Mar 08 2015

Anti-aging Skin Treatments

Skin Treatments Stonington Groton Norwich CT

Skin changes over time--due to "intrinsic" and "extrinsic" factors. Dr Duke, dermatologist in Stonington CT, reviews how and why skin ages--and more importantly how you can prevent and treat the aging of your skin.

Why Does Skin Age over Time: Intrinsic Factors

anti aging treatment imageOver time, our skin cells, like all of our cells, function less efficiently--merely because they have worked so hard in the past, and they are not built to last for eternity. This type of cellular change is called "instrinsic aging". That is, it is hardwired in our development and evolution as humans.

An article in the Dartmouth Journal of Science summarized how skin ages intrinsically:

  • Intrinsic aging is the process that takes place over the years regardless of external influences. We accumulate free radicals-off balance molecules-and other cellular debris-making cells function less efficiently.
  • After the age of 20, one percent less of collagen is produced in the dermis each year.
  • The collagen and elastin fibers become thicker, more clumped, and looser, resulting in inelastic and brittle skin and eventually in wrinkling and sagging.
  • In our twenties, the skin’s exfoliation process decreases by 28% as well, causing dead skin cells to accumulate and stick together for longer periods of time.
  • In our thirties, the transfer of moisture from the dermis to the epidermis is slowed and fat cells start to shrink. These effects make the skin look dull and thin.
  • In our forties, collagen is no longer produced. The collagen and elastin fibers break, thicken, stiffen, clump together, and lose their elasticity. This results in wrinkles and aging lines. 
  • In our fifties, the skin becomes dry and is easily bruised, damaged, or broken because the sebaceous (oil) glands have decreased in size.
  • In women, menopause causes a decrease in estrogen levels, leaving the skin drier, thinner, more sensitive, and less toned.

Why Does Skin Age over Time: Extrinsic Factors

External factors greatly influence the appearance of skin. There are many studies comparing identical twins and how they age differently over time--depending on their environmental exposures. For skin, the major external factors which accelerate aging are:

  • Excess sun exposure (ultraviolet exposure)
  • Wind
  • Pollution
  • Smoking
  • Lack of hydration
  • Poor nutrition
  • Alcohol and drug consumption
  • Less than optimal skincare routines


How Does Skin Age over Time

We intuitively see and know what makes skin look older, but let's itemize and clarify what we are seeing:

  • Brown blotchy spots and patches
  • Increased capillary or blood vessel growth
  • Wrinkles
  • Looser or sagging skin
  • Pre cancers and skin cancers
  • "Leathered" thickened skin damaged skin
  • Thin fragile skin
  • Easy bruising
  • Slower healing

Ways to Prevent Skin Aging

sunscreen imageSo for us humans, aging of the skin is inevitable--we must embrace our less than eternal bodies. But if we take care of our skin (and our other organs), we can influence how skin looks over time. We can make our skin look more youthful by doing the following:

  • Sun protection: use an SPF 30 sun screen all the time. Re-apply every three hours when you are in direct sunlight
  • Do not smoke or stop smoking
  • Good nutrition: foods rich in anti-oxidants, fresh unprocessed foods, a balanced diet
  • Good hydration
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Excercise
  • Moisturize the skin every day
  • Cleanser with gentle cleansers
  • Topical anti-aging skincare

Ways to Treat Skin Aging

skin treatments stonington ct imageWhen we look at ourselves in the mirror, or in pictures, we see our skin change. No denials! We still feel youthful, but our skin looks older. The anti-aging technology and science for skincare has greatly advanced over the past few decades. As humans are living longer, we are developing ways to make us look less old--stay in the game--feel good about the phase of life you are in. Below are some anti-aging skin treatments options:

Learn more about skin, and skin treatments, by calling our office below or going to our website.

Dr Duke's office, Coastal Dermatology, is located in Mystic, CT (a section of Stonington, CT), accessible from Groton CT, Norwich CT, New London CT, and Westerly RI. Call our office at 860-245-0000 if you have any questions about your skin, or send us an email through our "contact us" page.

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Coastal Dermatology: Daniella Duke, MD

Phone: (860) 245-0000
Fax: (860) 245-0610