Signs and Symptoms of Aging Skin

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A significant problem for many people is aging skin. As we get older, our bodies change in dramatic ways. The aging of the skin is one of the most dramatic changes and tends to define the age of the person. The healthy and beautiful skin that may have been present during our youth eventually disappears. How do we get it back to where it once was?

It is possible, with anti-aging products and skin care treatments, to restore the skin to a younger, healthier looking condition. However, it is not likely that the changes in the skin as a person ages can be completely reversed.

Part of a successful treatment plan is recognizing the aging skin signs when they first occur. In this way, treatments can begin immediately, or corrective actions can be put into place to prevent additional aging skin from occurring more rapidl than it should.

aging skin wrinkles on a woman's face

Therefore, what are the signs or symptoms of aging skin. Some are obvious, while others are not. The signs can be divided into two principal groups. The groups are not mutually exclusive, there is some crossover, but separating the signs helps determine the causes.

First, there are those changes that occur because of genetics (intrinsic or internal aging). Our skin is programmed to look a certain way as we age as it did for our parents, their parents, etc.). Second are the changes that occur because of external influences that the body is subjected to such as the environment (so called extrinsic aging).

Intrinsic Signs that the Skin is Aging

  • fine wrinkles
  • thin skin that is more fragile and susceptible to damage (cuts, tears, bruises) and takes longer to heal
  • transparent (see-through) skin
  • dull and lifeless appearance to the skin and it becomes less plump
  • greater visibility of skin pores
  • hollowed cheeks and eye sockets
  • loss of skin firmness on the hands and neck
  • sagging skin in the face, neck, and upper arms and loss of the skin’s elastic nature
  • dry, flaky and itchy skin (eczema)
  • spider veins - veins that are fine and red, purple, or blue in colour that have the appearance of spider legs all clustered in one area and usually appear on the feet, ankles, and thighs
  • varicose veins – enlarged leg veins that are bulging and blue in colour
  • varicose ulcers – infection in the area of a varicose vein often around the ankles; affected areas are usually swollen, red, itchy and may contain pus
  • purpura - rupture of blood vessels leading to the presence of flat purplish patches under the skin
  • cherry angiomas – small bright red raised bumps cause by dilated blood vessels and usually found on the trunk of the body
  • reduction in the amount of sweating (cooling of the skin is affected)
  • reduction in the amount of oil or lipid production and therefore more dry skin care problems
  • hair loss or unwanted hair on certain skin areas

Extrinsic Signs of Aging Skin

  • freckles
  • age spots (flat brownish spots on the skin than enlarge and darken with age; also known as liver spots or lentigines) usually on the hands, face and back
  • yellowish hue to the skin
  • spider type veins on the face
  • rough and leathery skin
  • fine lines and deep wrinkles
  • scars become more obvious
  • loose skin (loss of it’s elastic nature) leading to drooping nose and eyelids, elongated ears, disappearance of upper lip and a more pronounced lower lip, sagging under the jaw and eyes
  • unevenly pigmented or mottled skin complexion
  • actinic keratoses (thick wart-like, rough and red or brown patches of skin)
  • development of shingles – outbreak of a rash or blisters which are quite painful
  • skin cancer (a variety or precancerous and cancerous lesions or spots)

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