Premature Ageing and Sun Damage
Ageing is the natural process of cell degeneration over time. As we hit different chronological mile stones we visibly see our skin change. Our skin cells are constantly being replenished with old ones shedding and new ones cycling through to replace them. As we age the cell turn over slows down which affects the skins immune function and its structure. This causes the skin to flatten and lose volume, it loses strength and can bruise and tear more easily, the skin at this stage is less resistant to stress. As the skin thins the water content reduces so the skin becomes drier. The natural oil called sebum also reduces which adds to the dryness. Loss off collagen and elastin also causes the skin to deflate and sag.
The blood supply to the skin reduces causing loss of important proteins that support the skin such as hyaluronic acid, this all increases volume loss and exacerbates the appearance of ageing skin.
Pigmentation may become uneven due to areas of over and under pigmentation.
Causes of Ageing Skin
Photo ageing is the physical representation of UV and sun damage on our skin, with accumulative UV exposure the natural ageing process is accelerated. Signs of ageing include fine lines, wrinkles, loss of elasticity and pigmentation.
This is the damage caused by UVA and UVB radiation from the sun. UVB is higher energy, shorter wavelength radiation that has the ability to change DNA and other components on the surface of the skin (the epidermis).
UVB is responsible for the majority of skin cancers. UVA is longer wavelength radiation that is lower energy than UVB but is 100 times more common than UVB.
It penetrates deep into the dermis of the skin and damages collagen, elastin and blood vessels.
Photo ageing is caused by light exposure, which affects people differently.
We have to consider both intrinsic and extrinsic factors.
- Intrinsic factors – our genetics, in particular our race and skin colour play a significant role in how susceptible we are to photo aging.
- Extrinsic factors – these are external factors in the environment which affect our skin. The strongest extrinsic factor is Sun followed closely by pollutants.
Menopause in women leads to a reduction of oestrogen which leads to increased features of ageing in the skin.
- Smoking damages skin in a number of ways. Nicotine reduces blood flow to the skin and so reduces the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the skin.
- Other chemicals in tobacco smoke damage collagen and elastin while the excess facial muscle movement associated with smoking leads to the formation of excess fine lines and wrinkles.
- Problems with the immune system affects the function and appearance of the skin. This can be caused by autoimmune diseases that affect the skin such as lupus and eczema, medications or other agents that affect the skin, and chronic stress.
Ageing Skin Conditions
Solar Lentigo is a harmless patch of darkened skin best characterised as well defined brown spots. They appear on ageing skin and worsen with excessive sun exposure. This is the most common type of sun damage treated with ICON MAG G and PicoSure laser.
Actinic keratosis is a precancerous scaly spot found on sun-damaged skin, also known as solar keratosis. This is the next stage from solar Lentigo and can sometimes be treated with ICON MAG G, PicoSure and Pelleve.
Melanoma: Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops in the skin cells called melanocytes and usually occurs on the parts of the body that have been overexposed to the sun. Melanoma has no symptoms however they are generally found in an existing mole that has changed colour, shape, elevation and size. You may also notice itching or bleeding. If you have any spots that concern you book in with your nearest skin doctor for a cancer check/mole scan.
Angiomas are benign growths made up of small blood vessels. They can appear anywhere on the body. The three most common types are cherry Angiomas, spider Angiomas, and angiokeratomas
Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer and the most frequently occurring form of all cancers. Because basal cell carcinomas grow slowly, most are curable and cause minimal damage when caught and treated early. If you have any spots that concern you book in with your nearest skin doctor for a cancer check/mole scan.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the skin is the second most common form of skin cancer, characterized by abnormal, accelerated growth of squamous cells. When caught early, most Squamous cell carcinomas are curable. Squamous cell carcinomas can appear as scaly red patches, open sores, rough, thickened or wart-like skin, or raised growths with a central depression. At times Squamous cell carcinomas, may crust over, itch or bleed. If you have any spots that concern you book in with your nearest skin doctor for a cancer check/mole scan
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Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Fine lines and wrinkles are words that are often used interchangeably in the cosmetic and beauty industry but what is the difference? Fine lines are generally considered to be “expression lines” or “dynamic lines” that are visible generally only when we move our face or express ourselves.
