Photovoice Research Paper
Ronald G. Buell III
Keeping skin healthy is vital for many body functions. It protects underlying tissues from harmful environmental influences and minimizes water loss. Sweating and shivering is very important in order to regulate body temperature. The skin also eliminates salts and other waste products through sweating. Such factors as smoking cigarettes, not wearing sunscreen and not eating healthy or taking the right amount of vitamins, if any, are all factors that affect the way an elderly individual’s skin will look like.
Exposure to the sun is a huge problem for the skin of the elderly generation. They did not receive the same education about harmful ultraviolent rays that our generation was warned about. They did not use sunscreen as often which caused Extrinsic Aging. Extrinsic aging which is also known as photoageing is thought to be caused from over exposure to harmful ultraviolent rays from the sun. Ultraviolent radiation has caused damage to both the outer layers of the skin and nuclear and mitochondrial DNA (Leung & Harvey 2002). The typical elderly individual’s skin depends on multiple factors such as whether or not they used sunscreen during their lifetime, what kind of occupation they worked, the types of clothing they wore, the environment they lived in and of course how their skin in particular first reacts to the sun. Every individual’s skin reacts differently in the sun and depending on the amount of time spent in the sun daily greatly effects how the skin will react. Other factors such as whether or not the individual exposed themselves to more harmful rays in tanning beds or other types of sunlamp use greatly impact the skin. If an individual were to go tanning everyday up until their older age their skin would be put in a much worse situation than an individual who has spent time in the sun everyday but never went tanning. Hair color also has an impact on how the skin reacts to the sun. Typically individuals with blonde hair react much worse to the ultraviolent rays from the sun than people with darker hair do (Kimlin & Guo 2012). As well as individuals with lighter, paler skin tend to get more easily sunburn than those with darker skin.
Smoking cigarettes is not only unhealthy for the insides of your body, it causes major damages to the outside as well. Recent studies show that smoking cigarettes has a direct correlation with wrinkled skin in older age. The elderly generation grew up during a time period where smoking cigarettes was a normal, daily routine. There were no warning labels on the backs of the cartridges or commercials showing the cancerous affects that our generation has today. Instead cigarettes used to be advertised as healthy and the normal thing to do so it wasn’t uncommon to see just about every individual smoking a cigarette while eating at a restaurant or going for a walk. They were not aware of the dangerous effects that it has on the skin. Nicotine, alkaloid and the volatile gas phase all have negative effects on the skin when in the form of tobacco smoke. Tobacco itself is much more harmful to the skin than most individuals think. A recent study revealed tobacco has 14 different genes which involve xenobiotic metabolism and oxidative stress that effect the skin (Ortiz & Grando 2012). Tobacco is also an issue with the skin that is entirely non-genomic, meaning that the choice to smoke cigarettes is entirely yours and the impact it has on your skin, unless you are exposed to an unhealthy amount of second hand smoke. Skin cells get negatively impacted by nicotine and pharmacologically related compounds by activating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (Ortiz & Grando 2012). Heavy smokers can often be identified by the way their skin and finger nails look as well. Most heavy smokers have yellow finger nails as well as a...
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