Are Wrinkles Really a Result of Advancing Age?

WrinklesWrinkles are synonymous with aging. When you’re trying to decide on an option for addressing these signs of aging, it’s helpful to know just what wrinkles and lines are and how they form.

What makes a wrinkle?
It all begins with a significant reduction in the levels of collagen and elastin produced by the skin. These naturally occurring proteins are responsible for supporting the skin but they decrease as we age. Plus, the skin’s other support structures — muscles, bones, and ligaments — weaken with age creating skin that is more loose and prone to sagging. The third component of wrinkle formation is the ultraviolet radiation from sun exposure.

There are other factors that can influence the creation of wrinkles: genetics, arid climates, fat loss, nutritional deficiencies, and frequent muscle contraction.

Lines and wrinkles: are they similar?
Lines are inherently finer than wrinkles. The former are a result of repeated facial expressions such as frowning, squinting, or smiling. Lines do not form in younger people because they still have sufficient amounts of collagen and elastin to help the skin snap back into place. Wrinkles are thicker and more noticeable than lines. Often, they are a result of long periods of unprotected sun exposure. It’s common for a line to turn into a wrinkle.

Aging is inevitable, but you can slow its signs. Call us at Deschutes Dermatology Center and we’ll help you figure out the right treatment options for your wrinkle concerns. Call us at 541-330-0900 to schedule an appointment!

What Are the Types of Skin Cancer?

skin cancerEvery time you’re out in the sun, you’re increasing your chances of developing skin cancer. That said, it would be a pretty boring life if we all stayed inside 24 hours a day! And that’s especially true here in Bend, where the outdoors is always calling and the sun is shining most of the time.

Of course, you need to apply 30 spf sunscreen whenever you go outdoors, particularly for longer periods of time, such as on a hike or playing golf or swimming. Still, your body will be receiving ultraviolet rays from the sun; those are the rays that trigger the development of skin cancer.

There are three types of skin cancer, and it is wise for everyone in the Bend area to know the difference between them.

Basil cell carcinoma — This usually occurs on areas of the body that are frequently exposed to the sun such as your neck and face. This shows itself as a reddish patch on your skin that stays crusty and won’t heal, or a flesh-colored or brown scar-like lesion. Basil cell carcinomas forms on the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin. Basil cell growths are slow-growing and usually easily stopped if caught early.

Squamous cell carcinoma — This type of skin cancer also develops on areas directly exposed to the sun. It forms in the squamous cells, which are flat cells on the surface of the skin. It often develops in people with darker skin tones. The growths look like a hard, reddish bump on the skin, an open sore that bleeds, or a scaly patch.

Melanoma — This is the M word, the skin cancer that kills the most people because it can metastasize and spread throughout the body. Melanoma often appears on the face or trunk of men, and the legs of women, but it can develop anywhere, even on skin that isn’t exposed to the sun. For melanoma, watch for a mole that changes size, color, or bleeds. New dark spots on the skin, brown or black streaks underneath a fingernail or toenail. Even a bruise on the foot that won’t seem to go away. Melanoma is dangerous because it can grow downward and start depositing cancer cells into the bloodstream, where they can then end up anywhere in the body.

It is critical that everyone in the Bend area have yearly screenings for skin cancer. Call us at Deschutes Dermatology Center to set up your appointment.