We all age, but premature aging is when it happens faster than it should. The cause is usually environmental and lifestyle factors. The most common signs of premature aging appear in your skin, with wrinkles, age spots, dryness or loss of skin tone. Healthy lifestyle habits can help stop and prevent further premature aging.
Over time, our bodies naturally age. Premature aging is when the typical effects of growing older happen early. It’s when your body looks older than your actual age.
The most common signs of premature aging include:
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In most cases, controllable and preventable factors cause premature aging. This is called extrinsic aging.
Most signs of premature aging show up in your skin. Skin changes happen as we age. When they appear earlier in life, the cause is usually from environmental or lifestyle factors.
Exposure to light is a top cause of premature aging:
Other environmental or lifestyle factors that cause premature aging include:
In rare cases, certain disorders can cause signs of premature aging:
As environmental and lifestyle factors often cause premature aging, healthy daily habits can improve it. If you already have signs of premature aging, here’s how to stop it and prevent it from getting worse:
To avoid premature aging, prevention is key through healthy living. But if your signs of premature aging are bothersome, these treatments can help reverse signs of premature aging:
Note that these procedures may fix the appearance of premature aging, but they won’t correct the cause of premature aging.
Talk to your healthcare provider if signs of premature aging appear suddenly, are painful or bothersome, or worsen quickly.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Signs of premature aging can happen at any point during adulthood, and they’re usually caused by environmental or lifestyle factors. In some cases, rare syndromes cause premature aging. You can protect or reverse premature aging: Protect your skin from sun exposure, quit smoking, eat a well-balanced diet and exercise. If premature aging persists or becomes bothersome, talk to your healthcare provider about treatments you can try.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/23/2022.
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