Published on August 24th, 20130
Prevent early signs of aging
Are you worried that your skin looks older than you? Follow a few simple steps and reduce wrinkles right now.
by Deepa Mistry
No one likes to look old, whether they are in their early 30s or older. To look younger, we all end up spending a bomb on over-the-counter products, prescription creams and fillers, and, most drastically, cosmetic surgery. But do any of these really work? Maybe yes, but only temporarily.
Wrinkles are an inevitable part of the natural aging process. As we become older, our skin becomes thinner, drier and less elastic. Our skin’s ability to protect itself from damage is also reduced as we age. Eventually wrinkles, creases and lines form on our skin.
According to Medilexicon’s medical dictionary, “A wrinkle is a furrow, fold, or crease in the skin, particularly of a type seen with increasing occurrence as a result of sun exposure or, in perioral skin (skin lining the inside of the mouth), cigarette smoking; associated with degeneration of dermal elastic tissue.”
Wrinkles are the creases, folds or ridges we see on our skin. The first most visible signs, however, appear on our face. There are two main types of wrinkles: Surface lines and Deep furrows. Most wrinkles tend to appear in the parts of the body which receive the most sun exposure, including the backs of hands, face, neck and tops of forearms. With our lifestyles, apart from the normal aging process, there are many other factors that cause wrinkles.
Smoking produces free radicals in the body. These cause wrinkles and age-related skin problems to develop sooner. Free radicals also increase the risk of non-melanoma skin cancers. Smokers tend to have thinner skin, and more and deeper wrinkles than nonsmokers. Cigarette smokers are also more prone to skin cancers, including squamous cell carcinoma and giant basal cell carcinoma.
Research has found that women who smoke have much lower levels of Vitamin E secretions in their skin. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that may help protect the skin from sun damage. People who spend considerable time out in the sun if their job requires them to or during their leisure hours are more likely to develop wrinkles earlier. Avoid smoking; heavy smokers are almost five times more likely to show excessive wrinkling than nonsmokers. Even passive smoke is dangerous to skin.
Protect your skin from the sun. Sunlight exposure is the most important cause of early aging of skin (a process called photoaging). Sunlight exposure is also the main cause of skin cancers.
The two types of sun rays that can injure the skin are ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). Exposure to ultraviolet radiation accounts for most of the symptoms of early skin aging. Much of the damage is underway by age 20. Even small amounts of UV radiation trigger the processes leading to skin wrinkles.
Intense exposure to sunlight in early life is an important cause of melanoma, an aggressive type of skin cancer. Wear sunscreen and sunglasses.
Don’t blame your genes. Your genes only govern 30 per cent of how you age. The other 70 per cent is up to you. Eat healthy; a diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains, along with healthy oils (such as olive oil) may protect the skin from damage by free radicals. This is because these foods have high levels of antioxidants. Increase your intake of antioxidants like pomegranates, blueberries, green tea or fruits with high water content. Daily exercise keeps blood flowing, which brings oxygen to the skin.
Be happy. Yes you heard it right! A research shows that men and women who are depressed or divorced or those using antidepressants looked older than married or widowed people of the same age. At the very least, being happy will help you not care so much about the wrinkles!
Wrinkles are not considered medical conditions or life-threatening or harmful to physical health. Getting rid of wrinkles or taking steps to postpone their development are always optional measures, because it is important for the individual to bear this in mind when considering treatment options. At the end of the day, it’s all about feeling good about yourself.
With inputs from: Skin wrinkles and blemishes | University of Maryland Medical Center.
(Pictures courtesy www.vibhalife.com, blogs.independent.co.uk, www.healthtap.com, www.india-forums.com)