December 01, 2018

Wrinkles, spots and blotches

Refreshing facial skin

There are several treatment options that can help improve the look of aged skin, particularly of the face. But it's important to have realistic expectations.

Wrinkles, spots and blotches

With age, wrinkles and other forms of skin damage are largely inevitable. While many older adults shrug and move on, others wonder if there's something they can do to smooth their skin or reduce spots or blemishes.

Although there's nothing that can bring back the skin of your youth, a number of treatment options can help improve the look of aged skin, particularly of the face. With any treatment, it's important to have realistic expectations of the outcome and how long improvements will last. Knowing the facts can help you decide if a wrinkle or blemish treatment is worth the effort and expense — which isn't typically covered by health insurance.

Taking its toll

Skin is made up of three main layers. The middle layer (dermis) is the thickest and most important in terms of changes with age. The dermis contains fibrous connective tissues that include proteins called collagen and elastin. These proteins give skin its strength and elasticity. The surface of your skin (epidermis) contains natural oils that help keep skin moisturized. Deeper down, a layer of fat helps give skin its fullness.

With age, all of these layers are susceptible to decline. There may be thinning and breakdown of collagen and elastin, you may produce less natural oil on the skin surface, and the deeper fat layer may diminish. Add to this facial movements, with skin repeatedly creasing in the same ways over a lifetime. The result is wrinkles and thinner, looser, saggy skin that may...