Monday, 21 May 2012

Why does Skin wrinkle with ages?

As we become aged, our bodies do not fully repair the damages that are caused to the molecules which gives young skin its strength and resilience. 
Hence, skin wrinkles with age.
There are three layers of our skin-
1. The deepest layer is formed by subcutaneous tissues. It contains fats and connective tissue along with large blood vessels and nerves.
2. The middle layer is the dermis. The middle layer is the dermis. The dermis contains blood vessels, hair roots, nerves and sweat glands.
3. The topmost layer is the epidermis. The layer helps to prevent water evaporation from the body. It also protects the internal layers from harm.
The topmost layer, epidermis, is covered with flattened cells which are rich in the protein called Keratin. This protein makes our skin tough and water resistant. These outer cells gradually cast off and they are replaced by an underlying generation of new cells.

The dermis layer is composed of structural proteins. This gives skin strength and elasticity. These layers are formed mostly of collagen fibers that are women into a meshwork with elastic and other proteins to create a resilient biological polymer. As our age inclines, the amount of collagen declines then both collagen and elastic fibers become looser, thicker. Clumped and even cross linked to other fibers. The result is to this change is brittle and less elastic skin which lead to sagging and wrinkling.
What causes this change?

The main cause for these changes arte free radicals. Free radicals are the molecular or atoms that have lost an electron and they try to replace it by reacting with other molecules. The free radicals are highly unstable and so they are highly reactive when the electrons are pulled from one molecule to another, they trigger a cascade of changes to biological molecules. This then alter the chemical structures and hence biological functions.

Free radicals are by products of our energy metabolism. Free radicals are also generated by environmental influences such as air pollution, UV radiation, X-rays etc.

Free radicals like vitamin C, vitamin E and carotene pigments can be protected by antioxidants enzymes and molecules. However, free radical damage occurs nevertheless. Another biological threat from energy metabolism is when glucose which are facilitated by free radicals cross links with proteins to form plastic like molecules. This makes the skin more brittle and less elastic.

Skin provides a barrier between our body and the environment. This makes it especially vulnerable to high energy radiation from the sun. This also causes wrinkling of the skin. UV rays causes DNA damage, damage to other molecules in the skin and leads to the generation of free radicals.
This is why our skin wrinkles as we become aged.  


Post a Comment