Living in idyllic San Diego, we all know the dangers of the sun’s UV rays. With all the warnings, you’d think we should all live in a cave like Gollum, never seeing the sun. Living next to an underground lake would lessen sun damage on the skin, but there is another side of skin aging that happens no matter what we do. Even “the precious” couldn’t stop it.
Such is the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic aging.
When you’re young, the skin’s the outer layer, the epidermis, is smooth and acts as an effective barrier to water and environmental damage. The skin’s color and tone are even, without any pigmentation issues.
And 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 the clock starts ticking, and suddenly you begin to develop wrinkles. Wrinkling is a combination of two types of aging — intrinsic and extrinsic.
- Intrinsic aging just happens. It doesn’t matter if you live in San Diego, a rain forest, or under the Misty Mountains. After your 20th birthday, your body cuts its production of collagen by one additional percentage point every year. This makes the skin thinner and more fragile the older you get. 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.
- The main culprit behind your wrinkles is extrinsic aging. Extrinsic aging occurs because of sun and environmental damage (smoking or exposure to pollution, among other things). Your formerly 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, directly related to your amount of sun exposure. This exposure also causes an exaggerated loss of collagen, elastin, and GAGs.
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. Kearney’s surgical and non-surgical options come into play, battling the effects of extrinsic aging. From facelifts to mommy makeovers, from BodyTite to FaceTite, Dr. Kearney will provide options to address your aging skin. Call us at (858) 677-9352 to make an appointment for a consultation.