People know that as we get older our skin becomes drier, less supple, and more prone to the signs aging. What they don’t know is that there are two types of aging happening in the skin — intrinsic and extrinsic. Here’s little background on the skin and these effects of aging.
What is normal skin when you’re young?
When you’re young, the skin’s epidermis (the outer layer) is smooth and acts as a good barrier to water and environmental damage. The skin’s color and tone is even. There aren’t any pigmentation issues.
The skin’s support system is strong. Collagen, which provides the skin’s firmness; elastin, which gives the skin elasticity and rebound; and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which keep the skin hydrated, are all abundant.
Two types of aging
And then you start to wrinkle. Wrinkling is a combination of two types of aging — intrinsic and extrinsic.
Intrinsic aging just happens. It doesn’t matter if you live in a cave or on Fiji. After your 20th birthday, you produce one percent less collagen in your skin each year. This makes the skin thinner and more fragile with the passing years. Your sweat and oil glands also slow their function, and elastin and GAGs drop as well. Intrinsic aging is inevitable, but it isn’t the main cause of wrinkles.
That would be extrinsic aging. Extrinsic aging occurs due to sun and environmental damage (smoking or exposure to pollution, among others). What was even-toned, supple skin changes. Extrinsic aging shows itself as a thickening of the cornified outer layer of the skin. Precancerous growths, skin cancers, and freckles and sun spots all start to show up, depending especially on your amount of sun exposure. This exposure also causes an exaggerated loss of collagen, elastin, and GAGs, as if all the other stuff wasn’t enough!
All of these factors team up to give your skin a rough appearance, uneven tone, brown patches, sagging skin, and deep wrinkles.
That’s where Dr. Ip’s surgical and non-surgical options come into play, battling the effects of extrinsic aging. Call either our Newport Beach or NYC offices and let’s make a battle plan!