What Do the Horizontal Lines on the Forehead Mean?

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The muscles in your forehead cause your skin to wrinkle up when you make certain facial expressions. The resulting horizontal lines disappear on younger people's foreheads when the muscles stop contracting. But as you age and your skin loses elasticity, you may develop permanent horizontal wrinkles on your forehead.

What Are Wrinkles?

The muscles in your face contract as you smile, glare, frown or make any facial expression. This causes your skin to contract. Younger people have very elastic skin that maintains a smooth appearance. As people age, their skin begins to lose elasticity and the lines, known as wrinkles, don't go away. Some people develop wrinkles sooner due to smoking, exposure to the sun or genetics. Wrinkles also develop on hands, forearms and necks.

What Do Wrinkles Mean?

Wrinkles are sometimes referred to as signs of wisdom and experience, but they're really about changes in the skin. To some people, wrinkles may simply mean that they're aging. Others may think wrinkles make them look older than their actual age. Wrinkles can be indicative of having spent a lot of time in the sun or a tanning booth. They can also mean you are an expressive person and show a lot emotion through your face.

Preventing Wrinkles

There is no way to completely prevent wrinkles, but there are some ways to lessen their severity. Being in the sun or a tanning bed is the fastest way to damage your skin. You should always make sure to wear sunblock, even when it's not going to be overly sunny or hot. Avoid extended exposure to the sun and tanning beds, even with sunblock on. You should avoid smoking, which is also bad for your skin. Staying hydrated, exercising and having a healthy diet may help.

Minimizing the Appearance of Forehead Wrinkles

If you want to get rid of deep forehead wrinkles, you will most likely need an invasive treatment such as Botox or plastic surgery. These are the only options that will eliminate deep wrinkles. Vitamin A acid (also known as Retin-A or tretinoin) is one of the most effective ways to minimize fine lines. Alpha-hydroxy acids may show some results, but they are subtle. You can also undergo a chemical peel or dermabrasion. Both of these options can produce minimizing results, but also have risks such as skin pigment changes and scarring.