You know that you look older, but you can’t quite put your finger on why. Understanding the signs of aging is the first step to figuring out how to fight back and to determining which procedures, from surgery to laser treatments, are right for you.
1. Droopy Neck
While many people focus on keeping their face well moisturized and cared for, the neck is often left out of the anti-aging party. The result is a neck that gives away your age more quickly than other areas of the body. Signs of aging in the neck area include sagginess under the chin, sometimes called a turkey neck, due to a combination of loose skin and extra fat in the area. Other signs of neck-aging include vertical bands that become very prominent.
A number of anti-aging treatments are available for the neck area. If vertical bands are the issue, Botox can help make them less visible. Skin treatments such as laser skin resurfacing can help improve the texture of the skin.
A neck lift is another option to reduce the signs of aging. The surgery removes extra skin in the area, creating a firmer and more youthful-looking neck.
2. Drier Skin
Skin is more likely to become drier as people age. As you get older, your body produces less of certain substances that help keep skin smooth and supple, such as hyaluronic acid, collagen and elastin. Hyaluronic acid helps keep your skin hydrated, the less of it you have, the more fragile and dry your skin becomes.
Drier skin is also more likely to show wrinkles and fine lines, such as the smile lines, frown lines and chin wrinkles. While the dryness of your skin as you get older is in part due to your genes, it can be exacerbated by certain lifestyle choices and habits, such as tanning and smoking.
3. Color Changes
Your skin also starts to change color as part of the aging process. You might have thought the freckles across your cheeks were cute when you were young, but now that they’re larger or more visible, they seem less appealing. Pigment changes occur as you age for a few reasons.
Sun exposure is one. Changing hormone levels is another. A drop in hormones as you go through menopause can lead to spots on your face, called melasma.
You can even out your skin’s tone as you get older in a few ways. Certain prescription medications, such as Retin-A, help improve exfoliation and cell turnover, which reduces pigmentation. Ingredients that bleach the skin, such as hydroquinone, can also help improve tone. A chemical peel or laser resurfacing can also help create an even skin tone.
4. Loss of Fat
While losing fat on other areas of the body, such as from the thighs or hips, is often desirable, losing fat from your face is part of the aging process. When you’re younger, you often have a considerable amount of volume in the cheek area.
As you get older, that area thins, making you look more gaunt. Frequent dieting and up and down weight loss can also cause thinning in the facial area, making you look older than you feel. You can also lose fat in the eye area, creating a sunken, hollowed eye look. In some cases, the fat from your eyelids migrates to the eye sockets.
Injectable fillers can help restore lost volume to the facial area. A liquid facelift might be an option for you if you’re not ready for a full facelift but want to restore a more youthful appearance. Certain fillers can also be used in the under-eye area to improve your appearance.
5. Tired-Looking Eyes
Along with developing sunken eyes, the aging process can also make your eyes look tired. As the lower eyelids become looser, bags can develop under your eyes. If the upper eyelids start to droop, you can look sleepy. Droopy upper eyelids can also make it more difficult to see. Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, can help relieve these issues.
6. Hair Concerns
Your skin isn’t the only thing that changes as you get older. Your hair also changes. The hair on your head can become thinner, duller and more brittle. Your eyelashes and eyebrows can also become thinner and more sparse. Hair loss can be connected to a medical issue, such as an under-active thyroid, a poor diet or hormonal changes.
While you might start losing hair from areas where’d you like to keep it, you can start gaining hair in places where you don’t want it, due to changes in your hormone levels. If unwanted hair starts growing as you get older, you have a few options, such as laser hair removal and waxing.
There’s no way to stop the aging process, but you can dramatically slow down the signs of aging with the right skincare regimen. Dr. Jessica Kulak at the Naderi Center in Virginia and Maryland is an aging face specialist. She can help you pinpoint the signs of aging on your face and determine which treatment will work best. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kulak, call (703) 481-0002 in Virginia or (301) 222-2020 in Maryland today.