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Ways to Prevent Wrinkles

Ways to Prevent Wrinkles

True or False: Dry skin causes wrinkles? Surprisingly, the answer is false.

The same environmental assaults that cause wrinkles also cause dry skin; dry skin is a by-product of these assaults, rather than the cause of the wrinkles themselves. Even though dry skin doesn't cause wrinkling, it does make existing wrinkles more noticeable. Proper washing and exfoliating will help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

The outer layer of skin (epidermis) contains a protective acid barrier that prevents bacterial and fungal growth. Ordinary soaps have an alkaline pH which removes this barrier. Instead of ordinary bar soap, use gentle pH-balanced cleansers. For an added benefit, consider applying a topical antioxidant, such as the L-ascorbic acid version of vitamin C, naicinamide or pantothenic acid. Antioxidants reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

You should also exfoliate regularly with a physical exfoliate, such as finely ground apricot seeds, or a chemical exfoliate, such as alpha-hydroxy acid (fruit-based acids) or glycolic acid (derived from sugar cane).

On that first glorious, sunny day of spring, nothing feels better than lifting your face to the gigantic, gaseous giver of life: the sun. There's no doubt the sun is a benevolent force in our world; however, its UV rays are also the No. 1 cause of wrinkles.

But before you shroud your body completely, note that sunlight (since it's necessary for the production of vitamin D) is beneficial in moderate amounts. However, if you're going to be out in the sun in the middle of the day or for long periods of time, sunblock is essential.

Start by protecting your face and the backs of your hands with a daily moisturizer that contains an SPF 30 sunscreen. For long days in the sun, be sure to spread liberal amounts of sunscreen or sunblock evenly all over your body. Sunscreens take about 20 minutes to penetrate the skin, so slather them on well before you charge outside to enjoy a wrinkle-free day in the sun.

 

One of the most common myths about warts is that you can catch them from toads. In reality, warts are usually spread through contact with another person, not an amphibian. And what causes the infection? Human papillomavirus (HPV).

HPV is usually discussed in relation to sexually transmitted infections, but there are around 100 strains of the virus. Only some of them cause warts, which can develop on the genitals, hands (palmer warts), bottoms of the feet (plantar warts) and just about anywhere else. Kids are more prone to them because their immune systems are immature, but children's warts also seem to disappear more quickly.

Once the virus takes hold, blood vessels root in the wart and begin to feed it the oxygen and nutrients it needs to grow. You can see these dark pinpricks in the wart if you look closely.

To get rid of warts before they spread, the first step is to kill the virus.

 

To go after warts, you might start with a salicylic acid treatment. It's a fairly gentle but also time-consuming approach. Twice daily, you soak and dry the wart, then apply the medication (in foam, liquid or pad form). You then use a file or pumice stone to file away the dead skin. The only downside? It may be a few months before you see results with this method. Retinoid cream is another common method for wart removal, but it doesn't work as well as salicylic acid.

A common home remedy for wart banishment is covering the offender with duct tape for several days, then soaking and filing away the dead skin before recovering it. Scientific studies are inconclusive on whether this method works -- anecdotal evidence is really all we have to go on.

Cryotherapy, in which the blood vessels of the wart are frozen with liquid nitrogen, can be done with an at-home kit or in a doctor's office. Taking away its blood supply suffocates the wart, although you may have some blistering and pain to contend with. But if you're looking for a solution that's likely to destroy warts on the first try, cryotherapy is a good place to start.

A chemical named cantharidin is sometimes administered when therapies such as freezing the wart fail, but the resulting blisters can be painful.

If those don't appeal to you, or don't work, you have other medical options.

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