Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Aging You have heard the saying; “The apple does not fall far from the tree.” Everyone possesses some of the same physical characteristics of their mother or father. Look at your mother or father, and know that their genes will lend to how quickly and noticeably you will age.

Intrinsic aging has a lot to do with the genes we were given to determine the rate at which our tissue will degenerate. This process is irreversible and inevitable unlike the other more profound type of aging; Extrinsic aging.

Extrinsic aging, also called “photoaging”, is aging due to exposure to outside factors including smoking, pollution, poor diet, and UV radiation. You are in the driver’s seat on Extrinsic aging… well maybe when you are of age to apply your own sunblock and know whether or not you should smoke. 90% of visible skin aging is a result of UV radiation.

What are the signs of each type of aging you ask? In Intrinsic aging the signs would be more prevalent in older skin and would include dryness, loss of color, and fine lines. Extrinsic aging carries a lot more baggage, no pun intended. Extrinsic aging will manifest as rough skin, mottled hyperpigmentation, decreased elasticity, susceptibility to bruising, and an overall leathery appearance. In addition the skin may contain “broken capillaries” or “couperose” or even “telangiectasias” appearing on the nose and or cheeks (that rosy look). Extrinsic aging may also include but is not limited to skin issues such as Actinic Keratoses (AK’s), Lentigines, Solar Elastosis, Melasma, Seborrheic Keratoses, Spider Nevi (Spider Angioma), and Acne Rosacea. Actinic Keratoses, appear as scaly patches on the skin and can transform into Squamos Cell Carcinoma if left untreated. Lentigines, known as “sun spots” or “liver spots” are hyper-pigmented or brown spots on the skin. Solar Elastosis are yellow colored lesions most commonly found in the temporal area. Melasma is a dark patch of skin and can also be caused by a hormonal fluctuation. Seborrheic Keratoses are benign skin growths that resemble warts.

Spider Nevi, also called Spider Angioma, is a type of telangiectasis found slightly beneath the skin surface, often containing a central red spot and reddish extensions which radiate outwards like a web of a spider. Acne Rosacea, a reddening of the skin with tiny red bumps, can occur from chronic sun damage.

Obviously the most serious skin concern to arise from Extrinsic Aging is Skin Cancer. Unfortunately the incidence of Melanoma has doubled since 1985. Most people are diagnosed in their 40’s or later but it is not uncommon to be diagnosed sooner. Preventative measures are the best defense including annual mole checks, using the appropriate amount of SPF daily (and while in the sun reapplication is necessary), limiting sun exposure, staying out of tanning beds(you better be if you are my client!), and self examination of your skin. After all, you look at your skin every day and know it best.

Tertiary therapies such as Chemical Peels, Facials, Laser therapies, Microdermabrasion, Dermal blading and Injectables are all used to treat the signs of aging. These therapies have been clinically proven to reverse skin issues. Other emerging therapies including retinols, AHA’s, BHA’s, Niacin and antioxidants are not only preventative but also reparative for the skin.

At Sakura Skin and Mind, my aim is to make everyone look as young and vibrant as they possibly can through an ounce of treatment and a pound of prevention.