As we get older our skin becomes drier, less supple, and more prone to the signs aging. That’s common knowledge. But what most people don’t know is that there are two types of aging making those wrinkles and creases on their skin — intrinsic and extrinsic. Here’s little background on the skin and these effects of aging.
When you’re young
Young skin is supple, yet firm. The skin’s epidermis (the outer layer) is smooth and acts as a good barrier to water and environmental damage. The skin’s color and tone is even. There aren’t any pigmentation issues.
During this phase the skin’s support system is strong. Collagen, which provides the skin’s firmness; elastin, which gives the skin elasticity and rebound; and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which keep the skin hydrated, are all abundant.
Two paths to aging
And then the wrinkles begin to show up. Unbeknownst to most people, there are two types of aging — intrinsic and extrinsic.
Intrinsic aging — This aging is just that, aging. It happens no matter if you are outdoors all the time or locked in your room. After your 20th birthday, you produce one percent less collagen in your skin each year. This makes the skin thinner and more fragile with the passing years. Your sweat and oil glands also slow their function, and elastin and GAGs drop as well. Intrinsic aging is inevitable, but it isn’t the main cause of wrinkles.
Extrinsic aging — Extrinsic, hinted at by the “ex,” occurs from exposure…exposure to sun and environmental damage (smoking or exposure to pollution, among others). What was even-toned, supple skin changes. Extrinsic aging shows itself as a thickening of the outer layer of the skin. Precancerous growths, skin cancers, and freckles and sun spots all start to show up, depending especially on your amount of sun exposure. This exposure also causes an exaggerated loss of collagen, elastin, and GAGs, as if all the other stuff wasn’t enough!
All of these factors team up to give your skin a rough appearance, uneven tone, brown patches, sagging skin, and deep wrinkles.
That’s where the team at Elite Plastic Surgery can help. Through our combination of surgical and non-surgical procedures, we can give you the tools to fight the battle against aging. If you’re interested in turning back the clock, call us at (616) 459-1907 and let’s talk about your options.