How We Can Help
Aging Skin Treatment Information
Treatment of aging skin starts by avoiding environmental damage. A major cause of aging skin is exposure to ultraviolet light (UV). Melanin is a substance in skin that helps prevent UV damage. Darker skin has more melanin, but even dark skin loses strength and elasticity with repeated exposure to sunlight and tanning beds.
Here are some ways you can avoid damage that causes skin to age prematurely:
- Stay out of midday sun. When the sun is highest in the sky, its UV rays are strongest. Morning and evening sunlight damage skin less.
- Use sunscreen. Put on sunscreen every time you go outside. These products have chemicals in them that absorb sunlight and reduce skin damage. Sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium oxide are best. These substances actually block sunlight and prevent it from reaching your skin.
- Wear a hat, sunglasses and protective clothing. Your facial skin is delicate, particularly skin around your eyes. A hat protects your face. Sunglasses that screen out UV light protect your eyes and the skin around them. Long sleeves and long pants protect your arms and legs.
- Relax. Frowns and worry may cause your face to wrinkle again and again. This repeated folding and creasing of the skin causes it to become thin and weak. With time, those wrinkles become embedded in your skin.
- Stop smoking. Smoking damages your skin and adds years to your appearance. Quitting smoking stops further smoking damage and may help your skin age more slowly.
Many products advertise that they reduce wrinkling and make skin more youthful. However, some over-the-counter (OTC) creams that claim to make skin more youthful promise more than they deliver. We recommend retinoids, such as Retin A, which helps the skin rejuvenate itself, reducing lines and restoring healthy, even coloring.
IU Health also offers treatments that remove outer layers of skin and promote the development of collagen, a protein that strengthens skin and helps reduce wrinkles. Treatments include:
- Chemical peels. We apply a mild chemical to wrinkled, mottled skin. The chemical damages the outer layer of skin, which then peels off. It also stimulates inner layers to develop more collagen. Wrinkles and lines become shallower and color becomes more even. Chemical peels may also reduce freckles and age spots, giving the skin a more youthful appearance.
- Laser resurfacing. Modern laser technology allows us to create therapeutic damage to the outer layers of the skin without harming deeper layers. Laser treatment encourages the development of collagen, which restores strength and makes wrinkles and lines shallower. Laser resurfacing produces effects similar to those of a chemical peel, but laser treatment is more effective. Healing and growth of collagen continue for as long as six months after treatment. IU Health offers a choice of several different kinds of lasers. We select the laser treatment best suited to your particular condition.
Aging Skin Locations & Physicians
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Aging Skin Support Services
It is important to learn about skin rejuvenation processes before you choose a procedure. Educate yourself so you understand the risks and have realistic expectations of the outcome.
A Sampling of Aging Skin Support Services
American Society of Plastic Surgeons: Laser Resurfacing
This site offers extensive information about laser resurfacing and how it may affect your life.
American Society of Plastic Surgeons: Chemical Peel
This page includes detailed information about chemical peel and its benefits for aging skin.