Psychologists say we all have periods of low self-esteem in our lives. Starting in your young teen years to about age 18, self-esteem seems to be at its lowest. It then drops off in the intervening years but comes back for an encore past age 60. Oddly enough, both teenagers and seniors share at least one of the same factors that create low self-esteem. Let me tell you what it is and why a dermatologist can help you regain your self-esteem.
Anti-Aging Strategies Boost Seniors Self-Esteem
When you were a teenager, like most kids, you stressed over your facial appearance. Acne, or some other chronic skin condition, may have been a problem for you, or maybe you just didn’t like the way you looked. You carried around this nagging doubt and low self-esteem that you weren’t attractive and didn’t measure up to other kids your age.
Like most people, you grew into your looks and came to accept them, as you got older. For the most part, you embraced who you were, and stopped obsessing about your looks.
But then as you got into your 50’s, that nagging doubt and lack of confidence started creeping back into your thoughts again. The effects of aging began showing up in your skin and you wondered if you were aging poorly. Did you look older than your peers? Do you try every anti-aging product out there? Were you passed over for promotions, or didn’t get that job, because of your “older” facial appearance? Do you see someone else in the mirror each day?
For some seniors, getting older can re-ignite feelings of low self-esteem and lack of confidence. But in those people who actively pursue anti-aging strategies, including skin rejuvenation methods, they feel much more secure about themselves.
A recent study out of the University of Birmingham (Alabama) showed that simple, anti-aging dermatology methods boosted senior self-esteem dramatically. These include skin rejuvenation procedures like wrinkle relaxers and wrinkle fillers. There’s also laser skin resurfacing, and laser skin tightening procedures (see next section).
Feeling good about yourself once again, seeing your “old” youthful self in the mirror goes a long way in projecting a more positive, confident you. In turn, people respond to you more positively as well. They’re more likely to want to become socially engaged with you when you’re upbeat and positive about life.
For some seniors, using an active anti-aging skin care program at home yielded enough results to boost self-confidence and esteem. Simple Retinol-A creams help lighten dark spots, acne scars, and minimize abnormalities. It also boosts collagen production in the skin that helps fill in lines and wrinkles.
When seniors saw the positive changes in their skin and appearance, they felt more youthful, and had greater self-esteem. Their depression and lack of confidence decreased. Even certain nagging symptoms of their physical health improved as well. Researchers concluded that the better you like your appearance, and the better you feel other people like your appearance, greatly affects your self-esteem.
Another study out of Concordia University has shown that boosting senior self-esteem has many positive health benefits, both physically and mentally. A strong self-esteem actually helps prevent illnesses that start occurring in senior years. These include heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
A strong self esteem helps decrease your stress level and its hormone cortisol. Too high cortisol levels lead to widespread inflammation throughout your body. Inflammation is at the core of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Anti-Aging Methods That Can Boost Your Self-Esteem
Many of my patients confide that when they look good, they feel happy, and more confident about their life in general. There are several skin rejuvenation techniques that can boost your self-esteem quickly. These are:
Botox, Fillers. Botox relaxes facial wrinkles. It can last about 6 months. Fillers include products like Juvederm and Restylane that actually fill and plump out wrinkles, especially those around the mouth. These can last up to a 1 year, depending on the product. Both have no-minimal down time. If money is an issue for you, you’ll want to choose your product wisely.
Microdermabrasion and radiofrequency. These can be done in office and work quickly to both smooth skin lines and boost fullness. They are much costlier and take about 30 minutes to 1 hour to perform. You can also buy home use product versions to do yourself.
Fraxel Laser. This treatment resurfaces skin using a fine laser beam. It’s also used to tighten loose skin on your face and neck as well.
Nutrition. The age-appearance of your skin depends on optimal protein and Vitamin C to build the collagen that supports your skin. Your skin also needs optimal hydration and dehydration is common in seniors. Many wrinkles, sunken cheeks and temples occur because of lack of water bouyancy in the skin.
Exercise: Sallow, “old” appearing skin color can be improved greatly with fresh air, moderate sunlight, and exercise. Even a 20 minute walk each day can help.
Vitamins/Minerals/Supplements: The vitamins that work hardest to maintain a youthful look are Vitamin A, B complex, C, E, and D3. Minerals like copper and zinc also promote skin health and fight aging. Collagen supplements help as well as resveratrol, turmeric which fight free radical damage in skin.
Getting older need not dredge up feelings of inadequacy or lack of self-esteem. Ask your dermatologist about the above noted office treatments, or home programs, to improve your appearance. But, remember, beauty and youthfulness is only skin deep. Finding activities, creating a business you enjoy, being actively involved in your life, friends and family, will help you stay youthful looking and feeling longer.
Jay Brachfeld, M.D.
Anti-Aging Strategies Can Improve More than Looks, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131101172309.htm
Boosting Self Esteem Prevents Health Problems for Seniors, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140312132623.htm