Skin Aging, what to do?
Skin is the largest organ of the body and it is the first line of defense against the harsh external environment such as toxins, allergens, chemicals, and infectious agents. It prevents water loss and maintains hemostasis and body temperature.
Functions of skin
- Stops infectious agents like bacteria, viruses, and fungi from entering the skin.
- Act as a shield against environmental stress like ultraviolent radiations, cold and hot temperatures.
- Contribute to the Innate immunity of the person.
- Act as a semi-permeable barrier that allows only some of the topically applied substances to pass and blocks others.
- Retains moisture by preventing water loss.
- It helps to maintain the normal temperature of the body.
What happens to your skin as we grow old?
As we age, the following processes happens to your body
The lipid matrix on your skin barrier begins to decline, as a result, tiny openings develop in your skin which let the free radicals and irritants to enter the body.
Large pigment spots like liver spots, lentigo, age spots appear on your skin. The pigment-containing cells known as Melanocytes decrease in number as a result your skin becomes pale, thin and translucent.
Your skin becomes more fragile and skin bruises develop even with slight pressure to the skin. This happens due to blood vessels become leaky and cannot maintain their consistency. They leak when slight pressure is applied to them.
Oil production decreases, the oil-producing gland known as sebaceous glands lower its function. This mostly affects women after menopause. Men are least affected by this. The skin becomes dry, worn out and itchy.
Your skin becomes thin and you lose the fatty layer of the skin. It will affect the absorption of some medications which were absorbed by the fat.
A process known as elastosis happens on the sun-exposed surfaces. Due to the changes in the connective tissue, your skin becomes less elastic and its strength decreases. It gives your skin leathery appearance common to farmers and sailors. There will be increasing wrinkling and appearance of the dark spot on your skin.
Due to the decrease in the fatty insulation layer, your skin does not maintain the normal temperature in winter, you may get hypothermia.
Your hair starts to become thin, loses its color and become grey white. Some areas which are more exposed to sunlight or external environment may become hairless.
Ageing is an inevitable process. You can slow down the skin ageing by taking good nutrition, maintaining hydration, lifestyle modification. Apply sunscreen when you go out or take a hat. Maintain your skin hydration by applying good moisturizing cream or lotion. Do not use soaps that contain harmful ingredients and are heavily perfumed. Apply anti-ageing serums or creams that will keep your skin young and glowing.