Our team of professionals and staff believe that informed patients are better equipped to make decisions regarding their health and well-being. For your personal use, we have created an extensive patient library covering an array of educational topics, which can be found on the side of each page. Browse through these diagnoses and treatments to learn more about topics of interest to you.
As always, you can contact our office to answer any questions or concerns.
As you grow older, you will see and feel changes in your skin.
You cannot avoid skin changes associated with natural aging. However, there are skin changes you can prevent. There are even diseases, such as skin cancer, that need medical attention. Your dermatologist can be a partner in helping you keep your skin healthy and looking its best as it ages.
Whether a health risk or just unsightly, age-related skin conditions can be evaluated and treated, if necessary, by your dermatologist.
Wrinkles are one of the most common skin changes that occur with age. The fibers underneath the skin that provide structure — collagen and elastin —begin to weaken with age. The skin also loses fat, which provides the plumped, smooth appearance in younger skin. This loss of structure and underlying fat causes the skin to fold and wrinkle.
Ultraviolet light (UV) exposure – from the sun or indoor tanning – is the major cause of wrinkles and other common age-related conditions in the skin. How wrinkled your skin becomes depends largely on how much UV you have been exposed to in your lifetime. Your family genes and smoking can also contribute to wrinkles.
Recent studies have shown that daily use of sunscreen appears to significantly slow the process of skin aging among middle-aged men and women. Even those individuals with significant sun damage showed some skin improvements after using sunscreen daily.
Every day, apply a broad-spectrum (protects against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays), water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Seek the shade between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun’s ray are at their
strongest. Wear protective clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and long-sleeved shirts and pants when in the sun. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours during sun exposure (or every 80 minutes if in water).
In addition to sunscreen, talk with your dermatologist about the best treatment options. No product or treatment can treat all signs of skin aging. Focus on one or two skin concerns that bother you the most.
Look for over-the-counter products that include the following anti-aging ingredients:
Dermatologists also have a variety of treatments available in their offices. Your dermatologist can talk about the rejuvenation treatments that are right for you based on your age, health, skin type and amount of UV damage. Some examples of treatments can include:
and fine lines and wrinkles.
As we age, our skin becomes drier. This can result in flaky and itchy skin, especially in cold, dry, and windy climates.
Mature skin also appears to be more sensitive, especially to wool, detergents, bleaches, and soaps.
If your skin is mildly dry, you should use a daily moisturizer. The best time to apply it is right after bathing while your skin is still damp. Look for moisturizers or ointments that contain the ingredients petrolatum, urea or ammonium lactate. These ingredients can help the skin hold water and reduce scaling.
You can also relieve dry skin by taking short showers and baths (5- to 10-minutes), using warm, not hot, water, and mild, fragrance-free soaps or cleansers.
If excessive itching due to dry skin is leading to a lack of sleep and fatigue, see your dermatologist. Itching may also be a sign of an internal disease, and severe flaky and cracked skin may be a sign of a more serious skin condition, such as psoriasis or dermatitis.
Unless noted, most of these skin conditions and diseases do not need treatment. If you are bothered by the appearance of a skin condition, talk with your dermatologist about treatment options. Treatments may be considered cosmetic and may not be covered by insurance.
Though the risk of skin cancer increases as you get older, skin cancer can happen at any age. If you notice anything on your skin itching, changing, or bleeding, see your dermatologist immediately.
start them within 3 days of your symptoms beginning. A preventative vaccine is also available.
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Dermatologists can effectively reduce the signs of aging skin and offer treatments for skin disease. Talking with a
dermatologist can help you make an informed decision about what treatments will be best for you.
A board-certified dermatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating the medical, surgical, and cosmetic conditions of the skin, hair and nails. To learn more about aging skin or find a dermatologist in your area, visit aad.org or call toll free (888) 462-DERM (3376).
All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology.
Copyright © by the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Academy of Dermatology Association.
Images used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides
American Academy of Dermatology
P.O. Box 1968, Des Plaines, Illinois 60017
AAD Public Information Center: 888.462.DERM (3376) AAD Member Resource Center: 866.503.SKIN (7546) Outside the United States: 847.240.1280
Email: [email protected]