you get older you are probably experiencing major changes in your
skin, for better or worse. This is the combination of two processes:
your genetic program, or the natural course of aging that is programmed
in your body, and photoaging, or the effect of a lifetime of sun
and exposure to other harmful aspects of your environment including
cigarette smoke and chemicals. Everybody’s rate of aging is
different, due in part to their genetics, which is why you may notice
these changes earlier or later than others. As you get older, you
loose skin firmness and elasticity. This means that your skin might
be beginning to sag, due to a loss of underlying fat padding and connective
tissues found in the lowest layer of your skin. Your skin actually
becomes more transparent as you age. That’s because the top
layer of your skin, the epidermis, thins out with age. Your skin also
becomes more fragile, meaning your epidermis and the next layer of
skin (dermis) come closer together, and you may bruise easily because
of thinner blood vessel walls. You also may notice your skin is drier,
and that’s because you sweat less and your body provides
less natural oily chemicals that once helped to regulate the oils
Photoaging is evident in the development of wrinkles, spots, dilated
blood vessels and discoloration and is directly connected to the
your skin underwent because of UV rays. The most important step
to preventing these effects of aging is to stay out of the sun
protect your skin from the UV rays. It’s never too late to
Smokers tend to have more wrinkles than nonsmokers at the same age
and with the same skin type. Smoking essentially obliterates, or kills,
blood vessels. This means there is a decreased vascular supply to
the skin which causes premature wrinkling and aging.
Wrinkles are caused in part by gravity, which pulls the skin and
causes sagging. But wrinkles are also caused by UV damage to the
in your skin. Elastin is the protein responsible for the elasticity
of your skin. Your dermatologist may be able to recommend and prescribe
certain skin creams with specific vitamins to help combat the sagging
and wrinkling of your skin. Some studies have suggested a link
alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and the reduction of wrinkles, sagging
and other effects of aging on the skin. Some of the long-term effects
of AHA use are negative, so talk to your doctor or dermatologist
Many older women are faced with excessive dry skin that is sometimes
accompanied by irritation and itchiness. This is because you lose
sweat and oil glands as you age and due partially to the lifetime
use of such products as soaps, deodorants and perfumes that tend to
dry out skin. You can find moisturizers to help alleviate these effects.
If the dryness persists, or if you feel that you may have psoriasis
or eczema, you should talk to your doctor about prescription treatments.
The easiest way to detect skin cancer is through abnormal changes
in the skin. These changes vary from person to person, and can
a growth or a sore that won’t heal, a change in an existent
mole, or a red lump. These lumps often look different, and can be
firm, smooth, pale, waxy or crusty. If you notice anything peculiar
about your skin, it’s best to see a dermatologist for advice.
In fact, as you get older, you should see the dermatologist once
year for a full body check to identify any changes or warning signs
in your skin.
Age spots are flat, brown spots caused by years of sun exposure.
bigger than freckles and usually appear on light-skinned people in
areas that are exposed to the sun. You might have heard them referred
to as liver spots, but the medical term is solar lentigo. Treatments
for age spots includes prescription medication and laser surgery.
Sunscreen should be used for further protection so more age spots
Some treatment options commonly used to treat aging skin include chemical
peels, dermabrasion and laser resurfacing. If you are considering
any type of cosmetic
surgery or treatments to help with the appearance
of your skin, do so with caution. Remember that these are serious
procedures that are never 100% sure. Weigh the pros and the cons and
talk to your doctor or dermatologist, not just your cosmetic surgeon,
when deciding about a procedure.
As you get older, remember to seek out products you feel comfortable
with and that will help to take care of your skin as it ages. Creams
and moisturizers as well as cleansers are very important. Ingredients
such as Vitamin B complex and flax oil are important. Also, quit
If for no other reason, then do it for your skin. Smoking will
only hasten the aging process of your skin and won’t help
curb any of the effects of aging. Get as many nutrients as you
need in a well
balanced diet that includes a lot of water and perhaps a multivitamin.
Also, see your doctor and dermatologist regularly to keep a close
eye on any changes in your skin that may indicate disorders or
Click below to read about related topics.
Taking Care of Your
Skin & Aging