November 29, 2015
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Wrinkles (cont.)

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What factors promote wrinkles?

Factors that promote wrinkling include the following:

  • Smoking
  • Degree of natural skin pigmentation (more is better)
  • Sun and ultraviolet exposure
  • Heredity (some families wrinkle more)
  • The loss of subcutaneous fat on a person's body (people with more subcutaneous fat have fewer wrinkles)

Some of these factors are beyond our control. The main preventive measures we can take are to minimize sun exposure and not smoke. These measures can, at best, delay wrinkles.

SPF numbers on sunscreen labels refer to protection against UVB radiation (the "sunburn rays"). Higher SPF numbers (50) are better at protecting the skin than lower numbers. Broad-spectrum sunscreens offer protection against UVB and UVA radiation (longer-wave ultraviolet light). UVA rays are abundant in sunlight and are produced by tanning salon light bulbs; they may not cause immediate sunburn but do produce aging and an increase skin cancer risk over time. (Sorry, but there is no such thing as a "safe tan.") Sunscreens that block UVA indicate this on the label and contain ingredients such as Parsol, Mexoryl, and benzophenones.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/13/2015


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