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    Skin anti-aging guidelines: What’s right at what age?

    Although the photoaging process affects each individual differently, certain general strategies for the prevention and treatment of the condition are available based on the physiologic changes of the skin. Two expert dermatologists shared with us the strategies and methods they use to help fight off and ameliorate the signs of photoaging in their patients, taking into consideration genetics, age range, lifestyle and skincare.

    Skincare: The early years

    Amy Derick, M.D.Young patients are more aware now that damage done today can result in future skin issues, according to Amy Derick, M.D., clinical instructor of dermatology, Northwestern University, and medical director of Derick Dermatology in Chicago. Despite this knowledge, however, adolescents and young adults are still the most likely to tan and frequent tanning beds.

    “Our initial goal is to educate patients on the importance of minimizing sun exposure and practicing sun safety,” Dr. Dericksays. “UV damage is one of the main causes of extrinsic aging. We discuss the use of hats, sunscreens and sun protective clothing.”

    Jennifer Linder, M.D.Jennifer Linder, M.D., Linder Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center, Scottsdale, Arizona, agrees.

    “Extrinsic factors can begin to damage the skin at a very young age, again, depending on choices,” she says. “If a person’s skin takes the brunt of unprotected UV exposure from their teens onward, their skin can appear discolored, dehydrated and aged far earlier than someone who chooses to wear broad-spectrum sun protection every day.”

    In addition to discussing early preventative methods to maintain skin health, treatment for photoaging is initiated with some patients in their 20s.

    “The next conversation relates to the reversal of some of the signs of aging,” Dr. Dericksays. “Some of these treatments are viewed as medically necessary (as in the case of pre-skin cancers and skin cancers) and some are viewed as cosmetic (freckles, broken capillaries, wrinkles). Based on the concern, we tailor the treatment. Some patients will start receiving Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA, Allergan) injections at this age,” Dr. Derick says. “Many times, this group is already receiving tretinoin for their acne, and this is also used for wrinkles later on.”

    Outer layers of the skin are the most affected in patients who are in their 20s.

    “Typically, the outer layers are affected more at a younger age due to dehydration for the use of overly aggressive topical products and unprotected UV exposure,” Dr. Linder says.

    The skincare regimen for high school and college-aged patients should typically be simple and basic, starting with products that are not overly abrasive and contain adequate humectants to preserve moisture.

    “Once people get into their 20s, preventative products can be introduced, such as antioxidants, and a good topic vitamin C and E product,” Dr. Linder says.

    Next: Aging — The later years


    Ingrid Schaefer Sprague
    Ingrid Schaefer Sprague is the former Editor-in-Chief of Dermatology Times and Cosmetic Surgery Times. She is the Editorial Director of ...


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