Many of the people who come to visit us are interested in either postponing or correcting common signs of aging. You know the ones we’re talking about, the crow’s feet that show how much you’ve laughed over the years, the frown lines that used to go away when you weren’t actually frowning. These and other age-related changes to facial appearance can be frustrating, to say the least. However common it is for people to seek treatment for these and other cosmetic concerns, there are still misconceptions about beauty and how to maintain it.
“Maintenance.” This is the area in which we can go wrong. We don’t think about maintaining our skin, which is interesting because we know we have to regularly care for our health and wellness in other ways. Many people eat well and exercise every day to maintain their shape and overall health. We brush our teeth every day and see the dentist every six months to make sure we avoid cavities and gum disease. When it comes to the skin, though, we all but forget that care is needed. Then, when the signs of aging become a problem, we then wonder what it will take to address them.
In wondering what it takes to address the signs of aging, we have to keep in mind that the skin needs to be maintained. We don’t mean cleansed and moisturized, either. To postpone or correct crow’s feet, loose skin, sagging eyebrows, and other problems, the objective is to keep the skin infused with collagen and elastin. For about the first thirty years of life, this task is well-met by hard-working fibroblast cells. After age thirty, these cells no longer pull their weight. The infusions of collagen and elastin all-but end. However, the skin still utilizes about 2% of the collagen and elastin it has. The ongoing annual degradation of that percentage eventually makes a big impact on the skin’s appearance.
Knowing that the skin’s firm, supple foundation degrades without collagen and elastin, we know what we have to do. Fortunately, there are several ways to promote the production of these key proteins. Depending on the age of the skin, one may undergo regular chemical peels to assist with cellular turnover. More significant concerns may need a series of laser treatments to bring fibroblasts back to life. After the cells get woken up, periodic collagen-inducing treatments can keep them that way.