Derm DMs: Can I Spot Treat My Wrinkles?
When it comes to acne, there’s no better feeling than applying a spot treatment and waking up to a clear complexion. So recently when I started to notice some fine lines developing on my forehead, and on my forehead only, I was curious to see if I could spot treat them similarly to how I would a zit. My logic is that if my anti-aging routine is working on the rest of my face, maybe my forehead needs some special attention. To find out if this approach would work, I asked Dr. Elizabeth Houshmand, a board-certified dermatologist in Dallas, and Skincare.com expert, for her opinion.
What Causes Wrinkles
To understand how best to combat premature aging, you first need to know what causes it. “Your skin forms wrinkles and fine lines over time because the underlying support proteins, collagen and elastin, decline as we age,” says Dr. Houshmand. “In your 20s, collagen production begins to decline and drops about one percent a year thereafter. This is a normal part of the aging process called intrinsic aging.”
Extrinsic aging, i.e. free radical damage caused by environmental factors like UV rays and pollution, can accelerate the natural process. “It’s estimated that 90% of wrinkling, fine lines, sagging and uneven pigmentation are from extrinsic photo damage,” says Dr. Houshmand.
Can You Spot Treat Wrinkles?
According to Dr. Houshmand, the key to addressing visible signs of aging is to help prevent them from forming or deepening with skin-care products. Spot treating certain areas of the face and ignoring others will not be helpful in the long term — you’d essentially be playing a game of whack-a-mole. “It’s best to apply anti-aging products like retinol to the whole face in order to be preventative,” she says. She also recommends applying sunscreen daily all over the face as another important step to help prevent extrinsic aging. Try using the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Night Serum With Retinol at night and the SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 during the day.
Dr. Houshmand does note that if you have deeper lines, there are certain in-office treatments that can help target them as an addition to a holistic routine. A neurotoxin can be used for dynamic wrinkles and a CO2 laser treatment can help improve the appearance of etched lines. Talk to your dermatologist to find out if either is right for you.
Design: Hannah Packer