Soft, supple, smooth skin - glowing with innocence! If only it was possible to retain it throughout life!
As ageing seems to be the only possible way to live long even if you have great genes and look much younger than your age, age related changes in our facial appearance are unavoidable. Those changes reflect our joys and challenges in life. One approach is to simply celebrate our age and appearance for what they are. Not everyone is comfortable and might want to postpone embracing these changes.
In today's times when social media is all about seeing and being seen, so it’s not surprising that the omnipresence and frequency of posts are fuelling our vanity. Majority of the people aren't so much trying to look younger / more beautiful as they are trying to look more like themselves. How many times patients show their old photographs and compare it to their present state!
So, what is ageing of the skin all about?
Ageing can be mainly of two types:
Intrinsic - dependent on your genes, hormones and date of birth. This natural ageing process, even though it starts at birth, becomes obvious from mid-20's.
The signs of Intrinsic ageing are:
- Dry and thin skin
- Fine wrinkles
- Irregular pigmentation and greying of hair
- Sallow and pale skin
- Increased fragility and vulnerable to infection
Extrinsic Ageing - dependent mainly on " 4 S's - Sun, stress, smoking and spirits " Among these, sun is the most important factor damaging the skin to such an extent that it seems prematurely aged (photo ageing). This does not lessen by any chance the importance of smoking or stress and their impact on the skin.
The signs of Extrinsic ageing are:
- Freckles, age spots
- Deep wrinkles
- Rough and leathery skin
- Spider veins
- Benign and malignant growth
The main changes that occur in the skin at a cellular level are that occur in the skin at a cellular level are that there is gradual atrophy or thinning of the skin along with loss of collagen. The melanocytes (pigment cells) decrease and changes occur in their morphology and functional characteristics resulting in " liver " spots at places along with guttate amelanosis and greying of hair. The epidermis / top layer turnover slows down and becomes patchy. All these leads to dry dull uneven skin tone, loss of tone and elasticity, sagging and wrinkling.
Can we turn back the clock? The quest for physical beauty and the pursuit to reverse the visible signs of ageing is one major reason that a lot of people - men and women both visit a dermatologist. While there is no magic formula, regular skin care routine and adding anti-ageing procedures and technology can create highly desirable results. A combined comprehensive approach, structured to suit each person's individual skin qualities and degree of photo damage is needed. This should be aimed to keep the natural beauty and charm of each individual person, not to fit some current ideal of beauty.