With aging, the outer skin layer (epidermis) thins, even though the number of cell layers remains unchanged.
The number of pigment-containing cells (melanocytes) decreases. The remaining melanocytes increase in size. Aging skin looks thinner, paler, and clear (translucent). Pigmented spots including age spots or “liver spots” may appear in sun-exposed areas. The medical term for these areas is lentigos.
Changes in the connective tissue reduce the skin’s strength and elasticity. This is known as elastosis. It is more noticeable in sun-exposed areas. This produces the leathery, weather-beaten appearance common to farmers, sailors, and others who spend a large amount of time outdoors.
The blood vessels of the dermis become more fragile. This leads to bruising, bleeding under the skin and similar conditions.
Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light damages certain fibers in the skin called elastin. The breakdown of elastin fibers causes the skin to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to snap back after stretching. The skin also bruises and tears more easily and takes longer to heal. So while sun damage may not show when you’re young, it will later in life.
The most important tip for aging skin is to protect your skin from sun exposure everyday. The sun’s rays make our skin age quicker and signs of aging more visible. Even on cloudy days, up to 80% of UV rays can reach your skin. Dermatologists and the American Academy of Dermatology recommend these tips for protecting your skin from the sun:
If you wish to rejuvenate your skin come in for a consultation at the Orlando Dermatology Center.