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I’m 50 year old British woman suffering from severe signs of premature skin ageing, which make me look 10-15 years older than my real age. Each of the doctors I have consulted has surprisingly come up with a different treatment. What is your take on skin ageing and its treatment?

Premature skin ageing has been one of the major complaints and concerns, mainly among the Caucasian women of your age group. The “syndrome” of premature skin aging expresses itself through various skin manifestations. Skin wrinkling on face, neck, upper chest, outer hands, and forearms is one. Among others, skin pigment alterations (patches of hyper and hypopigmentation), lusterless skin, excessive dryness, occurence of solar keratosis on sun exposed areas are also common complaints. This all does not happen overnight but results from cumulative photo damage of skin over decades.

Excessive alcohol intake, smoking, stress and a generally ignorant attitude towards proper skin care are other co-factors. An individual’s genetic pre-disposition also plays a significant role in premature skin ageing.

As a general guideline, I would suggest you do a proper search to find a reliable professional and reputed center. Also, before seeing any doctor extensively read about the indications, effectiveness and potential side effects of newly marketed treatments, including anti-aging products, clinical injectables, and chemical peels. Ask questions to check the knowledge and experience of the doctor you are consulting to make sure that you are in safe hands.