What is Elastin and How is it Involved in Skin Laxity?

Elastin is also a protein, found largely in connective tissue. As expected by its name, it is elastic, which allows our skin to return to its original shape after it is stretched or contracted. Elastin also plays a role in load-bearing tissues
By: Ailesbury Media
Jan. 18, 2010 - PRLog -- At what age do you start to see noticeable skin sagging and what is happening within the skin?

Some people say skin starts to sag from the day we are born. However, we do know that babies faces quickly restore their plumpness when we 'goo-goo' them and pinch their cheeks while the same action in an elderly patient is more likely to incur their wrath over the bruise you have left behind. Somewhere, in the middle years is the day when you notice the skin's underlying structure is breaking down, robbing our faces of definition, youthful plumpness, and inner resilience. This usually happens in earnest during our early forties. Whenever we reach this stage we will soon know or if we don't we will be reminded, because it is the time of life when younger people tend to refer to our sagging faces with such unflattering terms like loose jowls, turkey neck, and falling face. This is the time we urgently need to see the cosmetic doctor. And maybe then, sometimes it is just too late for any repair except surgery.

The cosmetic doctor will fill the consultation by telling us how the skin now renews itself much more slowly than it once did. This is correct as most components of the skin, including collagen, undergo continuous turnover. At a younger age new collagen formation occurs as a result of active fibroblasts but this process slows in later life and the degradation of collagen predominates. Therefore, to keep your skin's collagen in synthetic balance, it is preferable after the age of thirty to do things that will boost collagen synthesis and reduce its degradation. The doctor will probably add that two of the other major causes of sagging skin are yo-yo dieting and prolonged exposure to sunlight. He/she may also mention more specific things like predetermined genetic make-up or even fat reabsorption but what we really want to know is what are you going to do about it?

We hear a lot about free radicals. What are they?

Free radicals are really unstable oxygen molecules formed by UV radiation. The oxygen molecule becomes unstable because UV radiation splits up an electron pair on its surface. This means the molecule remains unstable until it can secure another electron from a nearby molecule and it often does this by scavenging these from nearby genetic material. Free radicals can also activate MMP's (matrix metalloproteinases), which in turn break down collagen. It is known that they can induce cancer by altering genetic material. Some cells try and protect themselves against turning cancerous by committing a form of cell-suicide called apoptosis.

Dr. Treacy is Medical Director of the Ailesbury Clinics International Ltd. He is also Medical Director of Cosmetic Medical Group. He is Medical Advisor to OnboardSpa and the UK's largest consumer aesthetic website Consulting Room. He is Chairman of the Irish Association of Cosmetic Doctors and Irish Regional Representative of the British Association of Cosmetic Doctors. He is European Medical Advisor to Network Lipolysis.

Dr. Treacy is an advanced aesthetic trainer and regularly holds courses for doctors and nurses from around the world. He is also a renowned international guest speaker and features regularly on national television and radio programmes. He was amongst the first doctors worldwide to use Botox for other applications such as blushing and sweating as well as the permanent facial endoprosthesis BioAlcamid for HIV Lipodystrophy patients. He was also the first person to introduce many techniques such as Radiofrequency assisted lasers, Fibroblast transplant and Contour Threads to Irish patients. He practices cosmetic medicine in his clinics in Dublin, Cork, London and the Middle East. Despite his busy global commitment he finds time to personally see patients at his Dublin clinic.

Ailesbury Clinic Suite 6 Merrion Court Ailesbury Road Dublin 4 Ireland http://www.ailesburyclinic.ie +3531 2692255/2133 Fax +3531 2692250

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Dr. Patrick Treacy is Medical Director of Ailesbury Clinics Ltd. He is Chairman of the Irish Association of Cosmetic Doctors and Irish Regional Representative of the BACD. He is a Medical Advisor to the UK's largest cosmetic website Consulting Rooms.
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