Almost every person will get it at some point: gray hair. Currently, there is no medical treatment. The only solution, consists of either monthly trips to the salon or using highlights to hide the gray and white follicles.
A recent study may lead to an insight on the age old mystery on why hair turns gray. A team of researchers found a correleation in gray hair with higher levels of hydrogen peroxide as well as peroxynitirite in the skin. These two substances accumulate in skin and hair as a result of oxidative stress. This is thought to be the reason why patients with vitiligo, a condition of areas of white patches in the skin, prematurely have gray or white hair.
The researchers found that if the patients were given a cream that eliminates the hydrogen peroxide, hair would repigment back to its original hair color. The cream is currently not on the market and goes by the name topical NB-UVB-activated pseudocatalase PC-KUS. Obviously if this comes to market it will have a catchier name.
The take home message from this study is to eliminate oxidative stress, which includes avoiding smoking, sun exposure. This would also include eating a diet rich in antioxidants to help decrease oxidative stress. Finally, it seems that the magic potion for gray hair might be one step closer.
A recent study looked at several signs of skin aging and found that if you look old for your age watch out: your heart is probably as old as you look. The Copenhagen City Heart Study looked at the following signs of aging: earlobe creases, xanthelasma (yellow cholesterol deposits around the eye) and baldness. The found that compared to subjects of similar age and sex that patients with these traits had a much higher chance of a future heart attack than patients without one of those signs. The more signs present in an individual the higher the chance of a heart attack. Theories on why these factors may play a role is on the relationship between baldness and high testosterone levels and its role in heart disease. However, one can not discount the role of healthy living has on the skin and how it does act as an overall indicator of our health. If you eat healthy, exercise and have a healthy lifestyle your skin will often have a better appearance than if you smoked, ate poorly and did not take care of your body. The message here is to look your best inside and out.
Eyes truly are the window to the soul, so we are always striving to make them look youthful, rested and full of life. The skin around the eye area is the most delicate, so it is often the area that signs of aging can first be seen.
Prevention and Maintaining:
As early as your twenties, it is important to be good to your skin and body, and thus your eyes, to look your best. This means healthy lifestyle habits such as eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, drinking 8 glasses of water per day, and avoid unhealthy habits such as smoking or excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption. Sunscreen and sunglasses that blocks both UVA/UVB rays are also crucial as a preventative measure.
Other medical conditions, such as allergies and thyroid conditions can give the illusion of tiredness and must be treated as well.
Treating and Turning Back the Clock: There are many factors that can contribute to an aged eye, and a skilled facial plastic surgeon, such as Dr. Anil Shah, will be able to hone in on what treatments will be the solution to each patients unique areas of concern. Some treatments are:
- Botox - This can help to treat crow's feet and fine lines, as well as improve brow position to open up the eye.
- Facial Filler - Can improve under eye darkness cause by volume lose.
- Upper Blepharoplasty - Can lessen the appearance or remove creepy or excess skin, fat above the eyes, and heavy eyelids.
- Lower Blepharoplasty - Can remove the excess fat, loose skin and under eye creepiness.
- Endoscopic Browlift - Can improve the position of the brow and eyebrow, with minimal scarring.
You're so cute! I just want to pinch your cheeks!" Children hear this common exclaim directed at them by mothers, friends, and the dreaded distant relatives.
But for many of us, it has been many, many years since we've heard these words directed at ourselves.
The plump and rosy cheeks are tell tale sign of youth. However, the malar fat pad, commonly termed the apples of the cheeks, tends to get flatter with age.
There is a saying that you can love your body or love your face, but not at the same time.
This often is from the observation by patients that as they lose weight, their face often loses fullness.
This is certainly noticed in the apples of the cheeks, creating an aged look.
On the other hand, when patients maximize their apples in their cheeks, they may accentuate volume along their body, not ideal for health reasons. The classic catch 22. However, with facial fillers, patients can continue to keep their bodies buff while keeping their faces youthful. Facial fillers which work best are either hyalouronic acid derivatives (termed HA's) such as Restylane or Juvederm or calcium hydroxyapatite (Radiesse). Both of these fillers work by adding volume to the face.
Studies have demonstrated that these fillers are often replaced by collagen, which is the material of youth and volume.
The down time of fillers is typically minimal with many patients going back to work or out that evening after treatment.
The key step is the injector's technical ability to artistically transform cheeks so that they appear youthful without looking overly plump. (See picture) Once your apples are rejuvenated, you may want to steer clear from that plucky aunt who just can't resist fuller cheeks.