In our last blog, we covered lifestyle choices that can affect the visible signs of aging. If you haven’t read about these things that are in your control, do so now! This week, we’ll look at how to deal with the wrinkles, blotchy skin, and veins that happen no matter what you do! This week, we’ll look at some issues surrounding aging. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call your dermatologist in Boulder for an appointment.
As we age, there are many things that happen to our bodies, and most of them (unless you are working really hard!) represent a decline in our physical condition. From falling arches, loss of knee cartilage, and higher cholesterol, to cosmetic issues of thinning gray hair and the smoothness and pigment of our skin. Our skin can be an especially sensitive point since it is what we see when we look in the mirror, and we know it is what other people see and often judge us on.
Here are a few changes in your skin as you age that you might observe:
Blotchy skin tone
Loss of elasticity
Rough or dry skin
Raised rough bumps
Fine lines and wrinkles
We will go into reasons behind these changes and what you can do about these changes.
Blotchy skin is often caused by either hormonal changes or sun exposure. Hormonal changes will even out after menopause, so this one will take care of itself. As for sun exposure, be sure to always wear sunscreen. Using a daily moisturizer with SPF in it is essential so you always have a base of protection. A broad spectrum sunscreen, such as EltaMd Products, is a good choice for a daily sunscreen.
If you notice that your skin is losing elasticity and is generally thinner than it was, this is part of the natural aging process. As you age, your skin steadily loses a type of lipid in the skin layer called Ceramides. These lipids function as the mortar between skin cells and are involved in the regulation of cell death. There are products, such as CeraVe, that have ceramides in them and can help slow aging at the cellular level.
For dull skin, you can blame a few factors. As skin cells slough off, they need to be removed through exfoliation, and if you neglect this, your skin will appear dull. Simply add exfoliating to your routine.
Another thing you might notice are small raised red dots on your skin. These skin growths are known as cherry angiomas and are essentially harmless. The red is from a broken blood vessel within the skin growth. These occur in people over 30 years old. Generally, these don’t need to be treated. If they rub on something frequently and bleed, you can have them removed by cryosurgery (frozen off like a wart).
Raised, rough bumps can be seborrheic keratoses. These look a bit like low, flat warts and can cause consternation, but are benign. It’s best to have your dermatologist in Boulder check them out to make sure they are not pre-cancerous. They will most likely be taken off via cryosurgery.
Wrinkles are a sure sign of aging skin. Wrinkles are the result of several mechanisms of aging, including decreased ceramides, as well as other cellular changes in your skin, including the effects of sun exposure. Smoking can also cause wrinkles to appear faster than they would otherwise. Wrinkles are also the natural consequence of repeated facial expression that otherwise lend our faces character. The solution to wrinkles is limited.
There is only so much you can do, and this is where the graceful aspect of aging comes in. Accepting aging as part of life is easier said than done, but must be done. Of course, there are lifestyle changes, procedures, such as Botox and fillers, to stall the aging process for a time and cosmetic surgery to stall it more significantly. Dealing with the psychological aspects of aging skin present different challenges from person to person, but we know, as dermatologists, that there are scientific answers to many skin conditions. Call today for a consultation.