, and the sun and then peels, microneedling, and/or lasers to “iron” the skin.  The best treatment for your skin depends on your expectations, allowed healing time, your baseline health, finances, underlying skin conditions, and genetics.  No matter what one does, getting started is the correct answer. We find a mutually acceptable program for everyone. At Skin Spectrum, we offer an array of lasers from the mild, no downtime, “lunchtime” Clear and Brilliant laser treatment to more aggressive, definite downtime healing lasers such as the CO2 ablative resurfacing laser or the Fotona Micropeel laser.  At Skin Spectrum, we have an initial consultative appointment to create an individualized program for each person.

At the consult, your dermatologist carefully examines your skin, reviews your treatment options, and helps you find the solution that best meets your needs. Remember there are numerous solutions available to address almost any type of wrinkle or texture change. Dr. Comstock says, “Every patient is different, and every treatment plan will be designed to fit unique needs.”

We strongly believe the best cosmetic care for the skin begins inside.  A healthy diet, supplements, sleep, and stress reducers are essential for optimal skin improvement.


3 – How do You Get Rid of Deep Wrinkles?

When it comes to treating deeper wrinkles, Dr. Comstock says we still use the combineese approach as we discussed above for the more superficial dynamic and adynamic wrinkle changes.  Deeper wrinkles still rely on skincare products, neuromodulators (Botox-like meds), fillers and peels, microneedling, or lasers.  The difference is deeper wrinkles usually require more treatments and often need a more aggressive treatment plan with more fillers and a deeper laser treatment. The lighter to medium type of treatments would require a series of treatments.  Specifically, Dr. Comstock says, “Patients are pleasantly surprised how much improvement one can achieve without surgery for deper wrinkles and folds”.

4 – Can Wrinkles be Reversed?

While a dermatologist may not be able to fully erase the signs of aging, they are often able to significantly improve the overall appearance of the skin by using one or a combination of treatments customized to your individual needs. According to Dr. Comstock, “Depending on the number of fine lines and wrinkles, depth, and amount of sun exposure, wrinkles may require multiple treatments, but amazing results can often be achieved.”  Once you “get skin fit” you can “stay skin fit” with an excellent maintenance program.

5 – Is There a Way to Prevent Wrinkles or Slow Down the Process?

According to Dr. Comstock, “Along with many other skin health issues, prevention is the most effective thing you can do for facial wrinkles. Using aggressive sun protection and an effective anti-aging topical program consistently over the years will help your skin to look incredible as you age. Prevention of sun-related wrinkles and skin changes is the best thing you can do long-term for your skin health.” When you work with a dermatologist at Skin Spectrum, we can help you to develop a plan to keep your skin looking flawless as you age.

Contact Skin Spectrum for a Consultation

Whether you want to learn more about products to help prevent wrinkles or you want suggestions for how to turn back the clock, the Skin Spectrum team is here to help. Getting started on looking and feeling your best is simple. You can use our online form to request a consultation to discuss your options with one of our knowledgeable Tucson, AZ dermatologists.