Degenerative Changes in Aging Skin

Reference work entry


Increased life spans have created a need for greater understanding of the diseases of old age including the integumentary system – the skin. The skin is the largest organ of the human body and performs multiple functions, including homeostatic regulation; prevention of percutaneous loss of fluid, electrolytes, and proteins; temperature maintenance; sensory perception; and immune surveillance. Aging involves both internal aging processes and external stressors to produce consistent changes such as thinning, drying, wrinkling, and uneven pigmentation. Understanding the fundamental physiology of changes in the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis provides a foundation for progress in understanding the dermatological needs of those whose skin is aging. Physiological changes in aged skin include changes in biochemistry, permeability, vascularization and thermoregulation, response to irritants, immune response, repair capacity and response to injury, and neurosensory perception as well as changes at the genome level. Although aging of the skin, like other systems, is inevitable, research is beginning to define ways to both delay and minimize the troublesome effects of aging on the skin.


Aging skin Epidermis Dermis Hypodermis Physiology Immune Vascularization Permeability Genome Structural changes 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Winton Hill Business CenterThe Procter & Gamble CompanyCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Department of DermatologyUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Margoshes-Miller Consulting, LLCCincinnatiUSA

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