It is no longer fairy-tale stuff; that the ugly old bullfrog can actually be transformed into a handsome young prince - what with today's developments in science and refinements in surgical techniques.
In the Bible, Methuselah is said to have lived for 969 years. If ancient science knew the secret of staying young, modern science and technology also seems to have the answers.
What then are the secrets of defying age? How can one look and feel younger?
Ayurveda and Siddha methods of medicines have practiced 'Kayakalpa' or body rejuvenation. The aim was to improve health and longevity in addition to attaining higher consciousness. One of the ways of doing it was by the 'panchakarma'(mentioned in the Charaka Samhita).This works on the principle of keeping the anabolic and catabolic processes, namely regeneration and degeneration in harmony. The Complete Makeover
Cosmetology is a rapidly growing arena and beauticians have a wide array of devices, chemicals and methods to offer someone who wishes to brush off the tell-tale lines of age.
A host of creams and lotions containing chemicals such as retinols (derived from vitamin A), vitamin C, selenium and Co-enzyme Q10 are available for application over the skin, which by virtue of their anti-oxidant effect help repair skin damaged by the sun or aging process, and also promote repair of the skin.
Stripping down to the basics, one could get rid of the superficial, devitalized layers of the skin by a process called 'exfoliation'. Alpha hydroxy lipoic acid, mild glycolic acids are chemical peels available in the form of creams, which remove the top layers of the skin to reveal young glowing skin below. BOTOX-the 'priming' poison
The hottest chemical of today, botox is derived from a toxin secreted by bacteria called Clostridium botulinum
. When it is injected under the skin, it causes the muscle under the skin to get paralyzed, resulting in smoothening of the wrinkles. This can help to get rid of those anxious creases on the forehead, the crow's feet on the sides of the eyes and wrinkles beside the mouth as well. The effect may last for up to six months, following which one may have to repeat the process. Fill those hollows
'Fillers' are substances, which can be injected into creases, and it helps 'fill' the hollows created by deepening lines of maturity. The fillers could be sourced from animals or could be synthetic in origin. The former does not provide lasting relief and requires a re-do after a while. The synthetic substances score over the natural ones in being long -lasting, but can cause allergy and pain at times. Rays Of Hope
Lasers are finding widespread application in medicine and in cosmetology too. The uses of lasers range from treatment of acne scars, pigmentation, and wrinkles to rejuvenation on the whole.
Laser resurfacing is done to exfoliate superficial layers while actually stimulating collagen production in the deeper layers and thereby tightening the skin. Advancements in the types of laser and its administration now ensure that the beam is focused on the affected areas alone thereby minimizing side effects. The laser sessions will have to be repeated at regular intervals depending on the nature of the problem, the individual's response and so on.
One size does not fit all. Different lasers, each one specific to a skin condition exist, depending on the location of the problem within the layer of the skin and the depth of penetration of the laser. It would therefore be prudent to undergo the right laser treatment in the hands of trained, qualified medical personnel who are well versed with lasers. Dermabrasion
This method involves scraping off the superficial layers of the skin to remove deep scars. The procedure being quite painful requires some form of anesthesia. Microdermabrasion is much gentler and scrapes off fewer layers more gently. It is useful for sunspots, fine lines and skin rejuvenation. Lasers also are used for dermabrasion. A Tuck and a Nick
If you have those 'turkey gobbler folds', sagging neck, jowl, or even sagging breasts, just go under the knife. A cosmetic or plastic surgeon can do a complete overhauling. Brow lift, neck lift, face lift (rhytidectomy), breast lift (mastopexy).... just about any part of the anatomy can be given a youthful lease of life by these creative surgeons.
They may use implants made from silastic, collagen or even your own fat to fill up sunken and hollow spaces.
They may insert tiny threads under the skin and attach it to the facial tissues, which can be stretched to tighten loose skin over the face. (Thread lift).
Tummy tuck or abdominoplasty can be done to achieve a flat, fatless abdomen. Bariatric surgery
This procedure is done to help people suffering from massive obesity to lose weight. Once these patients lose weight, the excess skin hangs loose like an apron over the chest, abdomen and limbs. The redundant skin can be removed by a total body lift procedure. Like a moulting snake, one can shed the cloak of excess skin and step out with a new mantle.
Round off all the procedures with a liposuction
to remove the unsightly bulges. You have now had a complete body sculpting. For the crowning glory, one can camouflage the receding hairline with a hair transplant
. Modern Magic
Stem cells-the panacea for all disorders is being studied as an aid to rejuvenating skin cells. Human growth factors which can produce collagen, are also being checked out. 'Skull lifts' to prevent age related resorption of bone is another new entrant in this arena.
The breakthrough in anti-ageing drugs has happened and the study of drugs that can slow the ravages of time is on the pipeline. RESVERATROL, a SIRT 1 enzyme activator is derived from the family of enzymes called SIRTUINS, which is related to mitochondria rejuvenation. This drug's effects on slowing age-related effects on the brain and heart are being looked into. Another SIRT1 activator, which has been isolated from the yeast Kluyveromyces is being studied for its effects on aging skin signs. Lasting fountain of youth
The top six simple tips that can help you in the long run to keep yourself young and fit are as follows-
Drinking 8-10 glasses of water everyday is essential for a healthy looking skin.
Curb the coffees as it can really pile up the kilos on your body.
Excess sugar in the food is said to destroy the collagen, which helps maintain the tone of the skin.
Go nuts...over nuts, as these are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for lowering cholesterol, keep your skin healthy and keep you young at heart as well.
Sprouts, lentils, garlic, barley, yogurt, peppers are great at defying age.
Calorie restriction can activate the enzyme SIRT 1 which is concerned with mitochondria rejuvenation and can therefore slow the ageing process. Hope is round the corner
Our body cells, by a process of regeneration and renewal may actually be younger than ourselves. In other words, though your age maybe 45, your body cells may actually be only 10 years old.
If nothing works, there is still hope. Put on the war paint...an expert make-up professional, can paint over the telltale lines with deft strokes and the right choice of make-up.
Therefore, look forward to growing older-get a good forty winks of sleep everyday, walk straight and tall, eat healthy food, exercise to stay fit, use the right make-up, laugh and be merry...you will not only age gracefully, you will be able to wipe away the etches of bygone years.
Dr. Gayatri G. Krishnan/L