Ageing Skin

In todays modern society, signs of ageing skin are considered unacceptable and people are going to every length to help them look younger. The US is a major contributor to people looking younger, with $12 billion being spent on cosmetics alone each year. The skin ages in two ways; through exposure to sunlight and also through natural ageing. It is thought that 80% of skin ageing is a result of sunlight exposure.

By the time you are thirty, it possible to see signs of ageing, especially on your face. Therefore it is important to take care of your skin, using an adequate skin care cream. The first signs of ageing are likely to be wrinkles around the eyes and across the forehead.

Ageing can be caused from exposure of the sun in earlier life, resulting in visible pigmentation patches on your skin. Photoaging is the process known when ageing is increased due to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. This is because of UVA injuries to the middle layers of the skin and UVB injuries to the outer layers of the skin.

Apart from the fine lines and wrinkles, sunlight exposure also causes discolouration and textual changes to the feel of your skin. It thins and dries out, meaning it is able to hold less water and as a result of the thinning out, the epidermis easily tears, grazes and is open to blisters. Repeated inflammation results in dermal collagen and scarring. This inflammation may be either sunburn or acne. The thick dermis becomes weaker than usual. Tangled masses of damaged elastin protein result in elastosis or heliosis which are yellowed thickened bumps in the skin. This makes the appearance of the skin unattractive and unhealthy.

Pigment changes become evermore visible in ageing skin. This maybe due to overactivity of the tanning cells which results in clusters of freckles, white marks, solar lentigines and blotchy pigmentation in general.

A solar lentigo looks like a birth mark, coming up on the skin appearing as a brown patch or mark on the skin. Usually found on the face or hands, they are known as age or liver spots, they tend not to fade and last for long periods of time. They are common in people with fair skin, people who tan easily or who have naturally dark skin.

Freckles are flat brown marks which appear on sun exposed areas of the skin, mainly on the face of somebody. Like solar lentigo, freckles are found in fair skinned people but can also be inherited from parents. Unlike solar lentigo though, freckles tend to fade in the winter months, when not exposed to sunlight.

Idiopathic quattate hypomelanosis, are white marks which can appear on the surface of the forearms and shins. In saying this, idiopathic quattate hypomelanosis can also be found on the face, neck and shoulders, where sun exposure may be high. Even though they are usually smooth, sometimes they may be scaly. More commonly found in women than men, idiopathic quattate hypomelanosis usually can be seen over the age of 40. Idiopathic quattate hypomelanosis is caused by there being no pigment in the skin cells and also a decline in the cells which produce the pigments. Sun damage and non sun related seborrhoeic keratoses (degenerative scaly spots) are thought to be other possible causes.

It is not just pigment changes that are noticeable to the eye, blood vessel abnormalities are also visible. Cherry angiomas, telangiectases and senile purpura are all direct results of not caring for the skin. Telangiectases are small dilated blood vessels which can appear on the facial surface; leaving an unappealing look for you to have to live with. Cherry angiomas are little raised cherry spots on the skins surface that look a bit like small moles. Finally senile purpuras are like purple bruises that show up, which are basically larger extravasations of blood. Over a few weeks the blood will change from purple to orange, brown, blue and even green.

Stress of everyday life may become apparent on your face, as it may start to look pale and grey. Late nights and not having enough sleep in general can have an added toll on your appearance, making lines and wrinkles more visible and at an earlier age.

If you smoke then you are making your skin age dramatically compared to that of a person who doesn’t smoke. It can cause serious damage and show the signs of ageing much more easily. The skin becomes more of a yellow colour and they get smokers lines around the mouth.

As you get older your skin produces less grease to keep the skin healthy, as the grease is used to protect and moisturise your skin. So to help protect your skin as you get older you should apply a sunscreen or a form of moisturiser which will help prevent further ageing of the skin. Other things to consider and maybe take into action is, avoid over washing of the body, use a cream body wash or facial cream rather than soap because soap strips away the natural oils produced by our skin. This is also the same with bubble or foam baths, these too remove oil from the skin leaving the skin dry ad age a lot faster. Also if you smoke, then give up! Smoking ages the skin dramatically, colouring the skin and leaving smokers lines on the face. Finally and most importantly, keep your skin hydrated using an appropriate moisturiser that suits your skin.

If you feel that changing your lifestyle to suit your needs is not enough, then there are many new forms of anti-ageing creams that can help. If that is not enough then there is always of the option of Botox and plastic surgery.