If Skin Replaces Itself, Why Do We Get Wrinkles?

If the skin replaces itself with new fresh skin why do we get wrinkles? Shouldnt the skin be replaced with new skin?

How long doesthe skin take to replace itself? If the skin replaces itself with new fresh skin, why do we get wrinkles? Shouldnt the skin replace the old skin with new skin? Im confused. I'm asking out of curiosity and most importantly because I've been using Retin A and I want to know how long it takes for my normal non wrinkly dry skin to come back. Are these effects from Retin A permanent? Also when the skin replaces itself, does it replace the skin, collagen, elastin. etc? Please let me know!

Doctor Answers 3

Aging and regeneration of the skin

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When we talk about the skin replacing itself, it generally refers the the epidermis or upper layers of the skin which is one of the primary targets of Retin-A's effects. Although Retin-A has been shown to increase the thickness of the dermis this is a less prominent effect than that observed on the epidermis which may actually thin from shedding of the stratum corneum (thicker dead layer). Your body may regenerate cells and replace collagen but the elastin component generally diminishes after age 30 and can be aggravated by sun exposure and/or cigarette use and/or hormonal status. Many factors come into play.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

If skin replaces itself, why do we get wrinkles?

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Skin does indeed replace itself periodically, but the "machine" that makes the new skin loses efficiency over time.  As we age, our new skin isn't exactly the same as our old skin.  The "new" skin has less elastin and different types of collagen than our "old" (younger) skin.  We also have fewer support structures for the skin, so we lose some of the "scaffolding" that gives our young skin fullness.

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Why Do We Get Wrinkles?

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This is a very good question.  The answer is that we are destined to follow our inherent genetic code.  The genetic code is the body's "road-map" that leads us through the various periods of our lives, becoming less favorable to us over time.  As the skin ages, the dermis produces looser, less organized collagen bundles, fewer elastin fibers, and the dermis thins out.  So although our skin continues to produce new cells, it becomes less efficient at preserving characteristics that make us look more youthful.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 104 reviews

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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.