For many men and women older than 30, the fun of birthdays fades with aging, but researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham offer advice on how to slow aging and boost self-esteem.
“Photoaging, or the changes induced by chronic UVA and UVB exposure, is responsible for accelerating the skin’s aging process,” said Marian Northington, MD, director of UAB Cosmetic Dermatology. “Daily incidental sun exposures (i.e., running out to the car, going to the mailbox and exercising) add up and result in wrinkles, sun spots and potentially cancerous lesions. The No. 1 way people can prevent photoaging is wearing a 30-plus SPF sunscreen, one that contains zinc oxide, every day.”
If it is too late, and the sun has already done its damage, or if someone is just more mature in age, there are ways to diminish the signs of aging.
“Using an over-the-counter cream with retinol, a vitamin A derivative, can decrease the risk of skin cancer and improve skin pigmentation and abnormalities, as well as increase collagen content to help with lines and wrinkles,” Northington said, addingd that, if more advanced methods are needed, a visit to the cosmetic dermatologist can offer safe and effective noninvasive options that will reduce photoaging with little downtime.
“Fraxel laser resurfacing is an excellent way to improve wrinkles, pigmentation and abnormalities,” Northington said. “There are also skin-tightening devices that improve skin laxity, as well as injections that will replace lost volume that occurs with aging to lift the face non-surgically and reduce lines and wrinkles.”
Northington offered that studies have shown some dermatologic skin-improvement methods have benefits beyond an improved appearance.