As we age, the skin contains less collagen, elastin fibres and underlying fat. As a result, the skin loses its fullness and starts to sag.
On the face, the loss in volume results in hollowed areas near the eyes and cheeks. Lines between the nose, mouth and chin become deeper and more pronounced. The jawline becomes uneven and develops ‘jowls’. The upper eyelids may droop and this can impair vision and the eyelashes may irritate the eyes. Skin around the eyes and mouth will start to develop fine ‘crepey’ lines and wrinkles.
On the neck, loose skin appears below the chin and horizontal lines become more pronounced.
On the chest and sun-exposed limbs, mottled pigmentation, loose skin and unwanted growths may appear.
On the hands, tendons and blood vessels may become more noticeable.
Aging skin is thinner, has fine lines and wrinkles and has an uneven skin tone (pigmentation). It becomes drier and prone to itch and eczema. Unwanted growths can appear ( eg seborrheic keratoses, sebaceous hyperplasia, moles, skin cancers).
To slow down the signs of aging, try to minimize prolonged and excessive exposure to sunlight, avoid artificial tanning using sun beds and stop smoking.
If you are a smoker, you may see improvement in your skin quality after quitting, even if you have smoked for many years.
If you are bothered by visible signs of aging, there are a variety of treatments available to improve your appearance.