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Causes of Skin Aging

Skin Aging

Studies shows that there are, in fact, two distinct types of aging. Aging known as extrinsic (external) aging and is caused by environmental factors, and aging caused by the genes we inherit is called intrinsic (internal) aging.

Intrinsic aging is a continuous process that normally begins in our mid-20s, also known as the natural aging process.  Collagen production slows with in the skin and elastin, the substance that enables skin to snap back into place, has a bit less spring.  Turnover of new skin cells may decrease slightly as dead skin cells do not shed as quickly.

While these changes usually begin in our 20s, the signs of intrinsic aging are typically not visible for decades.  Intrinsic aging is noticed by these signs: fine wrinkles, thin and transparent skin, loss of underlying fat, leading to hollowed cheeks and eye sockets as well as noticeable loss of firmness on the hands and neck, bones shrink away from the skin due to bone loss, which causes sagging skin, dry skin that may itch, inability to sweat sufficiently to cool the skin, graying hair that eventually turns white,  hair loss, unwanted hair and nail plate thins, the half moons disappear, and ridges develops.

Your genes control how rapidly the normal aging process reveals itself. Some notice those first gray hairs as early as their 20s; while others do not see graying until well into their 40s.  A rare inherited condition,  Werner’s syndrome, rapidly accelerates the normal aging process and people can appear elderly in their 30s. In their teens their hair can gray and thin noticably and cataracts may appear in their 20s.  The average life expectancy for people with Werner’s syndrome is about 46 years of age.

Most premature aging is caused by sun exposure but a number of extrinsic, or external, factors often act together with the normal aging process to prematurely age our skin. Other external factors that prematurely age our skin are repetitive facial expressions, sleeping positions, gravity and of course smoking.  Noticeable changes to the skin can be seen without protection from the sun’s rays in just a few minutes of exposure each day over the years.

These signs can all be traced to sun exposure: freckles, age spots, spider veins on the face, rough and leathery skin, fine wrinkles that disappear when stretched, loose skin, a blotchy complexion, actinic keratoses (thick wart-like, rough, reddish patches of skin), and skin cancer.  “Photoaging” is the word dermatologists use to define this type of aging caused by exposure to the sun’s rays.

The amount of photoaging that develops depends on:

1) a person’s skin color and

2) their history of long-term or intense sun exposure.

With repeated exposure to the sun, photoaging occurs over a period of years.  The skin loses the ability to repair itself, and the damage accumulates. The sun also attacks our elastin. Scientific studies have shown that repeated ultraviolet (UV) exposure breaks down collagen and impairs the synthesis of new collagen. Sun-weakened skin discontinues to spring back much earlier than skin protected from UV rays.

Skin also becomes loose, wrinkled, and tough much earlier with unprotected exposure to sunlight. You need to have enough sleep everyday (around 7 to 8 hours) and try to avoid stress. It is seen that people who don’t have enough sleep everyday may suffer from skin problems at the long run. Eating plenty of green vegetables and fruits and drinking plenty of water everyday can naturally heal your skin from wrinkles. Aging skin problems are very natural but curable as well. A healthy diet and the natural anti aging skincare creams can make all the difference.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Maria McNiksia McNiks January 24, 2010, 12:56 am

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