The Effects of Aging on Skin


Cutaneous Blood Perfusion

A Laser Doppler Flowmetry study of 20 I people ages 10-89 revealed that
in areas with high blood flow, such as the lip, cushion of the third finger,
nasal tip, and forehead, blood flow decreased with age [1]. However, in
areas where the cutaneous blood perfusion was initially lower, such as the
trunk, no clear variation occurred with age [I]. This study also measured
cutaneous blood flow and surface temperature in finger cushions for
20 minutes after a 10-minute immersion in 100e water. The decrease in
blood flow after immersion was greater in people over age 50, and the
restorative ability poorer in those over age 70, compared to subjects
younger than age 50 [1]. A Laser Doppler Velocimetry study found that
skin’s vasodilation response to heat stress and vasoconstriction in response
to cold challenge appears delayed in elderly subjects (ages 70-83), indicating
a possibly reduced vessel density in aged skin [2]. This study only
included 9-10 people from young and old age groups, so it may not provide
the most conclusive answer to the question of the effect of age on
cutaneous perfusion.
Intravital capillaroscopy measurements of 26 subjects using fluorescin
angiography and native microscopy suggest a decrease in dermal papillary
loops and little change in horizontal vessels (post-capillary venules, ascending
arterioles, and part of subpapillary plexus) with increasing age [3]. An
immunohistochemical study of 19 individuals ranging from age 20 to
84 revealed little effect of intrinsic aging of buttock skin on blood perfusion,
but progressive and marked decrease in cutaneous perfusion in the

photo aged eye corners [4]. A photoplethysmographic study including
69 individuals ages 3-99 revealed significantly decreased capillary circulation
in forehead skin with advancing age. Specific numbers were not
given, however.
A review of this data makes a clear conclusion difficult. There may be a
trend toward decreased cutaneous perfusion in older individuals, most
notably in photoaged areas; however, future studies with more subjects
will be helpful in further clarification.


Skin’s acidity, an important part of the skin surface ecosystem and a contributor
to defense against microbiological or chemical insults, also plays a
role in skin barrier homeostasis and stratum corneum desquamation [5].
pH appears relatively constant, at least from childhood through age
70 [6-8]. However, skin surface pH rises significantly in adults near or
older than 70 years. Some have noticed that this effect is especially marked
in lower limbs, and therefore have attributed the increased pH to stasis and
reduced oxygen supply frequently observed on the lower limbs in older
individuals [9].
We expect that even this well-studied parameter may yield new insights
when the stratum corneum is examined in a microdissected manner [10].
Furthermore, pH measurements taken from the skin surface should be interpreted
cautiously as “apparent pH”; we are measuring extracted material
of the stratum corneum (SC) diffusing into water applied at the stratum
corneum surface, where hydrogen ions are not in solution [11].


Author : kaabinet



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