Facial Skin Damage and Aging

Skin damage occurs over time and is caused by various factors, such as sun exposure, environmental factors (called free radicals), poor nutrition and natural aging. Some skin damage is more severe than others. For instance, melanoma is a serious type of skin cancer caused by sun exposure that is potentially deadly. Other types of skin damage, such as wrinkles and age spots, are strictly cosmetic and pose no serious health risks. There are both surgical and non-surgical methods for treating skin damage. Before treating any sort of skin care problem you think you may have, first speak to your dermatologist to determine the best treatment option for you.

As you get older, the skin on your face becomes less elastic due to the fact that collagen and elastin become weaker, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Collagen and elastin are the tissues that keep your skin firm. Exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun — UVA and UVB rays – over a long period of time can lead to early wrinkles, skin cancer and other types of skin damage.

Skin Cancer
Your face is one of the prime locations for early signs of skin cancer because it is exposed to the sun more often than most parts of your body. Some people are at a higher risk of skin cancer, according to FamilyDoctor.org, including those with fair skin, people who burn easily, having frequent sun burns, family history of skin cancer or people who are exposed to UV rays from the sun or tanning beds. FamilyDoctor.org suggests wearing sunscreen that’s at least SPF 15. Also, inspect any appearance of moles on your face using the ABCDE rule: asymmetry, border, color, diameter and elevation. Basically, any mole that is irregular in shape, large or unusual in color should get checked out by a dermatologist.

Example of melanoma (source: Wikipedia)

Types of Skin Damage
Other than skin cancer, there are other less serious types of skin damage that can show signs of premature aging. Wrinkles are a natural part of aging, but sun damage can cause premature wrinkling of the face. Age spots and freckles can also be caused by sun damage, and although they are not serious health problems, they can be unsightly in some cases. Finally, sagging skin is caused by aging or by frequent exposure to the sun.


The treatment method for skin damage depends upon the type and seriousness of the problem. Keeping your face moisturized can help to keep the collagen and elastin in your skin flexible and healthy. This is especially important in cold weather where skin can become dry and cracked. For more serious skin damage, your dermatologist may recommend a skin rejuvenation procedure in the form of topical products, dermabrasion, fillers/collagen, chemical peels, laser resurfacing and several other treatment options recommended by the AAD for specific types of skin damage.

Preventing Facial Skin Damage
You can prevent many types of facial damage, such as skin cancer, although you can do little to prevent natural signs of aging. However, you can slow the effects of aging by applying a daily facial moisturizer, getting regular facials and skin rejuvenation treatments, limiting the amount of stress in your life, not smoking and by applying sunscreen daily. Also, eating a healthy diet can ensure that your skin is getting the proper vitamins, such as vitamin E, that are important for a youthful appearance.

Photo: Flickr — Chexed

3 Responses to Facial Skin Damage and Aging
  1. annie

    I have SEVERE scars on and damage ongoing on my face only. What can i do ?

    • admin

      Severe cases should only be handled by a dermatologist. Typically, the only way to get rid of scars is through surgery. A dermatologist can help go over your options.

  2. Rheumatoid Factor

    ~;’ I am really thankful to this topic because it really gives great information ‘;-

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