Wrinkles, crows feet, age spots...call them what you like, but if you are bothered by their presence, they are considered unwanted signs of aging. Everyone’s skin is genetically programmed to change as part of the natural aging process. Sun exposure and smoking can intensify and accelerate the process. Fortunately, with advancements in skin care products, lasers, and surgeries, you have options to correct these signs of aging skin achieving younger and healthier looking skin.
Your skin is the largest organ of your body and covers your body to protect it from the harsh environment. Your skin is composed of three layers, the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. The epidermis is the outermost layer of your skin that protects your inner layers of skin. The epidermis is made up of protein containing cells called keratinocytes. The keratinocytes form at the bottom layer of the epidermis and move upward to the outer layer of the skin. They eventually wear off and are replaced by the next layer of cells. This layer contains dying or dead skin cells. As your skin ages, the superficial layer becomes thicker with dead cells yielding a more leathery appearance to the skin.
The dermis is your second layer of skin. It is made up of connective tissue and provides structure. It is composed of collagen and various elements that give your skin strength and elasticity. The dermis contains hair cells, sweat glands, and sebaceous glands that secrete oils to hydrate the skin.
You should receive yearly mole and skin checks for skin cancer as a precaution as you age.
Am I at Risk
The following may contribute to the appearance of aging skin:
• Increasing age
• Sun (even on a cloudy day) or artificial tanning light exposure
• Cigarette smoking
• Vitamin or nutritional deficiency
• Exaggerated facial expressions
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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.