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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Beyond 40: Common Skin Problems & Treatment Options

Your body undergoes profound changes after you cross your 40s; it’s a time when several skin problems can exist simultaneously. The signs of aging include discoloration, emerging of skin tags, fine lines, wrinkles, and laxity that progresses quickly through the decade.

All of these issues arise because the fourth and fifth decade of life is marked with a decline in various growth factors and hormone levels. Cell damage accumulates in the tissues, and the skin is the most affected. As a result, the rate at which the skin repairs and renews itself becomes an extremely slow process.

Wrinkles

If you haven’t seen any already, you will likely witness your first wrinkles in your 40s. Sun habits, harsh skin care routines, and genetics are some of the factor that contribute to skin aging. They appear in two categories: deep furrows and surface lines. The former have little to do with aging, and surface lines are the wrinkles that really bother people.

The usual recommendation for wrinkle treatment is the use of retinoid creams, as they simulate collagen to slow aging, but people with sensitive skin should use over the counter retinal as a less intensive treatment. Botox (botulinum toxin) can be used in tiny doses for wrinkles around the forehead and eyes.

Skin dullness

As cell turnover in the skin slows down with aging, it leads to a lackluster complexion, causing skin dullness. Dullness can also be a result of a combination of reduced skin turnover, decreased blood circulation and dead skin building. Other causes include smoking, sun damage, and medical problems such as circulatory and neurologic.

To reintroduce the glow in your skin, stay out of the sun and stop smoking. You can also exfoliate the dull area with glycolic acid creams, as well as undergo microdermabrasion to slough off dead skin cells and recharge the cell turnover process. In other cases, treating underlying medical issues will also improve skin tone. Exfoliation should be the prime treatment option as it can be performed at home and works gently to remove dead skin skills.

Skin tags

This is a small, benign area of skin that connects to the underlying skin through a thin stalk. They appear as small bits of hanging skin and occur when skin rubs against skin (which usually happens in older age). Prone areas include underarms, upper chest and neck. The hormonal changes of aging and pregnancy can also lead to the growth of skin tags, particularly after the 40s.

Skin tag removers and/or surgical removal by a dermatologist are some of the options to treat this condition. The former works well to safely flake away skin tags, and the process doesn’t involve any scarring or pain. Home remedies such as duct tape removal and dental floss are not recommended as they can result in pain and damage the skin.

Shingles

These are rashes of raised dots that can turn into painful blisters. They cause your skin to itch, tingle, burn, and become very sensitive. After 40s, shingles can be severe, and in some case, everlasting. They often show up on the buttocks and trunk.

Starch and colloidal oatmeal baths can help relief painful skin. The products should be added to lukewarm water; avoid hot water as it may further irritate the skin.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

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