Anti-Aging Tips and Advice
Article by Rutledge Forney, MD
Atlanta Dermatologic Surgeon
Anti-aging. What the heck does that mean? People ask me all the time what is the best anti-aging product.
Usually that means “what can make me look better today.” I usually answer that reversing the clock can be done to a certain degree, but the most achievable anti-aging is stopping the clock or slowing it down. As with education, even if you dropped out of college, you can work still work hard and get your B.A. later in life.
What Causes the Skin to Age?
There are two types of aging that occur in skin. The first is wear and tear inside your skin related to free radicals and the pull of gravity. Just as your bones creak more and your blood vessels get stiffer the longer you live, your skin becomes less elastic and droops.
The other, most obvious and distressing type of aging is “photoaging” which is sun damage, pure and simple. That is what makes the most exposed parts of our body look so much older than our unexposed skin. So the face, hands, neck and chest often look 30 years older than the bottom (except in tanning bed nuts and California nude beach aficionados). Ask your granny to moon you, and see what I mean.
If you want to work on reversing the clock, we have a Visia® camera which will help assess the amount of damage that your skin has received and compare your skin to the average skin of people your age and gender. We recommend that you consider having that analysis at the beginning of your commitment to improve your skin and check your progress every six months.
You can prevent or slow down photoaging with aggressive sun protection. Is it too late? No, studies have shown that your immune system fights sun damage, and if it does not have to fight today’s sun damage, then it can fight yesterday’s (or 20 year old) sun damage. You can help arrest photoaging, and you may be able to reverse some of it!
Anti-aging tools include products and procedures. Procedures are the most effective way to quickly reverse photoaging. Products and procedures can help delay further photoaging and protect the improvements that previous procedures have achieved.
Please remember that aging is continual and having one procedure or using a product occasionally is just not going to make a huge difference. Make a commitment to continue, or don’t waste your money!
My analogy is your teeth. If you brush and floss twice a day, everyday, you will prevent cavities, gum disease and seldom need to bleach your teeth. It takes 5 minutes a day and a couple of dollars a week. If you never brush your teeth, imagine how hard (and expensive) it would be to reverse the damage after years of neglect.