Hypodermis aging

Hypodermis aging affects the very structure of your face and body. This this third and deepest layer of your skin is mostly made up of fat tissue and fibrous bands

that anchor your skin to the deep fascia. It also nourishes the dermis through connecting blood vessels, lymphatic vessels and hair follicles. This deepest layer of your skin anchors your skin to the inner parts of your body. It has nerves, some important glands and fine sheets of muscle.

Since this deepest layer of skin supports and nourishes the two other layers, changes in this layer account for many of the typical signs of facial and body aging.

Hypodermis aging is marked by the loss of fat tissues. This loss affects the shape of your face and hands. There can be a sagging of the skin on the face, neck and hands. Your cheeks and eye sockets may become hallow and the skin on your neck, arms and hands may lose its firmness.

Is there anything to slow or reverse this process?

Although changes in the deepest level of our skin do affect the 'look of aging' the cosmetic industry has no way of treating this skin layer. Any treatment would need to be done by a qualified dermatologist and even there, there are not too many options.

True there are surgical treatments such as face lifts that affect surface appearance. These treatments may tighten the skin but they do not really add substance to diminishing fat tissue or fibrous bands.

In reviewing the research published in scientific journals I found a few studies that may offer ideas if you are going to consult a dermatologsit:

1. In April 2008, the journal Dermatological Surgery Published a study done at the University of Alberta in Canada.

Researchers used soft tissue fillers to rejuvenate hands that had developed hallowing from aging. As noted above hypodermis aging can affect the shape and plumpness of hands and face. The researchers concluded that hyaluronic acid proved to be superior in efficacy to collagen as a filler to restore the shape of hands.

2. In addition there are a number of dermatologists who use injectable soft tissue fillers or botulism toxin Type A for the face. These are considered minimally invasive and were among the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures in the United States in 2006.

3.An article in Facial Plast Surg. May, 2006 concluded that "when used individually or in combination, (these agents) can effectively decrease rhytids and restore lost volume. The result is a fuller, smoother, more youthful appearance." There are several pages about Botox (botulism toxin Type A) on this web site.

Click here for Frequently asked questions about Botox

If you are going to consult with a dermatologist about any aspect of treatment for this third and deepest level of your skin, be sure to choose someone with experience - especially if you are going to undergo a surgical procedure. Questions such as: How long have you been doing this procedure? How many of these procedures have you done in the last year? are important.

Surgery, like any skill is perfected with practice. You want to trust your face only to a very experienced surgeon.

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