Our expert says:
Hello Poppie, thank you for the question.
Your best approach would be to consult a dermatologist or an aesthetic practitioner who can examine the skin and determine the exact cause and prescribe the appropriate treatment.
The dry skin you have noticed is most probably caused by the 2 main changes:
Firstly, skin aging as it is a continuous time-dependent and multi factorial phenomenon of reduction in size and number of cells and reduction in the rate of many organic functions, both at the cellular and molecular levels. Many skin functions decline with age, such as cell replacement, injury response, barrier function, chemical clearance, sensory perception, immune and vascular responsiveness, thermoregulation, sweat production, sebum production, and vitamin D production.
Secondly, the continuous loss of water content of the stratum corneum through evaporation on the surface to the environment leads to xerosis. The cells accumulate, giving the skin a white and scaling aspect. However, xerotic skin is due to more than simply low water content, and skin in the over 60’s, shows a thicker, fissured, and disorganized horny layer.
All of the above needs a 3 prong approach to its treatment:
MOISTURIZERS: reduce the loss of humidity from the surface of skin by deposition of an oil film, avoiding evaporation; helps minimize the aspect of fine wrinkles; and maintains appropriate level of skin humidity. Rehydration can be achieved with the use of occlusives, humectants, hydrophilic matrices, and sunscreens. There are many moisturizing agents, such as hydrocarbon oils, silicone oils, vegetable and animal fats, fatty acids, fatty alcohol, polyhydric alcohols, phospholipids, and sterols, polyhydroxy acids, among others.
KERATOLYTIC AGENTS: act in the xerosis of the elderly by preventing accumulation of excessive stratum corneum and removing the cohesive attachment of the cornified cells. The oldest keratolytic agent is salicylic acid, a betahydroxy acid. Others are propylene glycol, retinoic and glycolic acids, propylenoglicol in water, and lactic acid,
which also act as moisturizers.
TOPICAL APPLICATION OF RETINOIDS: and analogs are used for aging skin and the ones currently available are retinol, retin aldehyde, retinoic acid, isotretinoin, adapalene, and tazarotene.
All of these ingredients can be found in one form or another in NeoStrata, Nimue, Environ, La Prairie, etc.
If you would like a more in depth perspective in treating the elderly skin please log onto my web page at: www.aestheticfacialenhancement.co.za and type the following topic into the search function tab: Treating Ageing Skin in the Elderly .
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal
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