Science Questions

Sat, 2nd Oct 2004

Part of the show Skin Diseases and Skin Cancer

Question

Neil asked:

why do we get wrinkly in old age ?

Answer

We all get wrinkly as we age - they come because our skin gets less elastic as we get older. If you get look at a child's skin it has plenty of stretch and twang, but an older person's skin doesn't have this. As you get older your skin gets saggy, and loses its elasticity, causing wrinkles. Creams on the market can help with the really small wrinkles, but the deep ones, of the sort you can see a couple of feet away, I'm afraid, creams won't do anything for those. Things that you can do of course, are not go out in the sun, particularly when you're young, and not smoke. If you look at smokers, particularly women, they can be incredibly wrinkled. It's not known quite how that happens, but it is thought that it may be a chemical reaction in the skin and may also be a genetic predisposition in some people.

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