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Wrinkles, smile lines, and crow's feet

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Updated: 1/14/2003 2:32 pm
Wrinkles are caused by damage from UV (U-V) radiation and a variety of changes in your skin that occur with age. Lines also tend to develop in areas where you have repeated expressions. Smile lines may form on each side of the mouth, while ""crow's feet"" often appear as lines radiating from the corner of each eye due to smiling or squinting. Such lines are known as ""dynamic wrinkles"" and are produced by muscular movement. Therefore, relaxing the muscles responsible for the expression can help smooth the skin in that area. This can be done with injections of Botox®, which temporarily paralyzes the facial muscles. Botox is made from the botulin (BAWTCH-you-lihn) toxin and is considered very safe when used properly. Results are temporary, but are believed to become longer lasting with repeat injections. Crow's feet and other fine wrinkles may also respond to methods that remove superficial layers of skin, from prescription creams such as Retin-A to laser resurfacing. For deeper wrinkles or smile lines, injections of collagen or fat can provide temporary improvement. Permanent results may be achieved with the use of implants like Gore-Tex® and Softform®, which are made of inert plastic materials.

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