How wrinkles form

January 29, 2014 2 min read 0 Comments

How Wrinkles Form - Written by M.Hart

The skin consists of the epidermis, dermis, and the hypodermis. The epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin, contains dead, hardened cells that protect the skin from the outside environment. The next layer is the dermis, which contains collagen and elastin that provide the skin with elasticity and a plump appearance. Last is the hypodermis, which mostly consists of fat and plush skin tissue. Wrinkles form in either the epidermis or the dermis, and their appearance varies depending on the layer in which they are formed.

Each day, our skin cells die, shed, and regenerate. When we are young, this process occurs very quickly, but as we age, regeneration of skin cells gradually slows down, producing wrinkles and dullness of the skin. Also as we age, the epidermis begins to lose its ability to hold in moisture, leading to the appearance of fine lines in the skin's surface. Wrinkles also appear when the fat cells, or adipose cells, in the hypodermis start to decrease in number over time.

The vibrant appearance of the skin depends on the amount of collagen fibers in the dermis and the junction between the dermis and epidermis. The fibroblast cells in the dermis are responsible for regenerating the collagen fibers, which are the main component of skin. However, as our aging process progresses, the activity of the dermal fibroblast cells decreases, and collagen regeneration does not take place as efficiently. Consequently, when the collagen fibers in the dermis and junction get disorganized and decrease in number due to deterioration, wrinkles begin to form and the skin sags. 

However normal physical processes are not the only ones responsible for the appearance of our skin. Sun exposure can increase pigment production in the skin, which in time leads to age spots. The sun's UVA rays also break down the dermal collagen fibers and cause the fiber elastin to accumulate in the skin. Elastin accumulation leads to production of the metalloproteinase enzyme, whose function is to regenerate collagen after degeneration. However, since metalloproteinase does not function properly when synthesized after sun damage, the collagen fibers are not regenerated properly, leading to wrinkles in the skin Smoking can also impact the skin by causing dehydration and production of free radicals. The loss of moisture in the skin can promote formation of wrinkles. 

Cleaning skin regularly and using moisturizers can prevent the skin from looking dull and can reduce wrinkles. Moisturizers often contain collagen to replace degenerated skin fibers or antioxidants to prevent damage by free radicals. Vitamin C, A, and E are essential vitamins for the body and skin, which can help make the appearance of skin brighter and healthier.X

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