As I attended a recent concert of past musical groups, I noticed some of the originals might have sounded somewhat the same as many years ago, but definitely, one could notice they had aged by their skin on their faces and hands. Likewise, I noticed some of the attendees whom I was acquainted with, had aged more than others, even though they were the same ages, but it definitely showed in their faces, hands, and hair. Due to many positive factors, we are living longer today than any time in history. Most seniors and boomers focus on monitoring and caring for their primary body parts — heart, brain, lungs, kidneys, liver, stomach and intestines, which does improve our chances to live healthier and longer. However, most of us do not give a lot of attention to skin health. According to recent studies, the level at which your skin is restored, maintained and rejuvenated during the later years is an important part in one’s longevity, good health and even happiness.
Recently, a physician remarked to me that your skin is the largest organ of your body. Your skin is both elastic and durable, yet soft and supple. It serves as a bacterial shield to our body, a thermal regulator, but also a window of our current and future health status. Poor skin quality often has a negative impact on one’s quality of life and does add to stress and anxiety. When a person has good skin health, it favorably impacts their self-esteem and life experiences as we age. As studies have shown, medical science knows a lot about human skin as it is easily accessible to conduct research on ways to intervene. So, in part, the aging of human skin can often be modifiable with proper steps and interventions.
Researchers have identified some good genes that contribute to a younger face-age and the rate of aging. If you have those good genes, then you are very fortunate. If you have damaged skin or diseases of the skin, then these conditions need to be professionally examined and treated in a timely manner. Likewise, health professionals advocate that there are many ways to protect your skin from aging:
•Protect and Shield your skin from UV rays and environmental pollution — make use of sunscreen with adequate protection to block out a broad spectrum of UVA/UVB. It is important to also wearing sunglasses with UV protection. Clothing and hats that protects the skin is also very important.
•Hydrate your skin — As we age, the skin experiences loss of important fats, its pH increases, and tends to recover slowly from trauma. Obtain and apply moisturizers to hydrate the skin, especially when you have dry skin and itching occurs. It is important to seek the recommendation of skin health professionals on the products to consider utilizing. Take steps to prevent over-drying and fluid loss of your skin. Studies have shown that excessive showering and bathing can strip the skin of its natural fluids to worsen dry skin and itching. According to some experts, a good practice is to limit bathing to five minutes or less, to avoid extremely hot water, and to discontinue the use of astringents or harsh soaps.
•Nourishing your skin — A proper diet is essential to a longer and healthier life, but also is critical for favorable skin health. Remember to get the daily required nutrients and vitamins from what you eat to improve your skin. Those foods which are rich in vitamins, healthy fats, and water are beneficial to your skin, especially those rich in vitamins A, C, D, and E as well as beta carotene. Drinking plenty water each and every day can help to reduce the signs of aging skin.
•Evaluate your skin and consult with health professional if necessary — Daily skin observation is important to identity early signs of infection or unusual changes. It is very important to timely seek medical attention from health care professionals for proper evaluation and treatment.
According to a report of the World Health Organization in 2015, aging skin and skin conditions can also affect a person’s emotional health, the way they are perceived by others, and cause a person to withdraw from social activity and participation in their communities. As noted, our skin is our first line of defense against infection and serious trauma. Skin is also the indicator of overall health and wellness status, but also skin impacts the face-age, or making a person look older for their age. Therefore, our skin, in most cases, can help us indentify the first signs of a serious illness to allow one to timely seek medical attention. It is important to take the necessary preventive steps to protect your skin from aging and to avoid skin problems.
By: Gary L. Calligas