Examples of this would be the “crows feet” around the eyes when we smile or vertical lines around the lips when we purse them or kiss. Fine lines can become deeper and develop into wrinkles which tend to be “static lines” or lines that are visible even at rest.
As wrinkles worsen, they can become deep “furrows” or even skin folds if the skin becomes very lax.
What causes fine lines and wrinkles?
There are multiple causes with fine lines and wrinkles being a normal part of the ageing process as we lose collagen and elastin in our skin as we age. In Australia, the most common preventable causes are Ultraviolet light damage from excess sun exposure and smoking.
Other causes are genetics, muscle movements, gravity, injury, surgery and skin conditions that can predispose to scarring such as acne or rare autoimmune skin conditions such as lupus.
Why are lines and wrinkles sometimes worse on one side of a persons face?
The lines on each side of a persons face are often not symmetrical as people tend to smile or frown more on one side than the other. People also tend to sleep more on one side than the other, which compresses the tissues leading to lines and wrinkles.
What can be done about fine lines and wrinkles?
Amazing improvements in fine lines and wrinkles can be achieved in most people and usually require a combination of cosmetic treatments. This can be a combination of wrinkle relaxer injections, dermal filler injections, energy-based devices such as laser and IPL, peels, collagen induction therapy and good skincare using a recommended cosmeceutical brand such as Ultraceuticals.
To prevent worsening of fine lines and wrinkles, prevention is of utmost importance, specifically quitting smoking and using daily SPF50 cream.
We recommend booking an appointment with our dermal therapist or doctor to discuss your individual concerns.
Ageing Skin Treatments
Dry, lacklustre, faded and red skin can be treated using an excellent cosmeceutical skincare range. At Rewind Skin & Laser, we recommend the Ultraceuticals range of products. Ultraceuticals have a large range with specific products for specific conditions and problems.
Their products contain active ingredients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Retinol, Alpha and Beta-hydroxy acids and active botanicals that have been researched and been proven to improve skin quality and the signs of ageing.
Dermal fillers such as hyaluronic acid (a natural carbohydrate gel) replace the volume that has been lost through ageing. This can improve the appearance of hollows and volumise and lift areas.
They can also be used to soften fine and deep lines and are often used in combination with other treatments such a anti-wrinkle injections, laser, IPL, thread-lifting and peels. Most hyaluronic acid fillers will last 12-18 months.
Anti-wrinkle injections using Botulinum toxin is an excellent treatment for dynamic lines and wrinkles and some static lines.
These wrinkle relaxers act on the muscles that cause lines and wrinkles, softening or removing the lines and making the skin look more even. Common areas to treat are the forehead, frown lines, and crows feet around the eyes.
More advanced technique include using wrinkle relaxers around the mouth to treat a sad looking, downturned mouth or injections into the platysma muscle of the neck to treat so called “turkey neck” and creat a neck lift.
Intense pulsed light is a fantastic treatment for ageing skin. It uses a variety of wavelengths of light to treat pigmentation, visible blood vessels and improve fine lines and wrinkles. At Rewind Skin & Laser we use the medical-grade, American-made Cynosure Icon IPL machine.
At Rewind Skin & Laser, we have invested in only the best…the Picosure laser made by Cynosure. This laser has the patented Focus lens which offers full face treatments with minimal downtime meaning that you can get back to your daily life in no time.The unique Focus lens stimulates the production of collagen and elastin in the skin while breaking up pigmentation, smoothing scars, evening out skin tone and improving the appearance of visible pores.
Dr Eoin McDonnell is fully trained and experienced in performing Silhouette Soft thread lifting, a minimally invasive procedure that involves the insertion of multiple absorbable threads into the face.
This provides an instant lift to the facial tissues while also stimulating the production of collagen and elastin and volumising the face over time.
Collagen induction therapy/Micro-needling
Collagen induction therapy or microneedling is performed by our dermal therapists and is done using a microneedling machine. This induces the production of collagen in the skin, improving the appearance and tone of the skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles and improving the appearance of scars and acne scars.
Enyme and chemical peels
Facial peels work by removing the surface layer of skin, decongesting pores and rejuvenating the skin resulting in a smoother, more even tone.
They can be done in combination with other treatments or as a standalone procedure. Peels contain a variety of active ingredients such as lactic acid, mandelic acids, fruit enzymes such as Bromelain, Retinol, AHA’s and BHA’s and Clove oil among other things.