Here’s what’s Happening to your Skin

skin care walter john murrell md amarillo txMost of the aesthetic concerns that we face as we get older are focused on the skin. It would make sense that our largest organ would be the first to let us know when changes are occurring within the body. Though we may not like it, this is exactly what happens. Rather than wait for your skin to reveal the consequences of things that cannot be changed, it can be highly beneficial to learn about the aging processes that prompt the development of aesthetic concerns like crow’s feet or drooping brows. This way, you stand a chance against them!

Young skin is typically pretty darn beautiful. This is because, beneath the upper layer, there is a strong matrix of collagen fibers to support resilience. It is collagen that keeps the skin firm and taut, which keeps those brows (and those jowls) in place. Along with collagen, elastin also promotes healthy, beautiful skin that has the elasticity to bounce back. In between collagen and elastin fibers, we find amino sugars, or Glycosaminoglycans (or GAGs). These are substances like hyaluronic acid. The role that GAGs play in the skin is to maintain moisture throughout connective tissues. This keeps the cheeks high and the lips plump.

Please, Don’t Go!
Sadly, there are two pivotal ways in which these wonderfully supportive substances leave us.

Intrinsic aging
Up until we are the ripe age of twenty-something, the body continually produces high amounts of collagen, elastin, and GAGs. During this decade of life, though, this production begins to slow. It progressively drops off at a rate of approximately 1% each year. As you can imagine, by the time we are in our 40s, we notice the decrease. The fact that we cannot stop intrinsic aging can be a downer. However, there is still a way to maintain your skin.

Extrinsic aging
According to research, it is extrinsic aging, that which stems from external factors, that is most responsible for the development of wrinkles, lines, sagging, and other problems. The primary source of extrinsic aging is UV exposure. Whether directly from the sun or from a tanning bed, UV rays are quite damaging to collagen. When you’re running on low supply, the last thing you want to do is degrade what you have left!

Practicing good sun habits and eating a healthy diet are two excellent ways to protect your skin from extrinsic aging. Professional treatments, such as Botox and blepharoplasty or brow lifting can also come into play to correct damage that has been done.

We love helping our patients age gracefully with ophthalmology and aesthetic eye services. To learn more, call 806-351-1177.

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