What Causes Aging?

“Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.” ― Mark Twain

There are multiple factors that can contribute to the aging process including toxins, sun exposure, stress, nutrition, and gravity, which all cause the deterioration of the suppleness of our skin. Though I perform various facial plastic surgery procedures including facelift, mini facelift, and blepharoplasty, I continue to remind patients that it is important to keep realistic expectations and understand that plastic surgery does not slow down the body’s natural aging process. In addition to surgery, there are also everyday regimens that can all help aid in prevention.

breast implantsIn an article on U.S. News “Fight These 4 Causes of Aging,” nutritionist and author of The Most Effective Ways to Live Longer, Jonny Bowden declares that we indeed can control the rate at which the signs of aging appear. According the Bowden, 5 to 20 percent of aging derives from genetics and the rest are caused by diet and lifestyle choices.

By exposing yourself to free radicals such as trans fats, cigarettes, overcooked meats, or fruits containing pesticides and herbicides, you’re speeding up the aging process as they contain chemically unstable molecules which attack our cells and harm our DNA. Inflammation plays a vital part in many diseases of aging such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s which is caused by the immune system attacking healthy cells and tissues. Engaging in daily physical activity and consuming anti-inflammatory foods such as whole grains, salmon, vegetables, nuts, avocados, or dark chocolate can aid in reducing your chances of having a heart attack. Excessive sugar intake can also increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes as the sugar collects, causing blood to not smoothly run through capillaries and into vital organs.

Stress is a large contributing factor to the aging process as it causes the release of multiple stress hormones that heighten your blood pressure. It is known that stress is one of the leading causes of weight gain and noticeable signs of aging. One of the best ways to minimize stress is by making sure to get the recommended 6-8 hours of uninterrupted rest. When we sleep, our bodies go into “repair-mode” to mend the damage from daily activities by replacing old cells and stimulating new skin cell growth.  When our bodies are not able to get enough rest, they become stressed and release increased amounts of the hormone cortisol. An increase in cortisol can affect the skin’s collagen production, which is beneficial in preserving the skin’s elasticity, and can lead to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines.

While I offer various facial and body procedures, I place the utmost importance on patients leading a healthy lifestyle in order to preserve successful and aesthetically-pleasing results. If you’re looking to make the first steps towards healthy lifestyle changes, our in-house NESTA Weight Management Specialist, Jackie Madison is here to help. With the Lifestyle & Weight Management program, Jackie will help coach you through your pre and post-surgery time period by teaching you how to commit to an active lifestyle, achieve weight loss and weight management goals, provide effective eating habits, manage your time and assist with battling stress.

If you are interested in any of the cosmetic procedures I perform, please contact us today. Be sure to connect with me, Dr. David Whiteman, on FacebookTwitter, and Google+ for plastic surgery news.