Newsletter ME04 – What happens to our skin as we age?


Nothing good! Skin health and beauty is considered one of the principle factors of overall “well being” and perception of “health” in humans. Watching our skin age can be one of the more distressing facts of aging.

Visually we can see the skin aging, becoming drier, rougher and slacker, developing lesions such as benign or malignant tumours. It becomes more transparent, fragile and easily bruised.

There is loss of fat in the cheeks, temples, chin, nose and eyes that can result in “loose” skin, sunken eyes and a skeletal appearance. Bone loss, mostly around the mouth, chin and eye sockets can cause puckering and sagging of the skin. Cartilage loss in the nose causes drooping of the nasal tip, accentuating the bony structures of the nose. Wrinkles appear, depressions in the skin’s surface which may be fine or coarse. Skin can become discoloured, becoming pigmented and mottled with more visible fine thread veins.

So what is happening to the skin?

There are two factors that are a huge influence on this aging process:

• Extrinsic (external environmental) factors, such as sunlight, pollution, radiation and toxins;

• Intrinsic (internal biological) factors caused by genetics and the decline in cellular structures and hormones levels.

Both these factors lead to growing structure and physiological alterations in each skin layer – the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous (fatty) tissue.

Article written by Nurse Niki Medlock.

In our next article: We are going to look first at the intrinsic factors that affect collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid.

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