With aging, skin also changes. The changes in skin are both intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic changes are those that appear with aging of body. Extrinsic changes are those that occur because of external factors such as sun, smoking, gravity and bad skin care. We cannot stop any intrinsic change because that is programmed in our body, but we can surely change habits and reduce changes due to extrinsic factors.
Let us look at the changes in skin with ageing. As you know skin has three layers- Epidermis (Outermost layer), Dermis (Middle layer) and subcutaneous layer that is below the dermis. As we age, the epidermis or the outermost layer begins to thin. The melanocytes (Pigment containing cells) decrease. Though melanocytes decrease in number they increase in size. This gives a pale look to the skin. Ageing changes due to sun such as liver spots or lentigo appear. They are also called age spots. The blood vessels in the dermis begin to lose strength and easily lead to bruising and bleeding under the skin. The subcutaneous layer that gives fat padding to skin thins. This again increases the risk of skin injury. Both sweat glands and sebaceous glands become less active.
As we age, our skin loses its suppleness, texture and strength. With age spots and other pigmentation, the look is lost. With weakening of strength, it becomes easy for skin to suffer damage easily. Healing becomes very slow. The healing may be four times as slow in old age as compared to youth. Skin turns dry and our sense of touch heat etc. reduces considerably. Other growths such as skin tags, warts, mar the appearance further.
Wrinkles appear on skin at all the places. As the underlying fat in the subcutaneous layer is lost, hollowness appears on the cheeks and eye sockets. Jowls form because of gravity. The hair grays and turns white. Some people lose hair and some grow hair at unwanted places. The nails become thin and half moons on the nails disappear.
As with every part of our body skin ages and brings about changes that mar the look completely. Sun damage can accelerate the skin aging considerably and can also cause skin diseases such as skin cancers etc. regular care of skin is necessary along with protecting skin from the harm full rays of sun to maintain youthful look for a longer time.