Have doctors and scientists find out what causes people to look old?

Have doctors and scientists find out what causes people to look old? **Have they found out what causes the skin and face to look old? **

Is it the collagen and elastin of the dermis that start to break down? The collagen is responsible for skin’s firmness and elastin is responsible for skin’s elasticity. Skin starts to appear old when the body’s production of collagen slows and the elastin fibers begin to lose their springiness.

A decreased production of collagen the outer skin has less support and begins to sag?

Why people skin have wrinkles and sagging skin and doctors and scientist don’t know much about it be it stress, not sleeping right, type of food you eat, sun, UV or smoking may cause it?

Are doctors and scientist making any progress at all into cause and treatment and what is going on ? And find out what causes people to look old what makes the skin and face look old?

The immediate cause is increased cross linking of collagen molecules. This reduces elasticity and leads to wrinkling. This process occurs in arteries as well, which is one of the major causes of age related disease processes. As arteries lose their elasticity they are more likely to become occluded and this results in damage to whatever tissue they were supplying blood flow.

As far as a proximate causes, there are various enzymes that contribute to maintaining proper function of collagen. As we age, some changes in the expression of the genes for these enzymes are altered, and we get collagen that no longer functions as well. One theory is that as we get older, the ends of the chromosomes get shorter every time a cell divides. The theory is that the shortening of the ends of chromosomes sends some kind of signal that alters the expression of genes for all kinds of proteins involved in the aging process. As far as the names of the particular molecules involved in the signaling process or the genes whose expression are altered, I’m not familiar enough with the latest research to be able to comment.


Exposure to UV light certainly affects the aging of skin - just compare the skin of your hands and face to skin areas that rarely see sunlight, or the faces of people who work all day in the sun to people of the same age that work indoors.

As we age, all of our tissues age, so the factors making us age are many and varied. I was surprised to discover recently that even the skull changes shape with age (cite), and contributes to the aesthetic changes we associate with ageing.
This puts into context the plausibility of a miracle skin cream.

But the big three in terms of the face I believe is the aforementioned cross-linked collagen fibres, as well as decrease in thickness of the skin and change in fat distribution.

Oops, that should read so the factors making us look older are many and varied to avoid being a tautology :slight_smile:

Your worst tautology is a beacon of clarity compared to the OP.

Seems a bit harsh
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Old things look old (houses, furniture, cars, kitchen appliances, books, etgc.) because they ARE old, and the human eye has learned to detect subtle characteristics as indicators of being old. When I was only 5 years old, I was already very adept at recognizing people who “looked old” – they wee a lot bigger than I was.

If medical science succeeded in arresting the appearance of aging, people would still be very efficient at judging the approximate age of members of their community, by lots of other subtle cues, visual and otherwise.

Caring about the subtlety of these cues is a problem of vanity, not science.

Another apparent “background” cause of aging is the epigenetic clock ticking away due to DNA methylation.

I’m not sure I agree.
We’re almost certainly specially adapted to notice ageing in humans. It makes sense that a young person mind find e.g. wrinkles unattractive because all else being equal it implies decreased organ function and/or degraded DNA; things our ancestors needed to care about.
Furniture etc meanwhile, not so much; depends how it’s been looked after, and it’s not necessarily a negative point.

In a hypothetical future where no-one has wrinkles but some people seem old just by how they dress, say, then yeah I dispute that being old would have as profound effect on attractiveness, job opportunities etc as it does now.

But with a kernel of truth. If we looked a different way when we got older, we’d be wondering why we look “that” way when we got older.

So why do these creams and medication don’t really work?

And botox don’t really help much.

All the pop stars and movies stars in their 50’s and 60’s that spend millions of dollars don’t look like some one in their 20’s or 30’s.

What is stopping a cure to make people look younger? Well they may die of old age and their body is old it just they look younger!!

Creams can moisturize the outer layer of the skin and they can’t do much else. All of the changes are internal and, as explained above, have genetic components. Gene therapies are very new.

Reality, mostly. It’s a very complicated thing and a lot of very basic, very expensive research would need to be done to trace processes and then try to delay those processes.

Also, there’s no government money being spent on a search for a cure. Maybe they could get some funding for arterial elasticity research, hoping for some crossover information. But anyone who asked for tax money for wrinkle research would get shot down pretty quick.

For a dramatic demonstration, check out this truck driver, who has major sun damage on the left side of his face (the side exposed to the sun for 28 years), and relatively little sun damage on the right side of his face.

Because no cure will stop old people from wearing black socks with sandals. :smiley:

No cosmetic is billion dollar industry. Pop stars and movie stars have spend millions of dollars to look younger.

Scientists are trying to understand disease, death an aging and how the body works where these could also be major spin off applications for cosmetic.

You first have to understand the aging process really well before you can start to come up with treatment.

Some people even believe aging may be disease and part of death. Looking old in way is like rust on a car. You look old on outside kinda like rust on car because that is what you can see:eek::eek::eek: but the problem is much deeper than that even if you could cut your self open and look in side!!! The tissue and organs and every thing else inside is getting old every year.

And what you really want is not to just to make skin and the outside look younger but the every thing in side younger than people can live longer.

That the problem cosmetic doctors make is looking at your face, skin and hair as object on its own and not understand the aging process and every thing in side is aging every year. You body in side and out is aging every year.

Some one here said there was molecules, enzymes, chromosomes and genes involved!! So I’m not sure biotechnology is that advance today to manipulate at this level or come up with medication that some how can works at this level.

My be when biotechnology have tools to manipulate molecules, enzymes, chromosomes things may start to get really advance and medicine .

The industry is $62.46 billion. The amount spent on research is much less. And the amount spent on basic research or medical research, rather than product development, is $0.

The industry is getting by just fine by selling moisturizing, concealment, and hope. And surgery, if you count that. They’re not going to spend $4 billion a year on research that might, maybe show usable results in a decade. And that’s the kind of coordinated funding that would have to be spent to even start this War on Wrinkles.

Sure. I’m sure cosmetic companies have people searching the scientific literature for possible new products. Of course, long before they find a process that can actually be used as an anti-aging treatment, they’ll have cribbed hundreds of buzzwords that they can slap onto product labels for marketing.

As an example, if a research team were to publish a study proving that otter colons never aged, there would immediately be products containing otter colon tissue or otter shit (claiming that it’s exposure to otter shit that keeps otter colons young).

We’re at that stage. The tools exist. Basic knowledge of what using those tools might do is pretty well absent.

Where you said “trying to understand disease, death an(d) aging” - that’s both the key and the difficulty.

But the other side looks just as old. It looks thin like the skin of a 60-80 year old man. The right hand side is thick and wrinkled. They are saying that the thickness is an abnormality and makes him look ugly and perhaps hides cancer inside it. They were not saying that avoiding UV exposure is the whole sum of being Peter Pan.

They are slightly tricking us because probably the worse of the thickening happened when the skin thinned. they don’t want to tell people that UV exposure is safe until you are 60…

Yes. I should have mentioned before but I started a thread a while back: Why isn’t there an effective anti-wrinkle treatment?.
And in that thread my sentiment was:

But there you have it: some problems turn out to be much harder than they might have looked at the outset.
It seems that making skin look younger is going to coincide with being able to actually make tissues younger; there won’t be any intermediary period where we could shrink-wrap the elderly in smooth skin.

I’m not sure what you mean here. Are you trying to say anti-wrinkle treatment work by not dealing with problem of wrinkle skin and aging of skin but by masking the problem of giving you fake illusions you look younger?