Why are there so many men and women who look like they’re 36 when they are really 48, and so many who already look 40 on their 25 birthday? Ask and you will undoubtedly hear answers from those who look fantastic for their age like, “I owe it all to such-and-such product. I’ve been using it religiously for years and it really works” or “I only eat whatever it is that they only eat and I exercise thirteen times a day.” While those factors may have played a part in their youthful skin, why don’t those same products or diets or exercise routines work for everyone? The research of Howard Y. Chang may have an answer.
Chang is an assistant professor of dermatology at Stanford University. He has an A.B. from Harvard, an M.D. from Harvard Medical and a Ph.D. from MIT. His studies include the effects of genes on skin issues like cancer and aging.
A recent study, focused specifically on aging skin, suggests that old skin can be made young again. This perhaps could be his most defining work. Chang, and other dermatologists, have identified a gene in humans and mice that may be the catalyst that causes skin to age. The Dermatologists have also been able to deactivate this gene in the skin of old mice. The results were nothing short of miraculous – the old skin became young again within two weeks. According to Chang, aging is evidently a process that can be switched on and off.
The research becomes even more amazing when you know that mice used in the study were bred with an altered version of the aging gene that could be manipulated by a topical cream. Does this sound like the fountain of youth in a bottle? It’s certainly why thousands of women spend millions of dollars each year on creams and lotions and procedures all in the quest for younger looking skin.
The task now is for these dermatologists to find a way to safely replicate these results on human skin. Chang cautions that the long term repercussions of isolating and manipulating the gene are not yet known. At this point it is estimated that the research for safe use on humans could take five to ten years. Until then Change advises staying out of the sun because UV light is a major contributor to aging skin and a chief activator of this aging gene they have discovered. Since this gene appears to be found in most human skin that means that every minute in a tanning bed, every afternoon at the beach without sunscreen, every moment you spend exposed to UV rays tells this gene to age your skin.
|When Aging Shows Up Way Too Young|
If there is one skin condition we would all like to avoid, it’s the appearance of aging before its time. The signs of aging can appear as early as our 20s. While there is truly nothing we can do to slow the passage of time, there are measures we can take to minimize the appearance that time has passed.
|Stopping Aging Before it Begins|
With almost everyone intent on slowing the aging process, increasing numbers of young people, both male and female, are opting for treatment.
The idea is to actually stop aging before it even begins, therefore the trend is one of preventive plastic surgery. Julius W. Few, M.D. an assistant