In The News

Fri 3 May 2019

Skin Deep

Health & Wellbeing
Skin health relies on a great diet, and a good skincare regime. But often I am asked about what really helps skin to look less wrinkled and more youthful. Part Two - Read More.

Following on from my last article,  that focused on the epidermis, let us take a look at the next skin layer, the Dermis.The Dermis sits between the epidermis and the hypodermis.

It is usually around 2-3 millimetres thick, and contains many important structures. There are hair follicles, sweat glands and blood vessels. Most importantly, this is where collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid reside. Collagen makes up about 70% of the dermis and is a helix-like structure that gives the skin elasticity and support. Each collagen fibre is connected in a mesh to other fibres by elastin. With Ultraviolet damage, the collagen helix disconnects from the mesh, breaks into short strands or connects to other structures in a chaotic way. This makes the skin appear wrinkled, saggy or just aged.

Intertwined with the collagen are molecules of Hyaluronic acid (HA). This is a naturally occurring sugar that attracts approximately one thousand molecules of water, for every molecule of HA. This sugar is essential for hydration of the skin, plumpness and vitality. As we reach the age of 25, the levels of HA gradually start decreasing, meaning that our innate ability to retain water in our skin is lost too. Water is essential to carry metabolites, waste and other factors through the skin to the epidermis, but also to the circulatory and lymphatic systems.

So with all these changes, it can sound hopeless. Vitamin C serum can help in the production of collagen, but ‘Collagen’ capsules cannot pass through to the skin. The molecules are simply too big to penetrate and reach the dermis. However modern dermal therapies can help to restore or at the very least stabilize the skin condition. Professional treatments are aimed at creating a controlled injury to the dermis, which primes the skin to produce collagen. Treatments that help improve and stabilize the dermal collagen levels include Intense Pulsed Laser, skin needling, Laser treatments and similar technologies.

Replacing Hyaluronic Acid is not as simple as smearing cream on our skin. The molecules of Hyaluronic acid are just too big to get through to this deeper layer. Instead restoring volume in this deeper layer can only be done through cosmetic injection of Hyaluronic Acid. In Australia, there are many different philosophies about cosmetic enhancement, and I do understand that this is not for everybody. However realistically it is the best way of achieving HA levels that rival those levels naturally found in youthful skin. As a cosmetic injector, I believe that cosmetic injections help to restore skin health and function, as well as providing a more youthful skin appearance. The naturally attracted water helps the skin retain hydration, pass metabolites and waste products onto the circulatory and lymphatic systems, systems which are compromised without a water table in the skin. On whichever side of the fence you sit, there is medical benefit to the skin in Hyaluronic Acid replacement.

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