Research suggests that as much as 90 percent of the population are either chronically on, or have at some point used anti-depressants. Research further has shown that anti-depressants contribute to accelerated aging in the skin as they damage it on a cellular level, cause an increase in skin wrinkling as well as the loosening of skin. How is this possible?
Firstly, let us keep in mind the seven signs if aging, namely: fine lines and wrinkles, sagging skin, dull skin, pigmentation abnormalities, dryness, patchy skin and enlarged pores.
Secondly, let me now illustrate how the effects of your anti-depressant can lead to the above mentioned seven signs (and more!).
FINE LINES: Fine lines which are clearly visible are caused mainly by dehydration. Dehydration is the term used for a lack of water. The chronic use of anti-depressants leads to dehydrated skin which will then appear dull and itchy. Dehydration furthermore leads to blue, puffy bags under the eyes.
SAGGING SKIN: According to various medical studies conducted, an anti-depressant could account for sagging skin mainly due to two factors: the inhibition of growth hormone caused and then also a continuous state of facial muscle relaxation.
PIGMENTATION ABNORMALITIES: Two commonly prescribed anti-depressants are those with tricyclic and heterocyclic compounds. Both these drugs – and others – cause the skin to become photosensitive. This means that you are more susceptible to sunburn, leading to pigmentation abnormalities. Each time you expose your skin to this kind of sun damage you also increase your risk of skin cancer. A daunting thought in the least.
DRY AND PATCHY SKIN: One of the most popular anti-depressants prescribed by doctors today is more commonly known as Prozac. Side effects of this drug includes severe dryness of the skin leading to itching, acne and various skin reactions and rashes. These side effects in turn contribute to a patchy, dull-looking skin. Effexor also has these ghastly side effects.
So, how do I prevent suffering from the following skin aging side effects? I have put together a few tips for you:
1. Hydrate! Drink at least 1 glass of water per 10 kg’s of your body weight per day. Also, use a cosmeceutical moisturizer with a water base no less than twice a day.
2. Go for treatments! Skin needling incorporated in your facials lead to an increase in growth hormone released within the skin cells, leading to cell repair.
3. Protect your skin! You should use a good quality sun screen with a SPF30. Reapply the sunscreen regularly – at least every two hours – throughout the day. Wear a wide brimmed hat if possible and sunglasses when exposed to the sun.
4. Use good skin care products! Cosmeceutical products are an investment for your skin. Be sure your programme includes a soap-free cleanser, an alcohol free toner, an effective enzymatic exfoliator, a good hydrating serum and moisturiser and of course a high quality spf 30 sunscreen.
Bloemfontein has some amazing beauty clinics that can help you with all of the above. Anti depressants certainly have there place and have helped many people. However- be informed of the effects of the medication you use.
Until next time