Everyone knows about wrinkles and the other signs of aging skin. But those wrinkles on your skin are actually the result of two difference types of aging — intrinsic and extrinsic. Dr. Kronberg likes her patients to be knowledgeable about their skin, so here’s some info on these different types and effects of aging.
How is young skin different?
Young skin is quite different than older skin. When you’re young, the skin’s epidermis (the outer layer) is smooth and is a good barrier against water and environmental damage. There aren’t any pigmentation issues, as the skin’s color and tone is even.
The skin’s also has strong support from beneath. 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 it all starts to change. Wrinkles start to show, illustrating changes beneath. Wrinkling is a combination of two types of aging — intrinsic and extrinsic.
Everyone goes through Intrinsic aging. There is no stopping it. It doesn’t matter if you live in a cave or on a tropical island. Once you turn 20, you produce one percent less collagen in your skin each 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.
Extrinsic aging is the real culprit behind wrinkles. Extrinsic aging is a result of sun and environmental damage (smoking or exposure to pollution, among others). Extrinsic aging causes a thickening of the cornified outer layer of the skin. Precancerous growths, skin cancers, and freckles and sun spots all start to show up, depending especially on 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. Kronberg’s expertise can come into play, battling the effects of extrinsic aging. Call us at (713) 771-8941 to schedule an appointment.