This is a normal process over a lifetime. It can produce fine lines, wrinkles and skin laxity plus red, brown or scaly lesions on the face, hands and arms. It is accelerated markedly by sun exposure and smoking.
Ageing cannot be stopped but there are a lot of ways to improve its effects on skin and these can and may need to be repeated over time. As we age, we lose subcutaneous fat in the tissues of the face causing a lack of support to the skin, especially in the cheeks. Laxity and jowls start to occur as the unsupported skin sags downwards. We also get some bony resorption in the bones around the eyes, cheeks and jaw which also takes away support for the skin. So, we have external and internal factors contributing to ageing and folds, lines and wrinkles start to occur.
Sun exposure contributes to about 80% of ageing so avoidance of sun on the face, using sunscreen every day and hats where possible are all essential first steps. It is amazing what a difference this can make, even a fringe can offer some protection on the brow where sun tends to hit first and causes loss of elasticity and produces horizontal lines on the brow that can be hard to treat. If you are thinking about spending money on anti-ageing treatments, you should be committed to sun avoidance or you will be wasting money and not seeing the results you are looking for.
Healthy diet and not smoking ensure that you are maximising blood flow to the skin and providing the cells with good quality ingredients needed for skin cell production. A good skin care analysis is beneficial and starting on an appropriate skin care regime, including Vitamin A, C, E, B3 and AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) - not all at once and some needed more than others for individual concerns (see our section on skin care). At Laserway on Davey, we offer a free skin consultation with our highly trained dermal therapists to discuss how these ingredients work and to get the right combination for you.
Next, have a good look at the surface of your skin. Do you have raised, flaky or scaly lesions that don’t heal well or bleed? A skin cancer check is essential to diagnose cancerous or precancerous lesions and get them treated first.
What about colour on the skin? Redness or capillaries, freckles and age spots can be treated with laser or IPL (Intense Pulsed Light). Spots tend to draw the eye and can be very ageing, just improving some of these can have a marked positive effect. At Laserway on Davey, we have several gold standard lasers for these issues – see our sections on each of these specific problems.
Dry skin tends to occur over the years and can cause a dull aged look. Skincare can really help with this (see our section on products). Exfoliants can improve luminosity of the skin and this can be achieved with products, especially Rationale Æ No 5, chemically with an enzyme activation (or peel) or mechanically with a microdermabrasion. These can be done as a course or regularly over the year e.g. at the end of a season to kick start some rejuvenation.
Another way to kick start or help maintain the effects of your skincare or skin treatments is a course of LED light therapy. At Laserway on Davey, we have the Healite by Lutronic. This is a panel of low level energy diodes that produce an infrared light to penetrate deeply into the skin and switch on the normal anti-inflammatory action of the skin – it can improve a lot of conditions from wrinkles to acne and we often use it to settle reactions from laser treatment or to improve healing postsurgical procedures eg after upper eyelid skin reduction.
One very unwanted problem in ageing skin is hair growth on the chin/neck. This is a good problem to treat early when hairs are dark as we currently don’t have a laser for white/grey hairs. Laser hair removal is very successful for darker hair.
Now we can progress to fine lines and wrinkles. These are often the early signs of ageing and intervention here can be a great anti-ageing tool. Assuming you are using sunscreen and some products, at least Vitamin A which is great for these lines, then what options do you have? Quite a few!
In the next sections, we will discuss each of the following in more detail and you will see lots of treatments overlap and address several concerns.