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Home: Diseases & Conditions: Aging Skin: External Factors

Aging Skin: External Factors

External Factors That Cause Aging

Listed below are the major external factors that cause aging in skin.

The sunrays consist of many light spectrums. Out of these, Ultra Violet Rays damage the skin most. Both UVA and UVB are responsible for skin damage. Aging due to sun is called photo-aging. Sunrays break down the collagen and elastin in the skin. The skin loses its elasticity and firmness and develops premature wrinkles. Photo-aging depends on the skin color and the amount of sun exposure over the years. Dark-skinned individuals show less sun damage while fair-skinned people show more sun damage for the same exposure. With increasing age, the total sun exposure increases and it gives rise not only to age spots, but also to more serious problems such as actinic keratoses and skin cancers. The only way to prevent sun damage is protection from the sun. Click to learn more about sun damage to skin.

Gravity pulls everything towards earth. Gravity also pulls our body downwards. As we age, the effect of gravity becomes evident on the skin. Because of gravity jowls develop in the old age. The loss of elastin in the skin with aging is also responsible for this. In younger age, elastin pulls skin back to its usual position. As we age, that elasticity is lost. Therefore, the effect of gravity becomes permanent.

It has been found that smokers develop wrinkles sooner than non-smokers. Tobacco narrows the blood vessels in the outer layers of skin. This reduces blood flow to the skin and nutrients don't reach the skin in required amount. In addition to this, the expression smokers make while inhaling the smoke also causes wrinkles. Smokers also develop a yellow hue to their skin. By quitting smoking, this damage can be stopped to a certain extent.

Facial Expressions:
While we make facial expressions, we use facial muscles and the skin forms lines. In young age the skin pulls back perfectly to position because of collagen and elastin. As we age the skin loses its ability to spring back and the lines become permanent. Sleeping position also contributes to wrinkles. When you adopt a position for long, you get wrinkles on that side of the face. Click to learn more about wrinkles.

Washing Routine:
Hot water strips the skin of its oils. While taking bath, avoid taking very long baths and use warm water. Avoid hot water. Avoid strong cleansers or soaps. Treat the skin gently. Don't rub dry after taking bath, but pat dry your skin. The more gently you care for your skin, the younger it will remain. Keep your acid mantle intact. Learn more about skin care.

Improper Management Of Dry Skin:
Some people don't moisturize the skin, even if they have dry skin. Moisture keeps the skin supple and young. Test your skin for dryness. If you have dry skin, you need to use a moisturizer to pack the moisture in.

Be careful about additives in all the products you use. Harsh and allergic additives will harm your skin. Shaving to remove unwanted hair should be done gently with help of a cream or gel. Dry skin should be shaved very carefully, as shaving may irritate it. Avoid every kind of irritation while shaving and apply an alcohol free after-shave lotion. As skin ages, it becomes more dry. In cold weather, dry skin needs more care because the indoor air is overheated and dry. Learn more about dry skin.

Article created on: June 19, 2006

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