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Beyond gray hair and wrinkles: How to prevent signs of premature aging

Ebony Williams, Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Fashion Daily News

We can’t beat Father Time, but there’s a chance we can keep him at bay awhile and slow down the appearance of aging — if we pay attention to our bodies.

Premature aging can be caused by a variety of factors, from the environment, to sun exposure, to beauty products and our diet. The acceleration of aging can be visible in wrinkles and gray hair, but there are other signs to be aware of.

“We can stave off the deterioration through active lifestyles, healthy eating, good sleep hygiene, social connectedness,” Nathan LeBrasseur, Ph.D., director of the Mayo Clinic’s Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging, told

If you think you’re experiencing this process but aren’t sure, here are five signs to be on the lookout for, according to the Cleveland Clinic:

-- Hair loss or graying

-- Skin changes: wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, age spots and dryness

-- Achy joints

-- Hearing loss

-- Chronic inflammationCauses

Certain lifestyles can cause premature aging, especially when it comes to thin, wrinkly skin and age spots. The most common causes that aid in the process are:

-- Sun exposure to much tanning and lack of sunscreen

-- Unhealthy diet

-- Smoking and drinking alcohol

-- Poor sleep habits


-- Anxiety, depression and stress

There are also some disorders that could cause premature aging:

-- Bloom syndrome

-- Cockayne syndrome Type I or Type III

-- Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome

-- Rothmund-Thomson syndromeTreatment

It’s hard to combat genetics or disorders that could cause premature aging. However, for signs from lifestyle choices, you can reverse them by:

-- Eating more fruits and vegetables

-- Exercising regularly

-- Adopting a healthy skin care routine

-- Stop smoking and drinking

-- Lowering stress

If you’re not afraid to visit a plastic surgeon, other options are laser skin resurfacing and dermal fillers.

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