- ● Premature ageing is a common complaint these days due to high levels of stress in our lives, and poor lifestyle habits.
- ● Ageing is unavoidable, however, there are treatments available to remove signs of ageing.
- ● Expert dermatologists can reverse the signs of ageing.
- ● You need to know the anatomy of skin, causes of ageing and treatment options available to make an informed decision.
What Are The Ageing Issues?
As we age, the natural and biological processes of the body cause changes on the surface of the skin in the form of ageing issues like wrinkles, folds, fine lines, laugh lines, sagging skin, etc.
Some extrinsic, as well as intrinsic factors, lead to ageing. These factors may include changes at the genetic level or influence of environment or external catalysts that accelerate the natural process of ageing. Our skin begins to look tired, dehydrated, saggy, dull, full of lines or deep burrows that make one appear aged.
Types and Classification
There are different types of ageing depending on the factors responsible for it. Find below the primary or medical causes of ageing –
- Genetic or Intrinsic Ageing: Our genetics or DNA determine our intrinsic or chronological ageing. Therefore, this type of ageing may vary from person to person and is a slow process. The free radicals present in our body accelerate genetic ageing. Intrinsic ageing includes the following signs:
- Sagging Skin: It occurs due to the breakdown of elastin and collagen proteins present underneath the skin.
- Age Spots: UV exposure usually leads to pigmentation and uneven skin tone causing age spots.
- Fine lines and wrinkles: As we age, our skin gets thinner, less elastic and drier; it forms folds, creases or ridges also known as wrinkles.
- Dry, thin and transparent skin: This may be due to lowered due to sweat and sebum secretions in the skin. Hormonal (estrogens)slow down especially in females may reduce the hydration and increase the dead skin layers making it look dull and dry.
Apart from the above factors, secondary causes that contribute to ageing include the following –
- Mechanical Ageing: It refers to the fine lines which appear due to wear and tears we put our skin through during physical movements or repetitive facial expressions such as frowning, smiling, squinting, laughing etc. Mechanical ageing includes: Dynamic wrinkles around eyes, brow and mouth
- Extrinsic or Environmental Ageing: External factors such as sun exposure, stress, smoking, pollution accelerate the ageing process. The signs manifest in the form of fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, sun spots, etc. Studies show that sun exposure alone contributes 80% to the effects of skin ageing.
What Causes Ageing?
Primary factors are involved in triggering ageing related issues whereas secondary factors are responsible for accelerating ageing.
Primary causes behind ageing include –
- Sun Exposure – Chronic exposure to UV light causes structural instability by causing the breakdown of elastin and collagen fibres inside our skin. It results in the appearance of age spots, wrinkles, fine lines and other signs of premature ageing.
- Smoking – Smoking accelerates the ageing process and causes premature wrinkles. Tobacco can quicken the natural process of ageing by triggering skin degeneration. Smoking can cause an accumulation of free radicals in the skin, which can damage it and delay its healing mechanisms. It can decrease the capillary blood flow to the skin thus depriving it from oxygen and essential nutrients
- Dehydration – As we age, our skin loses its ability to retain water. If our skin stays dehydrated, it dries out and eventually develops fine lines or wrinkles.
Secondary factors that trigger ageing include –
- Alcohol Consumption – Excessive intake of alcohol causes nutritional deficiencies and dries out the skin leading to premature ageing.
- High-Stress Levels – Prolonged stress can wreak havoc on your skin especially on the face leading to wrinkles, folds or fine lines.
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A dermatologist is the best person to help you identify ageing changes you may be suffering from and its potential causes. After a thorough examination, your doctor may suggest a treatment that addresses your ageing issues and is suitable for your skin type.
Are You At Risk For Premature Aging?
No one can escape aging changes , but people who work long hours in the sun are susceptible to develop signs of ageing earlier than others. Also, those who smoke or consume alcohol regularly have a higher chance of developing premature wrinkles.
Prevention And Management:
- Protect your skin from the UVA and UVB rays of the sun by applying sunscreen every day.
- Make sure to keep yourself hydrated and your skin well-moisturised to prevent dryness.
- Quit smoking and reduce your intake of alcohol to prevent premature ageing.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet full of essential nutrients such as Vitamin A that helps in repairing skin tissue, Vitamin E that keeps skin healthy and Vitamin C that helps in preventing age spots.
Premature Ageing Skin Treatment
- Fractional Microneedling Radio Frequency
- Chemical Peels
- Botulinum toxin injections and Hyaluronic acid Fillers
- Laser Resurfacing
- Laser Toning
Basic anti-ageing treatments aim to remove the signs of premature ageing such as uneven skin tone, age spots, fine lines, folds, hollows or surface wrinkles. For treating deeper wrinkles, creases and hollows, your dermatologist may recommend more advanced procedures such as hyaluronic acid fillers. All, these treatments work best to reduce multiple signs of ageing and get youthful skin regardless of your age.
If you are suffering from signs of premature ageing, seek professional dermatological care immediately.
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