As we get older, we try to address the issue of aging and the signs of the aging process. These signs of aging can really be a downer in terms of overall confidence and self-esteem but more importantly, people need to look at the health aspect of it all as aging poorly or premature aging can in fact be caused by some other underlying health condition that needs to be addressed. In this article, let us look at some of the signs that an individual is aging prematurely and poorly.
Aging and the Human Body: Points to Ponder
The internal processes of the human body will slow down as people get older and these processes include turnover of the cellular structures of the body and recovering from physical activities or workouts. When this happens, some of the signs of poor aging will make themselves evident such as fatigue and wrinkles. However, some of these changes can occur earlier in life which means that the signs of poor aging occurred prematurely. Some of the changes in the human body during aging cannot be totally avoided but there are a number of things individuals can do to reduce them especially if they are occurring earlier than they should.
Signs that an Individual is Aging Poorly
Some of the signs of poor aging are enumerated below. If they do occur before a person is 35 years of age, then their appearance can be an indication of premature aging. These signs are:
These are also referred to as liver spots and age spots and they are spots that are flat usually caused by sun exposure over the years. These spots that are hyper-pigmented may show up in a person’s forearms, hands, and face. These spots will usually appear on an individual’s skin once they reach the age of 40. However, those with Fitzpatrick Type 1 and 2 Skin or those with skin that is fairer, they may show up much earlier.
Hands that are gaunt
The skin’s topmost layer may eventually contain fewer proteins for structuring and can also become thinner. With these reduced, the skin’s shape may be affected. The hands may look thin and veinier and can develop wrinkles over time. People won’t see this until they are around their 40s but there are no exact timelines of when to expect gaunt hands.
Chest Inflammation or hyperpigmentation
As people get older, they may develop chest discoloration that may be described as patchy. Just like sunspots, these portions of the skin that have different levels or shades of pigmentation can be the result of cellular damage brought about by the harmful rays of the sun. It must be noted though that this change in pigmentation levels may be caused by other conditions of the skin such as melanin damage and eczema.
Skin that is itchy and dry
Also referred to as xerosis cutis, itchy and dry skin can become more frequent as people age. This is due to the increased risk of skin dehydration as people get older. Individuals may note that their skin can flake or dry up more once they reach their 40s.
Sagging or Wrinkles
Once people reach the age of 30, their skin’s ability to produce collagen is reduced. Collagen is important for skin health as this is the protein that gives shape to an individual’s skin. In fact, collagen is the component of the skin that helps it retain its plumpness and its ability to bounce back. Once collagen is reduced in the skin, the skin can become more prone to wrinkles and sagging. It can be quite noticeable in areas of the skin more frequently utilized such as the forehead and the portions of the skin that are more exposed to the sun. There are times, however, when wrinkles and sagging are not caused by aging but by other factors such as dehydration and dirt.
Once the follicles responsible for initiating new ones to grow start to die off, then hair loss can occur. Different factors can determine how fast or early this sign of poor aging can occur and this includes diet, genetics, and environmental changes or factors.
What are some of the possible causes of Poor Aging?
Listed below are some of the possible causes of the signs and symptoms of poor aging to appear:
- Cigarette Smoking: Smoking is bad for your health and that includes skin health. Cigarette toxins can produce oxidative stress on the skin which can lead to wrinkles and dryness to appear much earlier than expected.
- Tanning and Sun Exposure: Exposure to the sun and tanning beds can lead to UV rays penetrating the skin which can lead to DNA damage. Once DNA and cellular damage occur, wrinkles may occur on the skin.
- Genetics: Some rare conditions related to a person’s genes can lead to aging of the skin that is premature and they are referred to as progeria.
- Sleeping Habits: To refresh and regenerate itself, the body requires adequate amounts of sleep. There is evidence to support that poor sleep quality can lead to the reduced function of the skin as a protective barrier and to increased aging symptoms and signs.
- Eating Habits: Evidence suggests that people who take in huge amounts of refined carbs and sugars have an increased risk of having skin that is damaged and weakened.
- Caffeine and alcohol intake: The excessive intake of alcohol can drastically dehydrate the body. This condition can lead to the skin and the body as a whole to lose its shape and to experience sagging. The same may be true for caffeine although there are some studies pointing to the safety of coffee when taken on a daily basis.
- The Environment: Some pollutants found in the environment can make certain symptoms of aging much worse. This means worse symptoms for such skin conditions such as wrinkles and pigment spots. Due to the skin being exposed to the surrounding air, then it can be pointed out that it is indeed constantly exposed to various environmental pollutants.