Since the skin is a visible organ, it is the organ that most clearly reflects the signs of aging. Skin changes due to aging occur with the effect of both the natural aging process and environmental factors. In the natural aging process, the skin may begin to wear out, but sun rays and environmental factors accelerate the aging process in the skin. It is difficult to determine the age of onset of skin aging. Because genetic, endocrine and environmental factors differ for each individual.
The most common changes in our skin during the natural aging process; thinning, drying, coarsening, wrinkles, decreased skin elasticity, loosening and sagging, brown spots, sparse and gray hair, increase in the incidence of benign and malignant formations. Since most of our elderly population today are socially active, they want the existence of healthy and beautiful skin, nails and hair more.
With aging, the cell renewal rate decreases and the upper layer of the skin becomes thinner. Delay in wound healing, decrease in barrier and thermoregulation functions may be observed. Contact eczema increases as the rate of removal of chemical substances from the skin decreases. As the number and functions of color cells decrease, irregular brown spots occur in sun-exposed areas. Skin wrinkles occur with the decrease in the amount of collagen and elastin in the lower layers of the skin and the decrease in the number and volume of the cells that make them. As the number of sweat glands decreases with aging, sweating decreases. Oil secretion in the sebaceous glands decreases, the size of the sebaceous glands increases and small sebaceous cysts form on the face. Gray or white hair is one of the most obvious signs of aging. With the decrease in the number and density of hair, hair growth rates decrease. Widespread hair loss can be seen in both sexes with age. With the change in hormonal balance, thick and hard hairs may occur in the lower part of the chin after menopause.
In elderly people, dryness and brittleness, opacification, yellow-gray discoloration can be seen in the nails. Nail elongation is reduced. There may be fragility and separation of fingernails, thickening and curling of toenails.
D Dry skin is one of the most important problems of old age. Although it is more common in the legs, it can also be seen on the hands, arms and trunk. The skin is dry, dandruff and cracked in appearance. Moisturizers are used to relieve dryness. These can be in the form of cream lotion or in the form of liquid soap. Dry skin often brings itching as well. Hot water and an irritating bath increase itching. Increasing the ambient humidity, dressing with warm water, moisturizing and steroid drugs are effective in solving this problem.
The incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers increases with aging. In addition, benign formations called seborrheic keratosis and solar lentigo occur on the skin. Sunscreens and skin moisturizing are important in preventing them.
Our feet are our most important limb that bears our weight for years. For this reason, they are most exposed to mechanical forces in old age. It is critical to protect foot health when thickening of the soles of the feet, calluses, nail disorders, occasional wounds, fungal infections are more common.
After what we have said, we can ask ourselves who wants to grow old, but who can prevent aging? If you ask me, the most important factors that slow down aging are keeping one’s soul young, taking care of one’s outer clothing, which is the skin, thanks to its spiritual beauty. Especially protecting from sun rays, moisturizing our skin, using therapeutic and preventive cosmetic products, intervening with cosmetic procedures if necessary, drinking plenty of water, exercising can reduce the age of our body and skin. Of course, every age has its beauty, but there is no harm in seeing ourselves looking more beautiful when we go in front of the mirror in every age period. In addition, skin diseases that may occur during the aging process will be seen less frequently with this care and attention.
I wish everyone a healthy and happy new year.
Please take care of your skin and soul.