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The body goes through a complicated series of physiological changes as it ages In his book The American Geriatric Societys Complete Guide to Aging Health Mark E Williams MD defines aging as a progressive predictable process that involves the evolution and maturation of living organisms Aging affects all parts of the body from the obvious such as skin hair and overall appearance to organ function The most visible sign of the aging process takes place within the skin The skin consists of three layers epidermis dermis and hypodermis The outer level is called the epidermis As this skin level ages the rates of cell loss increase and cell production decrease resulting in a thinning of the skin This thinning makes the skin more susceptible to creasing and wrinkling Another visible aspect is the appearance of age spots These age spots result from the grouping of pigment producing cells Also the blood vessels near the surface weaken as they age and this will allow the skin to bruise easily The middle level is called the dermis It is at this level where collagen is produced Collagen helps to strengthen the skin As an individual ages less collagen is produced resulting in the skin becoming stiffer and less elastic When the skin becomes less elastic it will then begin to sag The inner most level of skin is the hypodermis It is at this level where the fat cells are located As the body ages fat begins to decrease at a dissimilar rate This results in a bumpy appearance It is also at this level that the sebaceous glands are found These particular glands provide oil lubrication for the skin As these glands age they produce less oil that results in the skin becoming dry brittle and more vulnerable to abrasive forces Another highly visible sign of the aging process takes place in the hair Hair is lost daily but as the individual
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