The visible signs of ageing in the skin occur as a result of both intrinsic and extrinsic processes.
The effects of intrinsic aging, as the term suggests, are fundamentally caused purely by internal factors.
Intrinsic ageing is also known as chronological ageing . It is an inherent degenerative process resulting from deteriorating physiologic functions and capacities of the skin and body. This type of ageing process can incorporate:
- qualitative changes (perceptions by the individual eg that the skin is dry) and
- quantitative changes (measurable changes, eg level of hydration).
Ageing also leads to diminished or defective synthesis of collagen and elastin in the dermis.
Initially, subtle signs of ageing can become visibly apparent in the 40’s that gradually worsen with age, such as:
- Fine lines or wrinkles
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Tissue sagging
Invisible signs (evident only under the microscope) also are evident and include:
- Thinning of the epidermis (top layer of the skin)
- Hypocellularity of the dermis (the deeper layer of skin called the ‘dermis’ is abnormally depleted of cells
- Decreased concentration of dermal blood vessels provide oxygen and nutrients to the skin, and collagen and elastin that give strength and resilience to the skin
Extrinsic aging of skin is a distinctive degenerative process caused by external factors.
Extrinsic ageing is primarily a result of exposure to ultraviolet light. Scientific studies have conclusively shown that cumulative sun exposure is the single-most important destructive factor that leads to extrinsic skin ageing. Hence, extrinsic ageing is also called photoageing.
Other external environmental causes of extrinsic ageing include
- cigarette smoking,
- air pollution, and
- chemical exposure (potentially causing dermatitis or burns), among others.
Photoageing is caused by skin changes resulting from chronic exposure to ultraviolet radiation and results in photodamage to the skin. This leads to developments in the skin that are indicative of extrinsic ageing such as
- Pigmentary irregularities (hyper- or hypo- pigmentation, also termed ‘uneven skin-tone’)
- Skin coarseness,
- Skin sallowness (skin has a sickly yellowish colour) and
- Skin wrinkling
In addition, photodamage is commonly associated with the eventual development of solar keratosis or neoplastic lesions (malignant skin cancers).
Regardless of whether facial ageing is a result of intrinsic or extrinsic factors, aged skin is frequently associated with negative views of the individual’s body image, self-esteem and self-confidence.
The strong desire for reversal of photoageing is common and has fuelled the demand for cosmetic products, beauty therapy, medical-grade cosmetic resurfacing procedures, laser treatments, surgical enhancement and injectable medications, such as muscle relaxants, fillers and platelet rich plasma (prp) for skin rejuvenation.
The goal is not so much to restore the skin as it was years ago in its youth – rather to restore the skin to its natural biological age.
For many patients, laser surgery offers an accessible middle ground between no treatment and conventional surgical face lifting procedures to achieve noticeable skin rejuvenation results..
Likewise, cosmetic regenerative medicine offers an accessible middle ground between no treatment and treatment such as laser resurfacing, injectable filler and muscle relaxants.
Skin Rejuvenation by Cosmetic Regenerative Medicine
Cosmetic Regenerative Medicine is the newest and most innovative form of Skin Rejuvenation, It is a safe and effective way to address ageing early on in life.
Cosmetic Regenerative Medicine utilises Platelet rich plasma (prp) injections combined with medical-grade microneedling and chemical exfoliating procedures, such as lactic peels, to offer a more natural way to kick start (rejuvenate) the body’s cells and physiological processes that lay down new blood vessels, collagen and elastin and slow down the thinning of the epidermis (viewed as thinning of the skin).