Facial wrinkles, Americans spend billions of dollars annually on skin care products that promise to erase facial wrinkles, lighten age spots, and eliminate itchiness, flaking or redness. But the most direct and cheapest way to keep your skin looking healthy and youthful is to stay out of the sun.
Sun exposure is the leading cause of the skin changes we think of as aging, such as wrinkles, dryness, and age spots. Your skin changes with age. For example, you sweat less, which leads to increased dryness. As your skin ages, it becomes thinner and loses oil, making it look less plump and smooth. The underlying structures, especially the veins and bones, become more prominent. The skin may take longer to heal when injured.
You can delay these changes by staying out of the sun. While nothing can completely undo sun damage, skin can sometimes repair itself. So it’s never too late to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun.
Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light damages fibers in the skin called elastin. The breakdown of these fibers causes the leather to lose its ability to snap back when stretched. As a result, wrinkles are formed. Gravity also works, pulling on the skin and causing it to sag, most noticeably on the face, neck, and arms.
Cigarette smoking also contributes to facial wrinkles. People who smoke have more lines or wrinkles on their face than non-smokers of the same age, complexion, and sun exposure history. The reason for this difference is not apparent. This may be because smoking also plays a role in damaging elastin. Facial wrinkles increase with the number of cigarettes and years a person has smoked.
Dry Skin and Itching
The most common cause of mimic wrinkles and facial wrinkles. Many older people suffer from dry skin, especially on the lower legs, elbows, and forearms. The skin is rough and scaly and is often accompanied by unpleasant, intense itching. Low humidity? Are they caused by overheating and air conditioning during the summer? Contributes to dryness and itching. Loss of sweat and oil glands with age can also worsen dry skin. Something that further dries out your skin? Such as excessive use of soaps, antiperspirants, perfumes, or hot baths. It will make the problem worse. Dehydration, sunlight, smoking, and stress can also cause dry skin.
UV radiation from the sun is the leading cause of skin cancer. In addition, artificial sources of UV radiation? Such as sun lamps and tanning booths? It can cause skin cancer. People who live in areas of the US that receive high levels of UV radiation from the sun are more likely to get skin cancer.
All skin cancers could be cured if discovered and brought to a doctor’s attention before they spread. Therefore, you should check your skin regularly for personal care. The most common warning sign of skin cancer is a change in the skin, such as facial lines, especially a new growth or ulcer that does not heal. Skin cancers do not all look the same. For example, skin cancer may start as a small, smooth, shiny, pale, or waxy lump. Or it may appear as a firm red lump. Sometimes the lump bleeds or crusts over. Skin cancer can also start as a flat red spot that is rough, dry, or scaly.
Age spots or? Liver spots? as often called, have nothing to do with the liver. Instead, these flat brown spots are caused by years of sun exposure. They are more prominent than freckles and appear in fair-skinned people on sun-exposed areas such as the face, hands, arms, back, and legs. The medical name for them is solar lentigo. They can be accompanied by wrinkles, dryness, thinning of the skin, and rough spots.
Shingles are an outbreak of a rash or blisters on the skin that can cause severe pain. Shingles are caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After an attack of chicken pox, the virus resides quietly in nervous tissue. Years later, the virus can reappear in the form of shingles. Although most common in people over 50, anyone who has had chickenpox can develop shingles. It is also common in people with weakened immune systems due to HIV infection, chemotherapy or radiation treatment, transplant surgery, and stress.
Many older people notice increased bruising, especially on the hands and feet. Skin thins with age and sun damage. Fat and connective tissue loss weakens the support around blood vessels, making them more susceptible to injury. The skin bruises and tears more easily and takes longer to heal. Sometimes bruising is caused by medication or illness. If bruising occurs in areas always covered by clothing, see a doctor.
Keep Your Skin Healthy
The best way to keep your skin healthy is to avoid sun exposure.
Stay out of the sun.
Avoid the sun between at noon. This is when the sun’s UV rays are strongest. Don’t be fooled by cloudy skies. Harmful rays pass through clouds. UV radiation can also pass through water, so don’t assume you’re safe if you feel fabulous in the water.
Sunscreens are rated in strength according to a sun protection factor (SPF), which ranges from 2 to 30 or higher. A higher number means more extended protection. Buy products with an SPF number of 15 or higher. Also, look for products whose label says: broad spectrum (meaning they protect against both types of harmful sun rays ? UVA and UVB) and water resistant (meaning they stay on your skin longer, even if you get wet or sweat a lot). Remember to reapply the lotion as needed.
Wear protective clothing.
A hat with a wide brim shades your neck, ears, eyes, and head. Look for sunglasses with a label saying the glasses block 99 to 100 percent of the sun’s rays. Wear loose, lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and long pants or long skirts when in the sun.
Avoid artificial tanning.
Don’t use sunlamps, tanning beds, or tanning pills and makeup. Tanning pills have a color additive that turns your skin orange after you take them. The FDA has approved this color additive for coloring foods but not for tanning the skin. A large amount of color additive in tanning pills may be harmful. Tanning makeup products are not suntan lotions and will not protect your skin from the sun.
Check your skin often.
Look for changes in the size, shape, color, or feel of birthmarks, moles, and spots. If you find any changes that worry you, see a doctor. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that older, fair-skinned people have a yearly skin check by a doctor as part of a regular physical exam.
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