Why do we age?

As humans get older our hair grays, skin sags, and we get weird aches and pains. It’s inevitable, but is it possible to avoid? In order to answer this question, first we need to understand why it happens. First, please note that everyone ages differently. There are many different reasons why someone might age. It could be due to environmental factors like stress or lack of physical activity. Also some scientists think that aging is due to our genetics. There are a ton of reasons that could be at play.aging_factors

Wrinkles

Wrinkles in your skin can be the result of two different things. Repetitive use of the muscles in your face (smiling, frowning, squinting, etc.) creates creases and forms wrinkles. Take a look at the knuckles on your fingers. There are creases where your fingers bend. If you’re like me and have ever broken a finger before, you have a splint on for several weeks. Once you take that splint off, you can see that there is less definition to those creases, because you haven’t been using those muscles.

The other way that wrinkles can be formed is from ultra-violet (UV) rays. The sun’s rays break down the collagen that is in your skin. Collagen, along with other fibers, make up a lot of the connective tissue in your face. Once the UV rays start to break down these fibers, your skin loses its elasticity. Over a long period of time a person can develop wrinkles from having an in adequate amount of collagen/elastic fibers in their skin.

Graying Hair

Melanin is made up of melanocytes which are essentially pigment cells. Graying hair is from the reduction of pigments in the hair follicles.

medline-media
Retrieved from Medline Media

As you can see in the picture, melanin is eventually replaced with colorless air bubbles. This causes the hair to lose color and eventually become white/gray.


The aging process is inescapable. There are some creams, vitamins, and other ways to “slow down” this process, but there is limited research showing that any of these ways are actually beneficial. Everyone goes through this process and it’s just another part of life.

“Aging is an inevitable process. I surely wouldn’t want to grow younger. The older you become, the more you know; your bank account of knowledge is much richer.”

-William Holden

Reference 1- Sharecare.com
Reference 2- Marquette.edu

 

 

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