Aging

You know that aging will likely cause you to develop wrinkles and gray hair. But do you know how the aging process will affect your teeth, heart and appearance? Find out what kind of changes you can expect in your body as you continue aging.

Types of aging Intrinsic Aging—Signs Include:

  • Dry skin: As we age, the skin’s oil glands produce signif­icantly less oil, resulting in pronounced dehydration that makes wrinkles more apparent.
  • Wrinkles: The natural loss of those little worker bees, collagen and elastin, is largely to blame for the appear­ance of wrinkles. Years of dynamic expressions, in the form of smiling, laughing, frowning, and squinting, also contribute to wrinkles.
  • Large pores: They’re the bane of our existence, since they can make the complexion look rough and uneven. Some people are predisposed to enlarged pores (thanks, Mom!) while others are blessed with skin like glass. As we age, the loss of the skin’s underlying support system prompts the pores to become even larger.

Extrinsic Aging—Signs Include: In addition to the natural signs of aging, many people experience the following:

  • Increased roughness: As free radicals, mainly from sun­light, destroy the skin’s collagen and elastin, the skin cells start to turn over in an irregular fashion resulting in scaly patches of rough skin.
  • Spots everywhere: Constant exposure to the sun’s ultra­violet rays makes our skin pigment act abnormally, result­ing in spots throughout the face, upper chest, and hands—basically, anywhere the sun has shone on.
  • Excessive wrinkling: Even more pronounced wrinkling, particularly on the cheeks, neck, and forehead, is usu­ally seen only in individuals who have been exposed to the sun.

Treatment What are the treatment options for aging skin?

Chemical peels: Chemical peels are effective for removing fine lines and smoothing out the skin. Chemical peels remove the upper surface of the skin to expose newer, clearer skin. After the upper layers of the skin have been removed, a new layer of skin develops. Chemical peels can be used in areas, such as the eyelids and around the mouth, that are not improved by a facelift. Depending on the patient’s skin type and degree of sun damage, a superficial, medium, or deep chemical peel may be the appropriate treatment.

Dermabrasion: Dermabrasion is done to remove lines and some scarring and can be used to treat moderate to severe photodamage (sun damage). Dermabrasion has similar side effects and complications as medium to deep chemical peels.

Laser resurfacing: In the past few years, the development of high-energy carbon dioxide and erbium lasers has enhanced physicians’ ability to improve photoaged skin, various types of scars, and other dermatologic conditions.