The skin is a dynamic organ. It comprises 15% of a patient’s total body weight and is the body’s primary defense organ. Skin aging can be divided into two categories: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic aging is chronological aging of the skin. Extrinsic aging is caused by external factors, such as environmental damage and photoaging.
What causes it
Intrinsic aging is biological or genetic, and typically begins in a patient’s mid-20s.
There are many causes of extrinsic aging, including: sun exposure, air pollutants, smoking, gravity, nutritional deficiencies or factors (medications, alcohol consumption, etc.) and BMI.
What it looks like
The skin changes associated with aging include: a decrease in the overall thickness of the skin, a slowing down of the 28-day turnover cycle for skin cells, a decrease in new collagen production, a decrease in sebum production and the replacement of elastic fibers with poor functioning, amorphous elastin. Ultimately, dermal regeneration and repair are impaired.
These changes are characterized by: atrophy, laxity, wrinkling, sagging, dryness, pigment and blemish development, neoplasms, and nail and hair changes.
How to treat it
Preventive and active treatment of aging skin includes several strategies. The physician should identify correctable, treatable internal and external factors that compromise the skin. Comorbidities should be addressed, including adverse effects of medications and nutritional issues. Finally, physicians should understand and implement practices that will enhance skin cleansing, moisturization and conditioning.
Topical nourishment should be provided to enhance maintenance and repair. Modern approaches to active skin therapy and enhancement include topical and oral vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, cholesterol, alpha-hydroxy acids, glycerol, antioxidants, melatonin, creatine, amino acids, peptides and hormones.These are all applied topically, and can enhance and repair skin from the outside in. Topical retinoids treat chronological changes and photoaging. 1
PCA SKIN® product options for treatment include Intensive Age Refining Treatment: 0.5% pure retinol night, Rejuvenating Serum, C-Quench® Antioxidant Serum, Hydrating Serum, C-Strength 15% with 5% Vitamin E, ExLinea® Peptide Smoothing Serum, EyeXcellence and Hydrator Plus SPF 30.
1 Jane Fore MD. A Review of Skin and the Effects of Aging on Skin Structure and Function, at http://www.o-wm.com/content/a-review-skin-and-effects-aging-skin-structure-and-function?page=0,6