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What causes aging skin?

As we age, the skin becomes thinner. This is because the underlying fat, so abundant at infancy, is slowly lost. The skin?s connective tissue, called collagen and elastin, undergoes changes, causing the skin to lose firmness and become dry. The sweat- and oil-secreting glands in the skin also decrease, which makes it harder for the skin to hold moisture.  The blood vessels naturally become more fragile, so they are more likely to rupture and leak into the skin.

Effects of aging on the skin may also be attributed to damage caused by oxygen-free radicals. Free radicals are the waste products that result from all the chemical reactions that normally occur in the body. Oxygen-free radicals can damage cells and are believed to accelerate cancers and age-related diseases.

Skin changes can also be caused by years of sun damage, poor nutrition, high stress levels, exposure to environmental pollution, and destructive lifestyle choices, such as cigarette smoking or alcohol and drug abuse.

The symptoms of aging skin include dryness, itchiness, thinning or thickening of the skin, wrinkles and fine lines, areas of hyperpigmentation (called age or liver spots), and a mottled appearance. The skin may take more time to heal when injured. Blood vessels are easier to see through the thinning skin, also because they become dilated with age.


Skin tip of the day

You are what you eat A nutritious diet and adequate fluids can help keep your skin hydrated and healthy.

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