Some things get better with age; fine wines, classic films, but our skin is something that doesn’t benefit from the passing of time in the least. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to counteract the way skin ages, and your dermatologist has them at their disposal.
Skin’s structure and health is maintained by a variety of systems and proteins. There are many cooperating substances that enable skin to maintain hydration, smoothness and fullness. As the body ages, many of its critical systems slow down and begin to produce less supportive proteins and cells. Within the skin, most of the heavy lifting is done by the proteins collagen, hyaluronic acid, keratin and elastin. The body’s production of these useful proteins slows with age, but never stops altogether. So our skin is still healthy, but it begins to lose structure and dry up, forming wrinkles and fine lines.
There are environmental factors that also contribute to signs of aging on our skin, the biggest being ultraviolet radiation. When skin is not protected from sunlight, the DNA in the skin itself is at risk from the UV light. Sun damage can deteriorate collagen and elastin fibers which both keep skin full and structurally supported. Smoking is another surefire way to hasten the signs of aging skin, in addition to the many other detriments of smoking.
Slowing Aging Skin: Our Advice
Daily moisturizers that contain collagen or hyaluronic acid are helpful products and you may benefit from making them a part of your daily skincare routine. Consistent, safe skincare is an excellent way to maintain your skin’s hydration. When your skin stops making enough hyaluronic acid, it will lose its ability to attract and retain moisture. Thankfully, moisturizers used with frequency can supplement that process and help your skin keep its structure.
Facials are an excellent resource offered by dermatologists that aren’t just for relaxation. A facial will help with signs of aging, cleaning pores, hydrating skin and reducing excessive oil. It’s a quick and easy way to keep your skin looking and feeling youthful, and allow you to decompress in the process!
As discussed earlier, there are certain external factors that contribute to the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging. Smoking cigarettes is one such contributor. Cigarette smoke can hasten the deterioration of collagen production in the skin, as well as dry your skin externally. The action of puffing a cigarette is a repeated motion that can even cause wrinkles to form around your mouth as well.
Exposing your skin to sun damage is not only dangerous because of UV radiation’s skin cancer risks. As already outlined, it can greatly accelerate skin’s aging. Wrinkles and age spots are more common in people with frequent, unprotected exposure to sunlight. Always use sunscreen, even in the wintertime, especially on your face. Many makeup products contain sunscreen, and an SPF over 15 is recommended for daily use. In the summer, go for closer to 30. Wear wide-brimmed hats and limit your time in direct sunlight to keep skin from looking aged prematurely.
There is no ‘cure’ to aging skin, but the closest you’re going to get is with cosmetic services performed by a dermatologist. Much like a facial, chemical peels involve the simple application of a solution to the skin. Unlike a facial, chemical peels are designed to damage the superficial layers of your skin and leave the new skin looking younger and revitalized.
Dermal fillers are injectable treatments that usually contain hyaluronic acid. They work by supplementing hyaluronic acid production, and by helping to fill in sunken skin physically with gel microspheres. While not every dermal filler contains hyaluronic acid, their goal is to help your skin look fuller naturally, while helping the body produce more of what your skin needs to look more youthful. These treatments are used around the mouth, nose, eyes and even on the backs of your hands to give skin a much fuller look.
BOTOX is another injectable product with immense wrinkle-eliminating powers. Using a protein derived from the botulinum toxin, BOTOX temporarily freezes muscles that contribute to the formation of dynamic wrinkles. Dynamic wrinkles are signs of aging that are caused by repeated facial expressions like smiling or laughing.
While none of the processes outlined above last forever, they can be repeated as necessary and do last up to a year on their own. Chemical peels don’t last as long as BOTOX or dermal fillers, with the latter two sustaining results for up to a year. A chemical peel can reduce the signs of aging for a few months.
In all, stopping skin from aging is not entirely possible, but you can slow that process drastically. If you’re struggling with wrinkles and other signs of aging, reach out to the experts at Northeast Dermatology Associates for advice and services today.
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