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Premature skin aging: Causes, Signs and Prevention.

Definition of Premature Skin Aging

Premature skin aging is the sign of aging earlier than the standard time. According to a scientific study, premature aging occurs when a person’s biological age is older than their chronological age.

Premature skin aging

Causes of Premature Skin Aging

There are various factors that have direct effect on how the signs appear quickly on the body. The following are the causes of premature aging:

Age:

As we start to get older, our skin naturally becomes less elastic and more fragile. Decrement in the production of natural oil dries the skin and makes it seem more wrinkled. When the fat decreases in the deeper layers of our skin, it causes loose, saggy skin and more definite lines and cracks.

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light:

Exposure to UV light breaks down the skin’s connective tissue, collagen and elastin fibers (which lie in the deeper layer of skin (dermis)) is the primary cause of early wrinkling. Without the support of connective tissue, the skin loses strength and flexibility which causes the skin to sag and wrinkle prematurely.

Smoking:

Due to the effect of smoking on collagen, the normal aging process of the skin accelerates that causes wrinkles.

Repeated facial expressions

The facial movements and expressions like squinting or smiling leads to fine lines and wrinkles. As skin ages, it loses flexibility and can no longer be able to spring back in place. These routine then causes permanent features like wrinkles on the face.

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Genes

Progeria is a very rare genetic conditions that can cause to show the signs of aging in childhood and early puberty. There are two types of syndromes that causes progeria. They are:

  1. Werner syndrome:

This syndrome affects 1 in 1 million people by causing wrinkled skin, graying hair, and balding that develops between 13 and 30 years old.

2. Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome:

This syndrome is an even rarer condition which affects 1 in 8 million babies. The children with this syndrome don’t grow as others in their age group and also experience thin limbs and baldness. The average life expectancy for children affected with Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome is 13 years.

Sleep habits

Sleep gives the opportunity to refresh and regenerate cells on the body. The study has indicated that poor sleep quality is connected to increased signs of aging and a reduced skin barrier function.

Diet

Some of the researches also suggests that eating a diet that is high in sugar and refined carbohydrates can damage the skin over time.

Alcohol and caffeine intake

Drinking excessive amount of alcohol dehydrates the body. The dehydration can cause the skin to sag and lose its shape. Caffeine also has a similar effect even though there’s conflicting research about the daily consumption of coffee that causes wrinkles.

Environment

Environmental pollutants can trigger and worsen the pigment spots and wrinkles. Since the skin comes into direct contact with the air, the skin barrier gets subjected to the toxins and pollutants in the daily environment.

Stress

A stressful lifestyle triggers the inflammatory response in the body as well as hurts the sleeping habits. Stress hormones and inflammation causes the body to age faster.

Signs of premature aging

There are certain signs of aging that is considered as premature if it is noticed before turning 35. Some signs of premature aging are:

  1. Sun spots
  2. Gaunt hands
  3. Inflammation or hyperpigmentation along chest
  4. Dry or itchy skin
  5. Wrinkles or sagging
  6. Hair loss

Prevention of premature aging

  • Protect the skin from sun everyday by using sunscreen.
  • Apply self-tanner rather than get a tan.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Avoid repetitive facial expressions.
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
  • Drink less alcohol.
  • Exercise most days of the week.
  • Cleanse your skin gently.
  • Wash the face twice a day and after sweating heavily.
  • Apply a facial moisturizer every day.
  • Stop using skin care products that sting or burn.
  • Make sure to remove all makeup before bed.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Practice stress management.

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