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The aging process. It is inevitable if you are a living being. None of us can avoid it, and for most of us, it can be a sign of immense privilege to be able to age well.
Nonetheless there are many things that we can do to help influence our overall ageing so it is kind to us - this includes many preventive habits such as eating well, exercising and keeping active physically and mentally to enable us to make the most of our time on earth.
Where our skin is concerns, with time, we all get visible lines on our face. With age our faces lose some of their cherubic fullness; our skin becomes thinner, drier and more prone to bruising. While our genes largely control when these changes occur ie intrinsic aging, this accounts for some 20% of the ageing process in our skin, the remaining 80% being more under our control, ie extrinsic aging.
What are the factors that affect extrinsic aging?
Our environment and lifestyle choices can cause our skin to age prematurely. Common examples of factors influencing this type of aging include UV exposure and smoking as well as poor diet, among others.
The WHO classifies UV exposure as a carcinogen yet there continues to be confusion around what constitutes UV exposure in Australia at least, where, in my weekly skin cancer work, I continue to hear from patients “I never go out” and “I avoid the sun” who nonetheless commute daily to work without much sun protection and who understand sun protection to mainly be necessary when going to the beach or playing outdoors sports for extended periods of time.
So why is sun avoidance our best anti ageing habit?
1. Effects of ultraviolet radiation on the skin
2. Effects of chronic sun exposure and sun damage on the skin
3. Effects of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) on skin cancer risk
As noted above by the WHO, UVR is a major carcinogen. It damages the skin by producing free radicals that damage proteins, fats, RNA and DNA. It is thought that UVR increases tumour risk through mutations in your DNA and UVR is a tumour promoter and causes progressive tumour growth once the process has begun.
4. Effects of UVR on the eyes
UVR causes free radical damage to mitochondrial DNA in the retina. UVR can also promote inflammatory changes within the eye, increasing risk of:
So how do we prevent skin ageing?
Intrinsic ageing is unavoidable but given it is typically only responsible for some 20% of skin aging there is much that is within our control to minimise the effects and impact of the remaining 80% of aging.
In perimenopausal women, systemic hormone replacement may delay skin thinning - the skin is less dry, with fewer wrinkles, and wound healing is faster than without treatment. Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) is less effective at improving skin ageing in the postmenopausal decades. See your doctor if this is a consideration for you.
Careful and regular sun avoidance is essential at all ages.
Many oral supplements with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have been advocated to slow skin ageing and to improve skin health. These include carotenoids; polyphenols; chlorophyll; aloe vera; vitamins B, C, and E; red ginseng; squalene; omega-3 fatty acids as well as collagen supplements. Their role in combatting skin ageing is as yet unclear.
Last but not least, get regular skin checks for cancers before they occur or progress. If photo ageing bothers you, there are many options available to help improve skin quality, but as always, prevention is better than cure.
Ready to book in for your skin cancer check?
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|Wednesday:||10:00 - 17:00|
|Thursday:||10:00 – 18:00|
|Friday:||09:00 – 17:00|
|Saturday:||09:00 – 15:00|
Skin Essentials will reopen the week beginning 11th October 2021.
Per NSW government regulations, only double vaccinated patients will be served when we reopen and we will be checking vaccination certificates for all patients upon booking. This requirement may change as of December 1st, and we will advise you accordingly.
Please email us (email@example.com) or text us (0413174654) your vaccination certificate as soon after booking as you can. We will not be able to see anyone for treatments or confirm appointments without this.
In the interest of full disclosure, transparency and patient safety, all patient facing staff will be fully vaccinated by the time of reopening. Please read our reopening FAQ for more information.