Skin and Aging

Skin

The skin is an organ made up of a dynamic set of different tissues, that completely covers the body, protects and separates it from the outside and connects it to the internal one. It’s the largest organ of the human body. In fact, in the adult has a total area approximately of 1.5-2 m2 and a weight of 10-15% of the total body. The skin thickness depends on the individual, sex, age and various locations of the human body and it is between 0.5 mm (eye lids) and 3-6 mm (palms of hands and soles of the feet).

Epidermis

The epidermis is the surface layer, the part of the skin directly in contact with the outside, having essentially the function of protection. It consists of four layers which, from the outside towards the inside are:

  • Stratum corneum
  • Stratum granulosum
  • Stratum spinosum
  • Basal or germinative layer

In addition, in the palmar-plantar area of ​​the body exposed to friction, there is another layer called polished stratum, responsible of the impermeability of the skin.

Dermis

Hypodermis

The hypodermis or subcutaneous connective tissue is the deeper and thicker layer of the skin being predominantly fat. It is located among the dermis, on a resistant membrane, positioned below the hypodermis, which covers the muscles of the skeleton and, in some cases, lies direclty on bones (eg. sternum).
The hypodermis is composed of a fibrous connective tissue, made up of collagen and elastin, which delimits the concatenation (or lobes) rich of fat cells. It is richly innervated and vascularized and also presents some sweat glands and hair follicles bulbs.
The structure and development of the hypodermis depending on the areas of the body, age, sex, nutrition and hormonal factors. With age there is a depletion of adipose tissue and this makes the skin saggy and wrinkled.

Hypodermis
The hypodermis or subcutaneous connective tissue is the deeper and thicker layer of the skin being predominantly fat. It is located among the dermis, on a resistant membrane, positioned below the hypodermis, which covers the muscles of the skeleton and, in some cases, lies direclty on bones (eg. sternum).
The hypodermis is composed of a fibrous connective tissue, made up of collagen and elastin, which delimits the concatenation (or lobes) rich of fat cells. It is richly innervated and vascularized and also presents some sweat glands and hair follicles bulbs.

Functions

  • Energy storage and reserve;
  • Isolation
  • Mechanical protection for the underlying tissues and organs

Skin aging

Skin aging is a very complex phenomenon, genetically engineered and characterized by the gradual reduction of the body’s ability to respond to endogenous and exogenous stress and to organize the biological structures of the dermis.
Advancing age leads to changes in all the components of the cutaneous system:

  • It is reduced the proliferative activity of the basal cells
  • The thinning of the epidermis results in a decrease of its protective efficacy
  • The synthesis of vitamin D decreases, with a consequent decrease in muscle strength and progressive bone demineralization
  • The activity of melanocytes is reduced and the skin becomes more susceptible to the effects of solar radiation (increase of skin cancers and melanomas)
  • The support of the dermis decreases against the epidermal layer overlying
  • The number and activity of fibroblasts decrease, resulting in the appearance of wrinkles
  • The susceptibility to infections increases
  • The activity of skin glands is reduced so the skin is dry and scaly
  • The thickness of the hypodermis decreases thus accentuating wrinkles and increasing the skin’s sensitivity to mechanical trauma

Therefore the set of progressive metabolic, structural and functional changes affecting the skin and the supporting structures (bone, fat and muscle) determine the appearance of wrinkles, tissue laxity, pigmentation changes and other epithelial degeneration.
These changes are caused by a reduced activity of fibroblasts, resulting in decreased production of the building blocks of collagen and elastin fibers, as well as the macromolecular components of the fundamental substance (hyaluronic acid) and decreased ability to organize themselves in biochemically stable molecular structures. This leads to a deterioration of the biological functions and structures of the skin resulting in decreased vitality, decreased repair processes and increased vulnerability to damage caused by exogenous and endogenous factors, further amplifying the normal process of aging genetically “programmed”.
Then the integrity of the whole connective tissue, is the determining factor for the regular skin biotrophism.

The factors that affect the aging skin are:

  • Age and genetic predisposition
  • Lifestyle (diet, smoking, stress)
  • Photoexposure
  • Environmental factors (pollution)
  • Oxidative process and action of free radicals
  • Changes in microcirculation
  • Inappropriate cosmetic treatments

Treatments

Thanks to advances in dermatology, aesthetic medicine and dermo-cosmetics, it is now possible to “intervene” on the damages caused by aging through Biorevitalization interventions that, through infiltration of the dermis (Fillers), induce a temporary and localized improvement of the skin.
Currently the market of cosmetic medicine and dermo-cosmetics, however, does not propose effective solutions for the total treatment of the face and body, both in biorestructuration and in bioregeneration skin, with a multi-purpose approach to the problem of aging, wrinkles and tissues laxity. There are no medical supplements presenting an association of active ingredients such as to act globally on the complex and multifactorial process of skin aging, as they usually have low concentration of active ingredients (sometimes only traces) that do not justify any therapeutic effect; low absorption of the active ingredients without adequate dermal carriers; inadequate pharmaceutical technology (extraction, titration, stabilization, conservation etc.). Moreover there aren’t effective systemic treatments that could provide real nourishment to the dermis.
The possibility of using a polyvalent preparation in aesthetic medicine with a bioregenerating and biorestructuring activity would be of support both to the infiltrative treatment, increasing the therapeutic effects achievable over time, both as a valid topical alternative therapy, and as an adjuvant and preparatory to all cosmetic surgery treatments. The idea of ​​using a topical preparation in aesthetic medicine may also be of great support to other treatments (peels, scrubs, face lifting, Botox) increasing the duration, effectiveness, and in preserving the aesthetics satisfaction of the patient over time.
Really it would be appropriate, in the prevention and/or treatment of skin aging, the combined use of the topical and systemic treatment to full implement the intake of nutrients, with a regenerating and restructuring activity for the dermis.

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