Aging Myths

aging1. MYTH: Your genes are responsible for how you age.

REALITY: This is partly true, but it’s also true that aging is directly related to how we live. In a few words, aging is impacted by our environment, diet and habits (like smoking). Excessive sun exposure is a major cause of premature aging, as is excessive eating. Unfortunately, the latter is becoming a major problem in our society: almost 60 percent of adults in the U.S. today are estimated to be overweight, and 30 percent of our children are obese.

2. MYTH: Supplements can help slow down the aging process.

REALITY: There’s scientific evidence that we should consider one baby aspirin daily (82 mg) for heart attack prevention; Omega-3 supplements or having 2-3 fish meals per week; and a good once-a-day vitamin. There’s softer data for Coenzyme Q-10 (an enyzme activator) as well as Chondroitin for prevention or treatment of joint aches. The newest fad is Resveratrol, the active metabolite of red wine thought to be capable of increasing lifespan, but scientific data is still inconclusive. All supplementation should be considered under the advisement of your physician.

3. MYTH: As we age, it’s the sagging skin of the face and neck that makes us look old.

REALITY: It’s the sagging skin, but more than that, it’s the loss of facial fat, especially around the eyes and cheeks that make us look older beginning at age 30. We’ve discovered these fat compartments in anatomic studies at UT Southwestern and have determined how to add fat to make you look young and more natural longer.

4. MYTH: There’s an anti-aging cream that will keep you looking younger longer.

REALITY: It’s true! This product does exist and it’s called “Retin-A.” This cream or lotion works by forcing skin cells to turn over faster. With long-term use, it can improve acne and fine wrinkles, smooth the skin and remove age spots. The other great aging prophylactic is a sunscreen with both UVB and UVA protection. The combined usage of these two lotions, Retin-A and sunscreen, will make a big difference in how fast your skin shows visible signs of aging.