As you age, many things begin to change, and your skin is no exception. This natural part of life often causes panic as many hope to age gracefully or not at all! Many factors go into how your skin will age over time, including genetics and lifestyle factors. Luckily, education and treatment options for aging skin can help you feel just as radiant as the years pass.
The Basics Of Aging Skin
Your skin is one of your body’s best defenses, as it protects against germs and regulates body temperature. Everyone’s skin has different needs and requirements. For example, your skin takes on a different character as you age and loses some of its ability to heal itself without help. At the same time, it is highly susceptible to damage from sunlight exposure and damaging agents in the environment. Blue Ridge Dermatology is here to educate you on some visible signs and how to treat and prevent aging skin.
Dry Skin And Itching
As people age, they may develop super sensitive skin that can get itchy at even the slightest touch. This can be caused by sun damage, decreased cell renewal, and less production of natural oils. According to WebMD, about 85% of people develop the “winter itch” caused by overheated and dry indoor air. To beat the itch, try using products that trap moisture, such as mineral oil, aloe vera, or glycerin.
Unfortunately, wrinkles are a by-product of aging skin. As you age, your skin loses elasticity, and collagen production slows, which causes your skin to wrinkle and sag. Several factors contribute to skin wrinkles, some you can control, and some you cannot. The most common reasons include:
- Exposure to the sun
- Repeated facial movements and expressions
- Poor diet and not exercising
Although inevitable, there are several treatments to reduce wrinkles, such as topical retinoids, wrinkle creams, and injectables. Prevention methods include wearing sunscreen, moisturizing, staying hydrated, and not smoking.
Age spots, also called liver spots, are flat dark areas on the skin caused by overactive pigment cells. The Mayo Clinic suggests they vary in size and usually appear in areas with prolonged sun exposure, such as the face, hands, shoulders, arms, and legs. Age spots can look like cancerous growths, so it’s important to keep an eye on them and get them checked out to see if they are black or change in appearance. The best way to prevent age spots is to wear sunscreen and avoid the sun during its most intense hours, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
According to cancer.net, most basal cell carcinomas (BCC) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) appear after age 50, meaning skin cancer risks increase as you age. BCC is considered the most common type of skin cancer and frequently develops in those with fair skin or skin of color. According to AAD, BBC often looks like a flesh-colored round growth, pearl-like bump, or a pinkish patch of skin. SCC is the second most common type of skin cancer. This type of skin cancer is characterized by a red, firm bump, scaly patch, or a sore that heals and repeatedly opens. Research estimates that BCC and SCC affect more than 3 million Americans annually.
Dullness Of Skin And Uneven Skin Tone
The dullness of skin refers to a tired, uneven skin tone that can result from aging skin. Skin dullness can be exacerbated by several factors, including:
- Dead skin cells
- Poor diet
- Environmental factors
- Sleep deprivation
To help your dull skin look more radiant, try exfoliating regularly, staying hydrated, being mindful of what you eat, prioritizing sleep, managing your stress, or applying a retinoid product.
With primary functions that protect you your whole life, your skin is sure to undergo changes over time. And although not fun, it is a natural part of life. If you have questions about daily skincare or the treatment and prevention of aging skin, we are here to help. Blue Ridge Dermatology is proud to offer medical and cosmetic dermatological services that can help you get the results you want. If you are interested in making a skincare plan for this year, call our office today at 919-781-1050.