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Answers from experts you can trust in Algonquin: How does skin aging & anti-aging treatment work?
Posted by Dr. Vikram Khanna
More birthdays are associated with greater wisdom. But, the passage of time also causes unwanted changes in our appearance, such as laxity, excess fat, blotches, and sallowness on formerly taut, radiant skin. Aging skin treatments in Algonquin at Dermatology Specialists of Illinois reset the clock.
How Does Skin Aging Work?
Skin’s aging process involves several factors. Principal offenders include the loss of collagen, elastin, and fat in the deeper layers of skin. These beneficial substances are responsible for youthful firmness and facial contours. Ultraviolet light is the single biggest cause of damage. Exposure to UV from the sun’s rays or artificial sources like tanning beds can age skin before its time by further breaking down collagen and elastin.
Gravity causes your eyelids, brows, jawline, cheeks, and even earlobes to sag. Sleeping on the same side of your face each night and repeatedly using the same muscles to make facial expressions, deepen wrinkles. Aging skin can’t bounce back as quickly as it once did when stretched or pulled.
Age-related changes even alter the shape of the face. Each part of the youthful face is distinct. But aging causes hollow, shallow areas where fat used to be, or loose skin in formerly firm areas. As subcutaneous fat shrinks and the body produces less collagen, sagging skin that is particularly pronounced in the fat pads of the cheeks draw the face downward. The effect can be dramatic; for example, a chin may look “heavy” and detract from that lovely facial balance.
Aside from sagging, once luminous skin may look increasingly lackluster. New skin cells are born in the lower epidermis and travel to the surface where they’re sloughed off. This natural process takes longer as you get older. Dead skin cells build up on the epidermis, resulting in a tired, dull complexion and dry, sandpaper-like texture. The age when we start to experience this intrinsic aging process is written, at least partially, in our DNA. Extrinsic aging accounts for both environmental and lifestyle factors that cause skin to look older than it should.
In addition to UV exposure, the professionals at Dermatology Specialists of Illinois may discuss other factors that you can control to keep skin looking youthful:
Tobacco use - Depletes skin of vital nutrients by decreasing blood flow
Diet - Eat more Vitamin C-rich foods and less unhealthy fats and processed carbs
Gentle care - Avoid harsh soaps, scrubbing, and hot baths.
Board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Vic Khanna, and his team, also recommend products suited to your skin type.
Dermatologists have access to medical-grade products that work when OTC alternatives may fail to produce desired results. Therapies may be a perfect complement to restore or achieve a refreshed, healthy look. For example, lax skin may be treated with lasers or other light-based technologies. Generally, these approaches produce therapeutic heat that precisely targets the underlying layer of skin where collagen is. This heat stimulates the body’s natural production of collagen. These firming proteins may be replenished with other types of advanced technologies, such as radiofrequency (RF) devices like ThermiSmooth. This technique, too, generates heat to stimulate fibroblasts or cells that create new collagen. Yet another technology, CoolSculpting, uses controlled cooling to damage fat cells in stubborn areas like around the waist or hips. The damaged fat cells are safely eliminated from the body. Once they’re gone, they can’t develop in the treated area again.
An entire category of injectables exists to add volume to shallow areas, or to soften creases and furrows. Dermal fillers are precisely injected to the area of concern. These products often contain hyaluronic acid, a lubricating substance that is made naturally by your body. Depending on the type of filler used and your unique needs, Dr. Khanna may boost the appearance of the apples of your cheeks or minimize the look of deep lines or nasolabial folds around your mouth. Injectable neuromodulators like Botox, Xeomin, and Dysport are used to soften crow’s feet and frown lines by safely interfering with the targeted muscle’s ability to contract. A muscle that can’t contract doesn’t stretch the skin to produce lines.
Still other anti-aging treatments include mechanical or chemical resurfacing with microdermabrasion or peels – the possibilities are endless. Call to schedule a consultation at Dermatology Specialists of Illinois’ Algonquin or Woodstock location.