When we approach our 30s, our body's production of collagen and elastin begins to slow down. The collagen and elastin begin to loosen and unravel which results in skin that sags and looses resiliency. A young person has firm, smooth, unwrinkled skin because they have more collagen and elastin. As that person ages, the loss of collagen and elastin causes the skin to become looser and less supple.
At the same time, fat cells beneath the skin may begin to disappear. With the loss of this support, plus the pull of gravity, the skin begins to sag and form wrinkles. The skin also loses the ability to moisturize itself and retain moisture with age, leading to skin that is drier.
With age also comes the appearance of those familiar lines and wrinkles that we associate with older skin; frown lines and crow's feet begin to appear as a result of permanent small muscle contractions.
Sun exposure is the most damaging external factor that affects the condition and health of our skin. It is the primary cause of prematurely aging skin (called photoaging) as well as skin cancers (including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma). Many of the skin signs we actually associate with aged skin are actually caused by sun exposure, not by the natural aging process. Photoaging can cause the following skin conditions:
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Dilated blood vessels
- Liver spots
- Rough skin
Smoking cigarettes is harmful to the skin because it causes the blood vessels in the top layers of the skin to narrow, which reduces the blood supply, as well as the amount of oxygen available to the skin, and reduces the removal of waste products and dead cells. Ultimately, this contributes to the reduction in collagen and elastin. It also prevents Vitamin A from bonding with skin cells to repair skin damage, leading skin to have a gray or blue color and a leathery texture. Smoking restricts blood circulation, taking away the rosy blush of young skin. Furthermore, the facial expressions smokers make when smoking may also cause wrinkles around the lips and around eyes.
When skin ages and accumulates damage, a number of skin conditions may result. These include:
- Lentigines - ("age" or "liver" spots) Lentigines are flat, brown spots that usually show up on the face, hands, back and feet. These spots are not dangerous (and are not a sign of liver disease). If, however, you notice a dark, flat area with irregular (not rounded) borders, see a dermatologist to ensure that it is not a melanoma.
- Wrinkles - As skin becomes less elastic, it begins sag, particularly around the eyes, mouth, forehead, and cheeks.
- Bruises - Older skin bruises more often than younger skin and takes a much longer time to heal. Bruises that don't heal after a week or so should be seen by a dermatologist.
- Telangiectasias - Often called "broken capillaries," telangiectases are dilated blood vessels in the face, usually caused by sun damage.
- Actinic Keratoses - These are rough, warty, reddish or brownish growths which are caused by sun damage. They are often a precursor to squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer).
- Cherry Angiomas - These are red, protruding growths on the body caused by dilated blood vessels. They are harmless and occur in about 85% of those over middle-aged.
- Seborrheic Keratoses - These are brown or black raised spots, or warty growths on the skin's surface.
- Minimize Sun Exposure - Wear sunscreen of at least SPF 15 when outdoors, and protect the face with a brimmed hat.
- Protect Skin From Dryness - Use a moisturizer immediately after bathing. Use milder soaps and consider bathing less often and using less drying warm water to bathe rather than hot water.
- Drink Plenty of Water - Drinking water throughout the day ensures proper hydration of the body and helps to reduce skin dryness. Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water every day.
- Eat a Healthy Diet - Eating healthy will benefit you in more ways than one. Fruits and vegetables are particularly important for preventing premature skin aging due to the fact that they contain many antioxidants.
- Exercise - It increases oxygen to the tissues which keeps skin looking young and healthy.
- Stop Smoking - Quitting smoking at any age reduces further damage to skin and the body. Just don't smoke.
Yes. The most susceptible parts of the body to acne are the face, the back, and the chest, mainly because they contain the highest density of sebaceous glands, the glands responsible for excess oil production. In some rare cases, acne can appear on other parts of the body that also have sebaceous glands.
Yes, it can. If acne is not treated early enough, it may scar the skin. The two types of scars that result from acne are: Hypertrophic scars, which are hard, upraised areas of the skin surface. The other kind of scars are called Pits, or "pock marks," and they are depressed into the surface of the skin.
You might have told that, but it hasn't been scientifically proven. Take it with a grain of salt, though. A well balanced diet will make you and your skin healthier. That being said, no special restrictions on food are imposed for preventing acne.