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Two Types of Aging? One of Them You Can Control?

November 17, 2017

We all know aging changes our appearance. During your youth and young adulthood, your outer layer of skin is smooth and a good barrier against the environmental impacts. Typically skin tone is pretty even. The layers below are strong and abundant with collagen and elastin. Then you get older and things start to change. But, did you know that there are two types of aging? Intrinsic and Extrinsic. Intrinsic aging is something everyone experiences – and there is no stopping it! Intrinsic aging impacts you regardless of where you live or what you eat. It starts when you turn 20. You start to produce less collagen each year (on average about 1% less annually). As this happens, the skin becomes thinner which makes it more fragile. Sweat glands slow down and elastin drops as well. While this process does impact wrinkles, it is not the main culprit. Extrinsic aging is the real culprit behind those wrinkles. Extrinsic aging is a direct result of sun and environmental damage such as pollution, smoking and more. You will notice a thickening of the outer layer of skin and sun spots, age spots, precancerous growths and what appears to be scaly skin appears. The more sun exposure you have had, the more pronounced these symptoms will become. When you combine the effects of both types of aging, you wind up with a rough appearance to your skin, uneven tone, brown spots, sagging skin, and wrinkles. Eliminating access to sun, smoke and other pollutants can help minimize the effects of extrinsic aging. Proper skin care is also very important to help your skin look more vibrant and youthful.

Dr. Stephen Mulholland
Posted by Dr. Stephen Mulholland
Dr. Stephen Mulholland has been practicing Plastic Surgery for over 20 years. He is one of Canada’s most renowned and best plastic surgeons in Toronto with his wealth of experience, artistry, and humbleness towards his patients.

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