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Skin Aging –  While we often think of skin aging as an inevitable part of growing older, Dr. Bernard Gasch shares how our environment and lifestyle choices could be the “make it or break it” when it comes to maintaining a fresh, youthful appearance.   Pointing out the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic factors, Dr. Gasch explains what contributes to skin aging, along with a few ways that cosmetic dermatology can help.

“You can think of intrinsic aging as natural or ‘genetic’ aging,” explains Dr. Gasch.  “As we grow older, it’s common to see a thinning of the skin, a reduction in collagen and a noticeable change in skin elasticity.”  Dr. Gasch described these as natural – and in many ways, inevitable – components of the normal aging process.

“What patients need to understand, however, is that when someone looks old for their age, it’s not just because of these intrinsic factors, but largely as a result of their environmental and lifestyle choices,” explains Dr. Gasch. “In reality, patients have a great deal of control over their appearance.”

Asked to list some of the most damaging extrinsic factors, Dr. Gasch offered this:  “When it comes to premature aging, the biggest culprits tend to be overexposure to the sun and smoking.”  Dr. Gasch explained that both UV radiation and tobacco use can damage the skin’s elastin and collagen, proteins that keep it looking smooth and youthful.

“Thankfully, for patients already seeing lines, wrinkles and other signs of premature aging, cosmetic dermatology offers several solutions for turning back the clock,” explains Dr. Gasch.  “For example, our practice offers BOTOX®, soft tissue fillers, and resurfacing options like microdermabrasion.”

Asked what patients can do about inevitable skin changes like sagging, loss of facial fat and changes in skin texture, Dr. Gasch concluded with this:  “While older patients may assume that facelift surgery is their only real option, understand that there are several effective, minimally-invasive alternatives available. One of the most popular is undeniably laser rejuvenation.  It’s helping our patients lift, tighten and most importantly, restore a more youthful appearance.”