Advances in society and medicine allow us to live longer than many of our ancestors. We know that, as we grow older, we will experience various physical changes. This knowledge must translate into strategies that support overall wellness. In our area of medicine, we focus on understanding the factors that contribute to cosmetic aging so that we may provide care that revolves around the uniqueness of each of our patients. Here, we discuss the factors you should be aware of so you can feel empowered to manage beauty at any age.
Our ancestors pass down their genetic traits like hair color and eye color, so why wouldn’t they also pass along a predisposition to other aspects of our biology? If someone in your family experienced hair loss, you might expect the same for yourself. If a particular skin condition was prevalent among parents, siblings, and other family members, you may be prone to it, as well. When we know our genetic predispositions, we can do our best to offset them with daily habits.
We’ve come to realize that natural sunlight is good only in small doses. Early morning sunlight, before ultraviolet light becomes intense, helps the body produce the vitamin D that is necessary for a strong immune system. After about 20 minutes of low-intensity sunlight, the skin begins to sustain damage. Ultraviolet light doesn’t just cause a sunburn, it increases the risk of skin cancer and it breaks down collagen and elastin in the skin. This breakdown is a leading cause of premature aging.
Cigarettes contain more than tobacco. They contain nicotine and other chemicals that have a detrimental effect on the body. Smoking narrows blood vessels, even those in the skin. Narrowing of the capillaries in the skin can result in visible spider veins. In smokers, these veins are especially prominent on the cheeks and nose. Smoking also deprives tissues of adequate oxygen, which diminishes the regeneration of healthy skin cells.
Aging is a perpetual process that we cannot stop. What we can do is understand the factors that contribute to various conditions, including aging skin, and manage them with proven strategies. In addition to eating well, staying hydrated, and avoiding cigarettes, adults can also support aging skin with various professional treatments. Several options are available in our Austin office, including Botox and dermal fillers, laser and light treatments, microneedling, and more.