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Your forehead wrinkles might be a sign of THIS medical condition

Forget Botox… your forehead wrinkles might actually be a sign of THIS bizarre (but totally preventable) medical condition

  • Forehead lines may not be from wrinkles or aging, but dry skin instead 
  • But certain skincare ingredients can help lock in moisture and prevent dry skin
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The pesky forehead wrinkles people pay thousands of dollars to reverse as they get older may not be from aging at all.

Doctors say they are often caused by a preventable medical condition that, when fixed, could let you ditch that expensive Botox habit. 

Dehydration lines affect more than three-quarters of Americans, and are nearly identical to wrinkles. However, they are caused by a lack of moisture in the skin. 

These lines are usually lighter and finer, and they may only appear at certain times of the year, such as winter, when dry skin is most common.

‘Dehydration lines are fine lines that we see when we have dry skin,’ Dr Mary Stevenson, dermatologist at NYU Langone, told

Thin lines on the forehead might not be wrinkles. Instead they could be dehydration lines, which are caused by dry skin

Wrinkles, on the other hand, are caused by long-term factors, such as aging, exposure to ultraviolet light, smoking, and repeatedly making the same facial expressions, such as squinting and smiling. 

Dehydration lines are more of a short-term issue. ‘If you have fine lines at rest versus only at occasional times, that would be the biggest difference between these two things,’ Dr Stevenson said.  

Several factors could dehydrate skin, including not drinking enough water, spending time in a cold environment, or using harsh soaps or detergents.

‘Because you have used up all the water you can to maintain your body functioning, dry skin can cause kind of creepy, more older looking skin,’ Dr Stevenson said. 

‘You can have fine lines from that because the skin…is just less hydrated than usual.’ 

Other symptoms of dry skin, according to the Mayo Clinic, include skin tightness, rough skin, itchiness, flaking, scaling or peeling, and cracks that may bleed.

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As many as three in four Americans have the condition, according to a 2019 survey from the skincare brand CeraVe. The survey found that 77 percent of respondents had dry skin during the winter. 

Despite the name, dry skin lines don’t mean that you have to chug a bunch of water. 

‘Just drinking more water is not going to hydrate your skin,’ Dr Stevenson said. ‘When your skin is dry, it doesn’t mean you are actually dehydrated.

‘Drinking a bunch of water definitely keeps your body maintained, but you literally have to not take in enough water for your body to function to truly be dehydrated.’ 

Dr Stevenson suggests staying away from abrasive products that irritate the skin, as well as excessive hand washing, a habit many Americans got into during the Covid pandemic. 

‘We tend to overdo a lot of things,’ she said. 

Avoid staying in the shower or bath for longer than necessary as well, especially if you like your showers hot. 

‘One big mistake people make is they fully dry themselves off [after a shower]. Pat yourself dry. You want to lock in the little bit of water that’s on your skin,’ Dr Stevenson said. 

When it comes to products, there are certain ingredients that protect against dry skin.

The moisturizing agent humectant, for example, attracts moisture from the air into the upper layer of the skin, the epidermis. 

‘It’s almost like a sponge that attracts water and pulls it in,’ Dr Stevenson said.  

Emollients, or moisturizers, which are used for dry skin and conditions like eczema, then lock that moisture in. 

‘Hyaluronic acid is one of the most common things we talk about when we talk about dehydrated skin.’ 

Dr Stevenson also suggested opting for creams over lotions, which are often formulated with a higher water content, since creams tend to moisturize the skin better. 

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