Healthy Aging

Healthy Aging

Healthy Aging

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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered

    Some of your age spots are genetic, meaning it's inevitable that they will appear at some point. But exposure to ultraviolet rays over time also can bring them on, so be sure to limit time out in the sun and always take precautions to protect your skin.

    Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing to safeguard your skin from the sun's harmful rays.

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    Your doctor will discuss with you the various types of midfacial augmentation procedures that you can have. These include:

    • Injectable fillers - injections of fat either from your own body or from a commercial product into the facial area
    • Facial implants - made from different materials, these can help augment your cheeks
    • Face lifting techniques - surgical techniques to improve the sagging caused by aging
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    A , Rheumatology, answered

    Skin changes happen with a decrease in the number of pigment cells in the skin after age 30. Since these cells allow tanning, there may be a difference in the ability to tan as evenly as before. And harmless spots made up of remaining pigment cells may appear. Skin may become thinner and may bruise more easily. Changes in the fibers and thickness of the skin can result in wrinkles and looser skin, especially in the face and neck.

    The size of the abdomen may gradually increase after age 35 to 45. This is in part because of more fat deposits in the abdomen fat storage sites, even though the total body weight may not increase. After age 40 to 50, some of the fat tissue under the skin may disappear and over years bony prominences such as the spine, shoulder blades, and facial bones may become more apparent.

    Graying of hair is another change you may notice in appearance. It is the result of loss of pigment cells which give hair its color. Graying is usually gradual and may begin in the 20s. More than half the population over age 50 has graying of the hair over the scalp. While hair loss is usually preceded by graying, thinning of the hair is another common change in aging men and women. In men the hair loss usually begins in the front of the scalp and gradually extends to cover the crown and top of the scalp. Men usually do not lose hair along the fringe of the scalp. In fact, this hair is usually a great source for transplanting to other areas of the scalp. Hair loss under the arms (axillary hair) also occurs normally in aging. The central hairs remain and are often grayer and thinner. Loss of axillary hair is common after age 60. Pubic hair and hair on the arms and legs may also decrease in the aging process.

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    A , Dermatology, answered

    Like most other aspects of beauty and fashion, price is subjective. Often it has more to do with marketing and pretty packaging than what's inside, even though advertising touts the ingredients as miracle workers. Manufacturers tell you that the price is high because the ingredients are exotic and precious (rare Japanese seaweed, shark cartilage, argan oil from Morocco, Arctic cranberries) or bioengineered synthetic copies of natural elements (amino acids harvested from human placenta, growth factors cultivated from the breast milk of cows or from fetal foreskin). There are some pretty bizarre ingredients (usually they are analogs, or man-made duplicates of the real thing) that push the price up, and the more outlandish the more expensive.

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    A , Internal Medicine, answered

    I love exercising, but exercises for the face? That's an idea whose time has not come. Exercising the facial muscles is a sure way to increase your wrinkles. The facial muscles pull on the skin to give you facial expressions. And the repetitive movements of the skin, over the years, combined with the normal thinning of the collagen and elastin of the dermis, will eventually crack the skin, causing wrinkling. Botox is the reverse of exercise; it paralyzes muscles and lessens wrinkles.

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    A , Plastic Surgery, answered
    The changes of aging in the face are predictable enough to allow carnival entertainers to accurately guess your age. The first signs occur by age 30. Early skin creases appear around the eyes. The muscles pull on the overlying skin and crinkle it. The wrinkles form at right angles to the direction of the muscle pull and are actually stress fractures of the dermis. Plastic surgeons call these "dynamic wrinkles." They are different from the "static wrinkles" caused by weathering of the skin. The distinction between the two is important, since dynamic wrinkles return rapidly after treatment unless the underlying muscle is paralyzed or removed. Static wrinkles, on the other hand, can be treated without regard for underlying muscle.

    The nasolabial folds begin to deepen by the late 30s, causing considerable dismay. By the 40s, other wrinkles appear on the face. Eyelid skin begins to droop and fat protrudes from the lids. The "tear trough" appears as the cheek fat heads south. Fat often begins to collect under the chin. By the 50s, sun damage has caused splotchy brown pigmentation to collect as wrinkles spread to the full face and begin to deepen. Excess skin in the neck invites remarks such as the "turkey gobbler," and the jowls rear their ugly heads. The eyebrows head south along with the earlobes. The tip of the nose and the ears increase in size, since cartilage can continue to grow throughout adulthood. By the 80s, the soft tissue of the face has significantly drooped, giving the elderly a skeleton-like appearance.

    Dr. Scott Bartlett, a plastic surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania, has observed that while the height of the face decreases with age, the width increases. But unless the teeth fall out, the face does not shorten. In people who have lost their teeth, dentures and dental implants preserve the height of the face.
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    A answered
    There are many social activities you can suggest to your aging parents. Your parents and their friends may just need an excuse to get together. Help them set up a weekly event so there is always a fun social activity on their calendar.
    • Set up a game night. Board games, card games, party games -- the possibilities are endless. Give the event a jumpstart by having each member of the group bring their favorite board game to share.
    • Start a book club. Do your parents love to read? Encourage them to share their passion by meeting monthly with friends to discuss their latest reads.
    • Host trivia nights. See how much your parents remember from the big events of their youth. Test their knowledge of current events and random facts. Your parents will soon be competing with their friends to see who is the ultimate trivia master.
    • Dance. Get your parents up and moving by signing them up for dance classes. Most studios offer a series of classes followed by a dance party where they can put their new skills to use.
    This content originally appeared on HealthyWomen.org.
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    A , Geriatric Medicine, answered

    Many things could cause this.

    Illness and disability; chronic or severe pain; cognitive decline; changes  to body image can cause a loved to want to or need to stay at home. How aware are you of your loved one's situation. If you are not close by, it could be hard to tell. So you may need to find out who mom or dad's friends are and keep in touch with them as they might be the best gauge in knowing and can serve as a reporter back to you.

    Have friends of your parent died? Is the social circle dwindling?

    Has there been a significant life event like your parent no longer able to drive?

    These all could be clues that your loved one is withdrawing. This is certainly not an exhaustive list but a start. Other caregivers and support services can help you.
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    A , Geriatric Medicine, answered
    The Council on Aging conducted a study a few years back. They asked people about the qualities they were looking for in a companion. They were high moral character, a pleasant personality, a good sense of humor and intelligence. It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same.
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    A answered

    The joys of friendship improve with age. In a study, seniors over 70 who kept in touch with friends were less likely to die over a 10-year period. And their friends didn't have to be neighbors; phone contact counted as social support, too.