CutoAge - Skin Elasticity
Aging of the skin has two major aspects: intrinsic aging and extrinsic aging.
Most people believe that by simply looking at someone’s face they can determine their extent of skin aging. In fact, the aging process can occur in ways that are not necessarily visible to the naked eye. Signs of age you see when looking in the mirror are considered as “extrinsic aging” – these signs are affected mostly by “photoaging,” or the exposure to sunlight, rather than by your actual biological age. Photoaging is not, therefore, an accurate biomarker of one’s age.
Intrinsic skin aging is the gradual reduction in elasticity and the appearance of fine wrinkles, even in parts of the body that are not exposed to much sunlight. This kind of aging is more closely correlated with your biological age. Continuous loss in skin elasticity happens very gradually and is often not visible to the eye until reaching the advanced stages of aging.
At Youth Diagnostics™ our doctors can measure the degree of intrinsic skin aging by using an instrument known as the Cutometer, which lightly pulls at parts of your skin to assess the quality of movement in the top two skin layers. The Cutometer is a non-invasive device that allows us to measure the level of collagen and elastic tissue remaining in your skin. It involves less movement than what is required under the more conventional “pinch test,” which is used to see how quickly your skin reassumes its original position.
The CutoAge test produces a percentage calculation for your skin elasticity, or the degree to which your skin reassumes its normal position after being stretched. Immediately after adolescence, most people’s skin elasticity measures around 90%, with 1% elasticity lost with each passing year. The average 80-year-old will have 35% skin elasticity. Measurements of skin elasticity using the Cutometer have become the gold standard in dermatology today.
By applying what we know about the linkage between skin elasticity and other aspects of our health, our doctors will identify treatments that can improve elasticity. For example, research supports a strong correlation between skin elasticity and bone density. Knowing this allows us to improve skin elasticity by prescribing bioidentical hormone replacement therapies to improve bone density.
Inevitably, exposure to sunlight over the course of one’s life can cause sun damage to the skin, leading to variable amounts of extrinsic skin aging. Because sun damage plays a significant role in the physical appearance of aging, we are able to measure this with considerable effectiveness. Each of our patients undergoes a comprehensive advanced health assessment, which includes a facial photograph. Using a special technology called the 'Reveal Imager,' Dr. Frank identifies areas of your face that have suffered sun damage and suggests remedies for reversing the effects of the damage, both medically and cosmetically. Taking these measures can significantly lower the chances of developing a non-melanoma skin cancer that occurs in up to 20% of the population. During your consultation, Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank will review with you the results of the Reveal Imager test and discuss all relevant treatment options.