As we age, we often think that perhaps a face or eye lift might help us reverse the signs of aging, but that is not the entire story. Lifting sagging jowls and neck tissue or removing excess eyelid skin and fat can only address the sagging and bagging. It will not improve the condition of the skin. Skin wrinkling, rough spots, or pigment changes make us look as old as the sagging does. Improving the actual condition of the skin requires separate but sometimes simple self administered treatments. It is important to maintain a daily skincare regimen to help be preventative in the anti-aging process.
As we age the skin usually becomes thinner, looses elasticity and moisture. Many times this results in wrinkles, keratosis and sun spots. In addition to the genetic impact of aging there are external factors that damage our skin. Excess sun exposure, a lack of proper rest, and tobacco all cause wear and tear on the skin….and may accelerate aging as well. Improving the skin will require two key factors- 1. protective steps and 2-rejuvenative steps.
Skin protection starts with prevention of sun damage. Sun screens and a hat may help protect the skin when involved in outdoor activities. Whether t is summer or winter it is very important to wear your sunscreen! We also can help our skin by avoiding tobacco and obtaining proper rest. This will go a long way to protect good capillary blood flow that is required for oxygen, nutrition and microscopic cleansing through those tiny capillaries.
Rejuvenation might involve exfoliating creams such as tretinoin or glycolic acid that cause the skin to shed and peel. This slow peeling process will stimulate the generation of new and hopefully healthier skin cells as well as new elastic tissue and a restoration of skin hydration.
A good self administered protocol is to use a sun screen every morning and exfoliate in the evening. Either tretinoin or a glycolic acid exoliator might be used in the evening on alternating days. Of course the strength of the product used and the treatment protocol may vary depending on skin type or sensitivity. Sensitive skin might require only glycolic acid application in the evening, while non sensitive skin might require treatment every morning and night. Some resistant skin types might need tretinoin added to the protocol.
Here are some things to consider when attempting to protect or improve the skin:
- Wash your face daily with a mild soap.
- Avoid soaps and cleansers that contain fragrances or added coloring agents.
- Use a sunscreen for outdoor activities or when driving for long periods of time. Light reflected through the windshield can cause sun damage’
- Avoid using tobacco and obtain good sleep.
- If you have dry skin, moisturize daily after washing your face or showering.
- Consider an exfoliation program when the signs of skin aging appear; wrinkles, age/sun spots, pigmentation changes.
- Have your skin checked by your doctor at least once a year. This is especially important to people with a genetic tendency for skin cancers or who have had substantial sun exposure.
- Chemical Peels or Laser Treatments may help improve resistant skin or skin with advanced signs of aging.
If you would like to learn more about skin care programs or more advanced treatments to improve the skin such as chemical peels or laser treatments visit www.drlangsdon.com or contact us today to book your appointment!