Changes to your aging skin are among the most visible markers of getting older. While some changes are inevitable, the extent to which the changes show up isn’t always set in stone. You have a lot of influence over what happens to your skin, starting at a young age, but even your daily actions can make a difference.
What Influences Aging Skin?
Many factors impact the health and appearance of your skin. What you eat, what you drink, how much you drink, how well you sleep, and what stress you’re under all have an effect. A well rounded diet with omega-3 fatty acids, for example, will leave skin looking healthier than a diet based on junk food. That holds true for any age, but it’s more pronounced as you get older because the effects become more apparent.
Staying hydrated also helps tremendously. A lack of sleep can make you look paler and weaker than normal. What you do to your skin externally also matters; harsh cosmetics or soaps can dry out your skin while gentle ones soothe it, instead. In addition, in the long term, sun exposure and smoking both show on aging skin.
Why Does Aging Skin Matter?
The effects of aging on your skin might not be so important if they were merely cosmetic. However, they can have distinct effects on your health overall. Your skin is actually your body’s largest organ, and it serves to protect you from a lot of factors that would otherwise harm you substantially. If your skin isn’t in the best shape, you stand a greater chance of sustaining injury and developing illness.
What Happens When Skin Ages?
When you get older is that the fat layer under your skin starts to thin out. As the fat thins out, your skin loses that plump, youthful look. It can look pale and sallow, and if your teeth are missing or wearing down, your cheeks can look sunken.
Your skin also loses its elasticity, as you get older. Skin tags and other skin markings, especially age spots, become more common as well.
Most damaging is how fragile your skin can become. You can experience more bruises and cuts, and your ability to heal that damage is compromised as well.
What Protective Steps Can I Take?
- Protect your skin from the sun – use either a sunscreen or clothing that is rated with an ultraviolet protective factor number.
- Get your sleep – as you get older, you may find your sleep quality and quantity diminishing, so it’s important to see a doctor to discuss good sleep hygiene.
- Stay hydrated – your sense of thirst can decline as you age, but that does not mean you no longer need to drink water. Drink glasses of water on a schedule each day; tea and coffee in moderation. Eat foods that are water-heavy like grapes, cucumbers, and watermelon.
- A good diet – If you are having trouble obtaining healthy food or balanced meals, a program like Meals on Wheels could help.
If you want assistance finding programs like those or need to see a doctor to discuss other changes you’ve noticed in your skin, contact Boulevard Medical Healthcare. Set up an appointment with a dermatologist today. You can make your skin healthier at any age.