Skin Conditions Aging

You only need to look at the skin of a newborn and the skin of an adult to see how aging affects the skin. As we grow older, our skin, which was supple, soft and smooth in infancy, goes through a number of changes. In adolescence, many of us battle breakouts. In adulthood, we start to see fine lines developing around our eyes. As seniors, our skin loses elasticity and develops deep wrinkles.

While there are steps we can take to slow the aging process and its effects on the skin, no one can halt time forever. Inevitably, time marches on, leaving its mark on everyone’s skin.

How Skin Ages: Childhood and the Teen Years

During infancy and childhood, our skin remains relatively unchanged. While a child might scrape his knee and damage his skin superficially or harm his skin via sunburn, the skin can usually rebound quickly at this age.

However, it is important to note that sun damage that occurs during childhood will have a profound effect on the condition of the skin during adulthood. To protect the skin, children should wear sunscreen whenever they play outdoors.

During the teenage years, changes in hormones cause many people to experience breakouts. While some people have a number of pimples, others might have only blackheads. In general, acne will disappear on its own and will not cause permanent skin damage. However, if a person picks at acne or forces a blemish to rupture, he could cause scarring.

To reduce the appearance of acne and to speed the healing process, use over-the-counter face washes and medicated lotions. If your acne is severe, consult a dermatologist about prescription acne medications.

In addition, it is a good idea for teenagers to get in the habit of wearing SPF 15 on a daily basis. Apply the sunscreen as part of your morning routine.

Skin Changes in Your 20s and 30s

During their 20s, many people begin to see expression lines form. These lines are the result of talking, laughing, smiling and frowning and are caused by the natural breakdown of collagen and elastin, substances in the skin that have kept it supple and elastic.

People in their 30s will begin to see sun-induced wrinkles developing on their faces. To keep the wrinkles at bay, people should continue wearing sunscreen.

Skin Aging in Your 40s and 50s

Many people in their 40s will notice dark patches on their skin. This is caused by the accumulation of dead skin cells and sun damage. In addition, people in this age group often suffer from dry skin. To keep skin soft, apply a moisturizing lotion or cream in the morning and before going to bed.

In their 50s, people who didn’t protect their skin from the sun will likely see wrinkles, age spots and spider veins forming. Many will also continue to battle dry skin.

The Causes of Wrinkles

Wrinkles are often the result of the natural aging process. However, they can be caused by many factors, including:

  • rapid weight loss
  • routine facial expressions
  • sun exposure
  • smoking.

How the Skin Ages: Your 60s and Beyond

In their 60s, people will likely see their skin stabilize. Dryness won’t be as much of a problem, especially for post-menopausal women whose hormones have stabilized.

During this time of life, wrinkles will continue to develop and will get progressively worse as the collagen and elastin continues to break down. In addition, the loss of fat from the inner layer of skin will make skin sag and droop.

To keep your skin at its best during this time, continue to moisturize and wear sunscreen. You might also consider facials, chemical peels and other procedures to help minimize wrinkles and keep your skin looking youthful.

Resources

Health24 (n.d.). Age and your skin. Retrieved October 11, 2007, from the Health24.com Web site: http://www.health24.com/medical/Condition_centres/777-792-823-1844.asp.

Nordenberg, Tamar. Through the Decades: How Skin Ages. Retrieved October 11, 2007, from the Discovery Health Web site: http://health.discovery.com/centers/healthbeauty/beautybasics/decades.html.

Shabir (posted on October 4, 2007). Skin Care Glossary. Retrieved October 11, 2007, from the derma network Web site: http://www.dermanetwork.org/glossary/2007/10/causes_of_wrinkles.html.