How to Protect Skin & Prevent Skin Aging

Introduction

Did you know that 90% of skin aging is caused by sun exposure? The skin is the largest organ in your body and is responsible for protecting you from harmful environmental factors. Direct exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays damages your skin and causes severe skin conditions like skin cancer. Oxidative stress from UV exposure is one of the most significant risk factors for skin health. In addition to that, your skin also serves as your barrier against germs and other external substances. Skin integrity decreases with time-based on your genetic predispositions and how you have treated your skin over the years.

While this article spells out some important information about how to protect and prevent skin aging, we highly recommend you read the full article, here are the key points we will focus on:

Table of Contents

Aging Skin

7 Factors That Contribute to Aging Skin

It’s important to understand the factors that cause aging skin if you want to keep your skin healthy and vibrant. As we age, most tissue types are subject to decrease and degradation with just a couple of outliers. Here are seven major factors that contribute to aging skin.

  1. Thinning of the skin: The quantity of skin cells stays the same, but each of them decreases in thickness.
  2. Fewer pigment cells: The number of melanocytes (pigment cells) decreases, but each cell enlarges in size.
  3. Fewer sweat and oil-producing glands: The quantity of sweat and oil glands decreases.
  4. Less subcutaneous fat: Fat under the surface of the skin decreases in quantity and quality as you age.
  5. Flabby skin: The robustness of elastin and collagen production decreases with time.
  6. Stress: Oxidative stress leads to accelerated skin cell DNA degradation.
  7. Weakened vessels: Vascular strength of the capillaries in your skin weakens as you age.

7 Common Symptoms of Aging Skin

Without a doubt, the physical changes your bodies experience as you age affect your appearance. Listed below are seven significant changes in the appearance and function of aging skin based on the underlying physiological changes above.

  1. Increased Translucency: Skin becomes more translucent, revealing underlying vessels and tendons; bruises are easier to come by and more prominent.
  2. Dry and Itchy skin: Skin is more prone to water loss which can lead to itching, which can cause scratching, which can result in more itching!
  3. Prone to injury: Skin damaged by physical assault, caused by injury or illness, takes longer to heal and, if not addressed, can result in infection.
  4. Wrinkles: Skin that was once bright, tight, and clear experiences aesthetic changes like wrinkles, bagging and sagging.
  5. Tumors: Skin Cancers like Basal Cell Carcinomas (BCC) and Squamous Cell Carcinomas (SCC) can develop into superficial tumors that do not resolve unless treated. 
  6. Brown Spots: Skin starts to accumulate benign brown spots (aka age spots or liver spots) that come in two forms, flat (solar lentigines) and raised and waxy (seborrheic keratoses).
  7. Prone to Cold: Skin no longer provides as significant of a protective barrier against external temperature, resulting in the body struggling to regulate internal temperature and being more prone to becoming cold.

7 Ways to Prevent or Reverse Aging Skin

There is no magic involved. You cannot prevent natural processes, but you can work on delaying or boosting skin health via the following extrinsic factors:

1. Regular Check-Ups

Get an annual Skin Exam performed by Bryn Mawr’s experienced professionals and allow them to educate and guide you to the results you want.

2. Combat collagen and elastin loss

  • Topical creams and serums like BMD Retinol Body Silk, Sente BioComplete Serum, and Neocutis Lumiere Riche (link to products on the store)
  • Oral supplements like Heliocare
  • Minimally-invasive in-office procedures like peels, CO2RE laser, and Morpheus8

3. Hydration

Start drinking more water to keep your hydration levels up and seal in moisture with humectant-rich lotions/creams. This will keep your skin plump, healthy and helps with overall skin health.

4. Early Treatment.

Don’t succumb to the itch-scratch cycle. If your skin is chronically itchy, but you see no visible rash, you may have internal factors contributing to your symptoms. Don’t put up with the itch; schedule an appointment with a Bryn Mawr dermatologist today!

5. Use Sunscreen

It is never too late to seek shade or use a daily SPF 30+. Cover your skin with a hat or UPF-rated clothing. You can peruse the store at BMD to find your favorite sunscreen.

6. Investigate cosmetic procedures

Minimally-invasive modalities like Botox, lasers , and fillers can help smooth wrinkles, replace volume loss, and correct dark spots.

 

7. Lifestyle Changes

You’ve put your skin through the wringer over the years, now is the time to pamper it. First, find a sleep pattern that works for you. Eat a balanced diet with antioxidants like blueberries, pecans, kale, and even some indulgent dark chocolate.  Get that blood pumping with whatever exercise strikes your fancy 2-3 times per week (but make sure to wear your hat and sunscreen if you’re headed outside). Your skin, and your other body systems, will thank you.

Skin Rejuvenation Products at Bryn Mawr Dermatology

Choosing the right product is essential to keeping your skin healthy. Bryn Mawr Dermatology offers a wide range of clinical skincare products that help in skin rejuvenation and prevent your skin from environmental risks that can affect your skin negatively. You can buy products from the store according to your skin type and age to get the best results. 

Why Choose Bryn Mawr Dermatology for Skin Rejuvenation?

At Bryn Mawr Dermatology, we offer various cosmetic modalities, provide a comfortable environment for our patients, and can recommend an ideal treatment plan personalized to address your concerns. We promise to keep you looking like you, just a little younger and better rested. Call us today at 610-575-7800 for a personalized consultation so we can identify the treatments and products best for your situation.

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