An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That old saying certainly applies when it comes to staving off the visible signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and sunspots. We dermatologists even have a term for it: prejuvenation. Is it true that Father Time’s impact on our skin can be slowed down?
Prejuvenation starts with establishing a healthy skin care regimen in your teens and twenties. This should include regular use of broad-spectrum sun protection (a sunscreen that protects you from both UVA and UVB rays), a good moisturizer, and some form of topical retinoid, such as Retin-A or adapaline.
Retinoids stimulate the production of new skin cells and help to fade dark spots caused by photoaging (sun exposure), hyperpigmentation (when patches of skin become darker than the surrounding skin), and hormonal changes.
Other prejuvenation tactics that a growing number of younger women are opting for include these nonsurgical skin treatments:
- Botox: This injectable substance relaxes targeted facial muscles to prevent repetitive movements that create deepening lines and wrinkles over time. It’s most often used on forehead lines, crow’s feet (lines around the eyes) and frown lines.
- Laser skin rejuvenation, skin tightening, micro-needling: These techniques stimulate collagen production. We lose collagen as we age, which causes our skin to thin and lose its youthful plumpness. By keeping collagen production up, we can help slow down our skin’s aging process. Laser skin rejuvenation also helps to brighten skin tone so you can maintain that youthful healthy glow.
- Chemical peels: A peel is a form of chemical exfoliation that allows your skin to shed a layer, making room for new, healthier skin and improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. When you start having peels at a younger age, treatments generally are less aggressive — so the downtime and costs are less.
Another vital component of prejuvenation is to keep your skin healthy by seeing a dermatologist if you have a condition such as acne, eczema or rosacea. Timely, accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment not only can help you look your best and feel better about your appearance, but also prevent complications, such as infection and scarring.
Just as we take care of our bodies by exercising and eating right, prejuvenation can help keep our skin — our largest and most visible organ — healthy and looking its best as we age.
Left untreated, lines and wrinkles will only deepen, becoming more permanent and irreversible without more invasive procedures down the line. So when you start to see the visible signs of aging — which can appear as early as in your twenties — it’s time to consider prejuvenation.
It’s the ounce of prevention that can help you avoid a pound of cure later on!
This blog post is part of our Simply Women initiative that caters to the unique health care needs of women and their families.
Guest Blogger: Melissa Michelon, MD, Dermatologist, UMass Memorial Medical Center and UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital
To learn more about skin rejuvenation services, including laser and Botox treatments, offered through the Dermatology Department at UMass Memorial Medical Center, call 855-UMASS-MD (855-862-7763).