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The aging skin: What to do with it |

Health And Family

The aging skin: What to do with it

UNDER YOUR SKIN - Grace Carole Beltran, MD - The Philippine Star

Aging is a natural part of life for both men and women, but for most of us, it can really be a big concern, not only physically but also mentally.  Looking young has always been important for many of us, especially if one’s daily routine requires meeting or mingling with a lot of people. During reunions or gatherings with former classmates, radical changes in one’s physical appearance are a major cause of distress.  Of course, nobody wants to look like the mother of a classmate who looks younger.

All of us feel the effects of aging, but that doesn’t mean we cannot add youth and vigor to our looks. To look 10 years younger, one can work on maintaining a lifestyle that can keep one looking fresh as the morning dew.  Nowadays, surgical and non-surgical procedures are available that one can avail of anytime.  The most important thing to remember is that you are still beautiful, no matter how old you are; in fact, many people look their best later in life after they have developed their confidence and grown into their looks.

But if you’re worried about losing your youthful looks and demeanor, you’re not alone. And there are plenty of things you can do to knock years off your image. 

Let us concentrate on the face. Facial aesthetics, as one article puts it, begins with the marriage of the hard (bone) and soft tissue (skin, fats, muscles etc…) structures.  It is, however, the changing balance of these elements that is the hallmark of the aging process.  The major forces responsible for facial aging include gravity, soft tissue maturation, skeletal remodeling, muscular facial activity, and solar changes. Honestly, the appearance of a person’s skin is how many of us judge a person’s age.

So, what are the elements that affect the aging face?

• Primary changes in a person’s three-dimensional skeletal contour can lead to secondary changes in the overlying soft tissue and skin because it is actually this particular set of skeletal proportions that’s ideal for the soft tissue envelope that’s important for having a youthful face.

Solution:  Implants for facial irregularities, autologous fat transfer (getting fat from where it is abundant and injecting it to the problematic site) , filler injections for not-so-big areas.

• Wrinkles originate from a wide variety of sources which include chronologic skin aging (the aging skin genes you inherited over which you have little control, these are hereditary patterns in one’s family lineage that predetermine how one’s face and body respond to the aging process), environmental factors, photoaging, hyperdynamic facial expressions, and skin folding secondary to loss of underlying skeletal and soft tissue support.

Solution: Antiaging creams, injectable antioxidants, chemical peels, laser ablation/radiofrequency treatment, Botulinum toxin injection, eight-point system filler injections (hyaluronic acid), lift and contour using a fibroblast activator and collagen creation enhancer, suture suspension thread lifts (short-term improvement), facelift or rhitidectomy procedure (longer improvement).

• Chronic solar exposure is the major environmental assault that contributes to the clinical changes attributed to the aging skin.  This is termed photoaging and is distinct from intrinsic or chronologic aging.  The notion that photoaging alone accelerates chronologic aging is too simplistic as it is a multifactorial occurrence.  Signs of skin photoaging include changes in color (discolorations or blemishes, progressive sallow yellow pallor, loss of normal translucency or pink glow, gradual appearance of spider veins and uneven purplish color), surface texture (loss of palpable smoothness progressing to the appearance of brownish scaly spots that can be a precancerous rash).  Atrophy of the second layer of the skin makes the blood vessels more visible and thus prone to bruising.  Microscopically, chronically aged dermis has diminished amount of eosinophilic (reddish) material just beneath the epidermis, with the fibroblasts (cells that produce collagen and elastin) appearing shrunken and small. 

Solution: Topical antiaging creams, injectable antioxidants, chemical peels,  microdermabrasion, laser systems (fractional, profractional, erbium weekend peel/arctic peel, microlaser peels, wrinkle injections using soft tissue dermal fillers (Juvederm, Voluma, Restylane, Perlane, Radiesse, Belotero, etc.) to improve the appearance of facial wrinkles by injections under the skin to plump up the skin where the  wrinkles were and give one a more youthful appearance. Botox can be applied in certain areas to relax the muscle under the skin that is causing the wrinkle. Tissue can be tightened using safe, radiofrequency volumetric heating to cause the collagen in the skin’s dermis to contract and tighten. Loose and sagging skin can be tightened; fine lines and wrinkles can be softened without downtime.  These procedures have less predictability and intensity than does the gold standard of fractional/ profractional laser skin resurfacing. These lasers produce tiny microthermal zones, penetrating the mid-to-deeper dermis and leaving the surrounding skin unaffected and intact. The skin heals much faster because the stem cells that surround each treated hole are left untouched.  Therefore, healing is much faster.

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For inquiries, call 09174976261, 09998834802 or 263-4094;  email

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