Tuesday, 21 November 2023 10:19

From Birth to Final Breath, Part II: Skin Physiology

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Many functions of skin that begin to slow down around age 40 become more visible and more problematic into the 50s. Depending on an individual’s ethnicity, skin changes that appear with aging may not be as evident. The signs of aging on darker skin often does not appear as rapidly as they do on lighter skin tones. The darker skin is, the thicker it is, and it has more natural protection from ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays due to the melanin content. Genetics also play a large role in how quickly skin ages.

40S & 50S 

Collagen is the most abundant protein in skin and one of the most important. However, collagen production decreases by approximately 38% in one’s early 50s. This becomes more and more evident as the appearance of lines and wrinkles on skin increases and as skin’s plumpness diminishes. Women in this age group are normally experiencing menopause, which causes their level of estrogen to diminish and in turn, affects glycosaminoglycans, collagen, and elastin. Due to hormonal imbalances, the visible signs of skin aging are accelerated. Most women also experience hot flashes, which can further exacerbate any pre-existing vascular redness. In some cases, as testosterone becomes more dominant, the lipidic production may increase, causing blemishes to appear.  

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