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Wrinkles, lines, and excess skin

Underlying fat that helps fill out the skin is lost or migrates downward due to the effects of aging. Furthermore, the support structure of collagen (CAHL-uh-jin) and elastin (ee-LAST-ihn) fibers begins to break down and skin becomes less elastic.

These changes are accelerated by sun exposure and eventually cause lines, deep wrinkles, and sagging skin. Treatment of such conditions may depend on the location and severity of the problem, as well as your age and skin tone. Fine to moderate lines are most often corrected with some method of exfoliation, or removal of outer skin layers.

Exfoliation could be as simple as using an alpha-hydroxy (hy-DRAWK-see) acid or retinoin (reh-tih-NOH-ihn) cream, or it might entail physical methods like microdermabrasion or laser resurfacing. If lines are deep, an injectable filler such as collagen or Dermalogen (der-muh-LOH-jin) may be used, or a permanent implant may be placed under the skin to fill out the tissue.

Wrinkles that are caused by muscle contractions, such as frown lines, may be relaxed with injections of a substance called Botox (BOH-tawks). When sagging skin causes droops or folds, some type of surgical lift procedure is usually indicated, such as a face, neck, or brow lift.