Numerous factors determine how the skin changes over time. While wrinkles are inevitable, several corrective steps can minimize or eliminate their appearance.

What are Wrinkles?

Wrinkles are lines in your skin that develop over time. They’re most common on the face, neck, hands and forearms because these areas receive the most sun exposure. There are two types of wrinkles: fine lines, which impact the surface level, and furrows, which reach deeper.

Why Do We Get Wrinkles?

The skin’s underlying framework and elasticity make it look smooth and youthful. Cell division slows with age. As a result, the skin’s inner layer thins. Once the underlying structure weakens, skin sags. Moisture retention and oil production also slow with age. The skin then takes longer to heal. These factors combine to cause wrinkles. In addition:

  • Smoking slows down collagen production, a compound the skin needs to maintain elasticity and health.
  • Fairer-skinned people are more vulnerable to sun damage.
  • Some people are genetically predisposed to more wrinkling than others.
  • Individuals who work outdoors, live in sunnier climates, or frequently tan are more likely to develop wrinkles.
  • Consistently making certain facial expressions causes furrows and folds.

How Can I Treat Wrinkles?

Dermatologists have developed several treatments that can reduce or eliminate wrinkles’ appearance.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acids

Glycolic and lactic acid, which occur naturally, are injected to smooth wrinkles.


Peels using glycolic acid reduce fine wrinkles’ intensity when applied at the surface level. Deeper peels using phenol or trichloroacetic acid reach further into the skin. They’re more effective at smoothing fine lines. Deeper peels carry a higher risk of side effects and require some downtime due to swelling and redness.


Normal dermabrasion smooths the skin using friction. It is highly effective but must be done by a trained physician to minimize the risk of scarring and skin color changes. Microdermabrasion removes a finer layer of skin than traditional dermabrasion. It also stimulates collagen formation in deeper layers of the skin.

Laser Resurfacing

Dermatologists use lasers to stimulate collagen production. This procedure requires multiple sessions and takes longer to complete because the skin must heal between treatments.

Ultrasound Therapy

Ultherapy uses non-invasive ultrasound to heat tissue and stimulate collagen production. It lifts and tightens the skin around the jawline, neck and forehead.


Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin are injected into the face to relax muscles, whose tension causes lines around the eyes and on the forehead. Results are not permanent, but last several months.

Injectable fillers replace the underlying framework around the mouth, cheeks, temples and nose to smooth out wrinkles or fill in sagging skin. Injections are a medical procedure. Never have them performed at a salon or spa.

Schedule a Consultation

Your first step to addressing wrinkles is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kwan at Kwan Dermatology in San Francisco. A proper dermatological evaluation is the only way to determine the appropriate and most effective wrinkle treatment. Call our office at (415) 217-3880 or contact us online to schedule your first appointment.