Skin accounts for about 16% of the average man's total weight and covers about 20 sq feet (61 sq meters)! The role of the skin is to protect the body from bacteria, damage, exposure to harmful sunrays and to prevent body fluids from evaporation . Over time the skin goes through a number of changes. One is that you get wrinkles.
Wrinkles tend to be thought of as something that affects only older people but wrinkles begin to appear in some men as young as 20.
New skin grows all the time but as we age the body begins to show the signs that we are getting older. We begin to sag and wrinkle. What causes wrinkles, can you avoid getting wrinkle or at least delay them?
Men, women and wrinkles
Do men wrinkle less than women? The answer is no. However, men do tend to get wrinkles later in life than women. This is partly to do with their skin type, hair follicles providing some protection on the face, more greasy skin and according to some, higher levels of testosterone.
Sun: The number one cause of wrinkles
Ultraviolet UVA and UVB rays are the most damaging to the skin. Overexposure to sunlight has the same effect as superficial thermal burns. Different people suffer more damage within certain time frames than others because the amount of damage that sunlight causes is also influenced by age, skin color and total exposure time.
If you repeatedly overexpose your skin to sunlight collagen fibres beneath the skin break down causing increased wrinkling. One of the main ways to delay wrinkles is to use sun block creams and lotions. Sun block also contains moisturizer which helps plump the superficial skin cells and minimize fine wrinkles.
Hormones and wrinkles
Although hormones are cited in literature as affecting the skin and causing wrinkles there is little evidence to support which skin changes are hormonal and which are specific to hormones. There have been a limited number of studies on the influence of testosterone, wrinkles and men.
Smoking causes wrinkles
The tobacco industry is keen to promote cigarettes with images of glamour, youth and improved lifestyle. The industry clearly ignores the effect of smoking on the skin. The damage caused by smoking is plainly evident when you compare smokers with non smokers. There is absolute evidence that smoking damages the skin and causes increased facial aging, less than flattering color change and wrinkling.
Skin color and wrinkles
The most important skin coloring pigment is melanin. Melanin helps protect the skin against the harmful rays of sunlight. Less sunlight damage equals fewer wrinkles.
Weight fluctuations and wrinkles
As we age we often lose more of the subcutaneous fat that lies just beneath the skin. This loss of fat is especially noticeable on the face. Wrinkles result and are more noticeable. The logical thing to do then is to put on weight and increase facial fat. This results in the skin stretching and so you look less wrinkled. One of the few good things about being overweight!
Muscle use, gravity and wrinkles
Gravity and muscle use increase lines and jowls. You only have to look around the mouth and the forehead of an older person to see the results. There is not much you can do about these wrinkles except by more radical means such as cosmetic surgery or skin re-surfacing treatments.
Frown lines (those between the eyebrows) and crow's feet (lines that radiate from the corners of the eyes) appear to develop because of permanent small muscle contractions. Habitual facial expressions also form characteristic lines. Gravity exacerbates the situation, contributing to the formation of jowls and drooping eyelids. (Eyebrows, surprisingly, move up as a person ages, possibly because of forehead wrinkles.
How we look and how the wrinkles are distributed have a lot to do with what we inherit. You can view your wrinkles as your history, a history that you can minimize but one that will always be with you!
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