Your concerns: I look older than my age

Dear Doctor, I am in my 20s but look like a man in his 30s. When I tell people my age, they think I am lying. How can I look younger? Kwizera
Drinking a lot of water is good for the skin.
Drinking a lot of water is good for the skin.

Dear Doctor, 

I am in my 20s but look like a man in his 30s. When I tell people my age, they think I am lying. How can I look younger?

Kwizera

Dear Kwizera,

One’s age is perceived by others depending on external signs of aging. These are like wrinkling of the skin, graying of hair, sagging of neck muscles, stooping of the back, etc.

You may be younger but if you have any of the signs of aging even in mild form, people may consider you to be older. Under nutrition, an emaciated face and losing weight, are factors which make one look older than the chronological age. Dryness makes skin lose elasticity and look wrinkled, adding years to one’s age. Sometimes very obese people also look older. Early wrinkles or sagging skin can also be due to exposure to hot water.

Exposure to strong sunlight and mental stress are other factors which lead to early wrinkling. Being agitated as well as frowning often, leads to early wrinkling of the skin of the face. Lack of adequate sleep also results in dark circles as well as creases below the eyes.

Skin tone also depends on adequate nutrition. Vitamin B. complex, particularly biotin, vitamin C, K and E keep the skin glowing and wrinkle-free. These nutrients can be obtained from fresh green vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

Premature graying of hair can occur due to exposure to chemicals like hydrogen per oxide and others present in hair colours , dyes and gel. Washing hair with hot water can make the hair brittle and dry and also deplete melanin causing premature graying.

Lack of exercise can cause the muscles to lose their tone and become saggy early. Alcohol use and smoking both make a person look older than his factual age. Hereditary factors also play a role in whether one looks younger or older than his age.

Therefore for one to look young, they must take a healthy balanced diet containing all vital nutrients for keeping the skin and hair healthy and glossy. Drinking adequate amount of water helps conserve skin turgor and prevents dryness. Regular physical exercise tones up the muscles and imparts a glow to the skin.

It is equally important to always stay relaxed. Avoid frowning and keep a straight upright posture. A smiling face always looks younger.

Dr Rachna Pande  is a specialist in internal medicine at Ruhengeri Hospital

 

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