Human skin normally undergoes certain changes due to process of aging. The most common changes that are easily noticed include skin dryness, wrinkles and changes in color and texture. Furthermore, as it ages the skin is more susceptible to benign, precancerous and malignant skin changes. People who overexpose themselves to the sun are prone to premature aging of the skin and they are also at higher risk for skin cancer. The very process of aging is more visible in fair-skinned people.
Causes of Skin Aging
The skin becomes thinner in time. This can be explained by gradual loss of the underlying fat. What is more, connective tissue of the skin, especially its components collagen and elastic, undergo certain changes which eventually lead to loss of skin firmness and dry skin. Even the production of sweat and oil-secreting glands significantly reduces. Therefore, the skin is not moisturized properly. As people age their blood vessels become more fragile. This also refers to skin blood vessels which are susceptible to rupture. Apart from the previously mentioned the skin may age more quickly due to damage caused by free radicals.
The Appearance of Aging Skin
The aging skin is dry, itchy, and obviously thinner and certain parts may be even thicker. It is covered with fine lines and wrinkles and certain areas change their normal pigmentation. The aging skin usually requires more time to heal if it is injured. Blood vessels are easily noticed through the thin skin. The person may develop cherry angiomas, actinic purpura and telangiectasias.
Older skin is more sensitive to sun damage due to decrease of number of melanocytes, protective skin cells. And finally, the aging skin is rather prone to the occurrence of both, benign and malignant tumors.
Treatment and Self-Care Tips
Pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies are engaged in production of many skin products that may slow down or even mask the aging process. Many of the products contain antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, E and beta carotene. The skin care products come in a variety of forms such as ointments, creams, lotions and even oral supplement forms. Dryness can be treated with frequent moisturizing and some people opt for more radical treatments such as laser or bleaching treatments. Apart from cosmetic products people also tend to undergo more aggressive treatments such as surgery to improve the appearance of their skin and remove all the unsightly skin changes.
Premature aging of the skin can be prevented by restricted exposure to the sun and adequate use of sunscreens and protective clothing. Furthermore, one is due to consult a doctor in case there are suspicious skin changes. This way both benign and malignant skin lesion can be identified on time and treated adequately.