I smoke and I am 47 and I am getting wrinkles around my eyes and I have been using Retin A will that help? (photo)

I smoke and have started to get wrinkles and I have started using retin a will it help?

Doctor Answers 2

Smoking, Retin-A and Wrinkles

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Retin-A, when used properly can help reduce wrinkles and prevent further wrinkles from forming. However, it is helpless as long as you continue to smoke. In fact, nothing can stem the advance of wrinkles as long as you smoke. From your picture, you are quite pretty. If you wish to stay that way you need to do two things. First, you absolutely must stop smoking. (I suspect you know that since you told us that you smoke.) Secondly, you must wear a sun block EVERY DAY that protects from UVA. It is the UVA that is responsible for the wrinkles. Smoking just increases the process about 20 times. There are 2 things that block UVA. One is avobenzone and the other is Zinc Oxide. The avobenzone needs to be reapplied every 1-2 hours and, therefore is not very practical. The Zinc Oxide only needs to be reapplied if you rub it off. It did not used to be practical as it made you look ghostly. However, it now goes on clear and does an excellent job of protecting you. Recent studies have shown a 26% difference in wrinkle formation in just 4 ½ years between those that used a UVA sun block daily vs those who did so intermittently (when they "went out in the sun.") Other studies have shown huge differences between the sun damage and wrinkles of twins where one smoked and the other didn't.

Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Best Solutions for a Smoker

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I am sure that you know what we are all going to say: if you want to age gracefully, the odds are stacked against you as a smoker.  If you do nothing else, smoking cessation will be the best thing for your health and appearance. The other lifestyle modification to make is to avoid excessive sun exposure coupled with regular use of sunscreen SPF 30 or above. Use of Retin-A or other exfoliating agents encourages skin cell turnover, and when used consistently will be beneficial for skin maintenance.  Microdermabrasions, facials, blading and other minor facial procedures help achieve the same goal.  Lastly, Botox or Dysport helps diminish crows feet and can assist in minimization of these lines.  

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.