Skin ageing: Dr Dusan shares his knowledge & advice | 12 November 2020
In the following interview, we ask Dr Dusan, dermatologist at Panafricare Clinic, about the skin ageing process, the contributing factors and associated problems. He also shares his advice with us about preventing premature skin ageing, and some of the keys to healthier skin.
Seychelles NATION: What is skin ageing and what are the causes? Are any particular groups of people likelier to start premature ageing?
Dr Dusan: If we talk about skin ageing we have to be clear about certain facts. To start with, there are two types of skin ageing. The first one is the normal physiological process and not a single individual is spared. Getting older, the skin loses elasticity, radiance and fat tissue underneath, and so it does not look as smooth as it once did.
On the other hand, so called external or extrinsic ageing is related to all contributing factors starting with sun exposed skin, tanning, smoking, diet and lifestyle etc. Hormonal and genetic influence should never be overlooked as well.
As early as in our 20s, skin slowly starts losing its ability to fight with unhealthy lifestyle habits and by the age of 30, the first lines and wrinkles are visible. Between the age of 30 and 40, collagen production is reduced. By the age of 50, protective lipid barrier of the skin is practically gone and hormonal effects is less prominent. If I have to answer the question at what age ageing begins, I would probably say between 25 and 30 years of age.
Certain groups are more prone to develop different skin problems or premature ageing than others. You are not going to like what I am about to say, but populations in tropical and subtropical climates are more at risk due to UV radiation which is constant.
People of fair skin, especially with blue eyes, red/blond hair, living at high altitudes, working outdoors or performing outdoor activities such as sports etc contribute as well. People with darker skin are less prone to premature ageing but they are facing different issues which are pigmentation disorders, mostly sun induced.
Seychelles NATION: What are some of the first signs of skin ageing and what are some of the associated problems?
Dr Dusan: The very first sign of skin ageing is the appearance of fine lines – wrinkles. Usually, this starts at the age of 30 around the eye area followed by the forehead and the area around the mouth. Next is loss of volume and contour of the face. Loss of elasticity and radiance, as well as the presence of deep wrinkles is expected after the age of 50.
Looking through my daily practice, I have to say that most islanders are complaining of the aesthetic aspects of the ageing process. Of course, the older generation is more affected because of chronic sun exposure without protection. They suffer very early from skin ageing with so called saggy skin, deep wrinkles and in general an older skin appearance despite being in their 40s.
Another very common problem as mentioned previously is pigmented disorders which are again directly related to sun exposure and use of inappropriate cosmetic products (over the counter “bleaching” and cortico steroid creams).
A raising problem in Seychelles that I am fighting for the last couple of years is skin cancer. Practically diagnosed weekly in our clinic, it is becoming a real issue not only because of the obvious possible health complications, but also because it can leave major scars and deformities of the skin, especially on the face. Again sun related. Surprised?
Seychelles NATION: What can you tell us about the effects of factors like the sun, hydration, nutrition, sleep and stress on the skin?
Dr Dusan: Not to go into too much details, skin damage and ageing is caused by oxidative stress on the molecular level. Small particles called free radicals damage the skin cells like any other cell in the body causing long term effects such as breaking down collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid – all of them crucial for normal skin function and a youthful appearance.
Oxidative stress is triggered by all the external factors mentioned in your question. Before we again put all the blame on the sun, let’s be clear about something – the sun is the source of life and something that we all need and benefit from. Like everything else in nature, it should be “used” moderately and gradually.
Sun burning and chronic exposure especially during peak hours are leading to the continuous fight of our immune system in order to repair damage in the skin. Nobody has endless capacity to repair and rejuvenate. The skin strength is very individual and once “the cup is full” there is no turning back and the skin does not forget. Unfortunately, I witness the consequences daily.
Nutrition and stress, both physical and physiological, are strongly related to premature ageing. Poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption and lack of sleep play important roles. Fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants help our immune system to fight free radicals and prevent damage. Smoking and nicotine in cigarettes increase the number of free radicals in the body and at the same time suppress collagen production. Pollution, especially in big cities and industrial areas with inappropriate face hygiene, is contributing as well.
Seychelles NATION: What is your advice to minimise skin ageing? Is the advice different for different age groups?
Dr Dusan: It is very simple – try to establish a healthier lifestyle. Smoking cessation, proper sleep and a healthy diet (especially including blueberries, oily fish, leafy greens, vegetables, beans and pulses) will improve health in general, and not only the skin. Moderate sun exposure with sun protection during peak hours is essential.
A daily facial routine is as important as everything else mentioned. Everyone should find proper skin products depending on their skin type and go through a routine every day, the same as we are used to brushing our teeth and taking a shower.
I am against any intervention in the early age. Facial serums based on vitamin C along with moisturisers, facial cleansers and sun protection are just enough until a certain age occurs when we can boost collagen production and improve our skin appearance.
Nowadays there are many non-invasive procedures like HIFU and micro needling that can significantly improve the skin without any artificial injections or surgical interventions. I am very happy to see more and more people, both men and women, coming to our clinic and deciding to go for this non-invasive facial rejuvenation interventions.
Skin cancer screening especially for fair skin individuals is crucial. Skin cancer is on the rise globally and Seychelles is not an exception. By performing dermatoscopy which is a part of the general skin examination in our clinic, we can detect skin cancer in the very early stage.
At the end, everything comes to the simple balance in life. Enjoy our beautiful islands and beaches, always protect your skin and if you decide to let yourself loose and spend all day out, make sure you re-apply sun protection accordingly. If you are not sure what type of cosmetic is good for your face, visit us at Panafricare Clinic so we can together discuss about your skin and the products that you should use.
For any suspicious bump or lump on the skin, pop in and we will check it. Skin is our largest organ, first line of protection, but often neglected and not properly taken care of. We need to change that because our skin deserves it. For healthier, tighter and good looking skin.
For more information, contact Panafricare Clinic:
- Telephone: 4 321 310
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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