Premature Aging,Causes and Remedies

As you grow older, your skin cell turnover drops. This changes your skin appearance, leading to gradual senescence and death. Such an ageing process is called intrinsic or natural ageing.
But some people in their early 20s, also develop ageing symptoms such as age spots, hair loss, and wrinkles on their face, appearing older than their biological age. Such a condition is known as extrinsic or premature ageing.
The premature ageing disease is caused by two factors:
  • Our lifestyle pattern
  • Genetic disorder (Progeria also called Benjamin button disease).

Premature ageing caused our lifestyles pattern

There are certain things we do regularly which we may or may not know it contribute to how fast we age.
Some of these behaviours are:

1. Addiction to alcohol

Being addicted to alcohol can make you age badly, because it deteriorates your whole organs, leading to heart failure, kidney and liver toxification.

Alcohol also suppresses your immune system, creating room for different infections. (1, 2)

All these effects reduce the life span of your organs and skin cells, making you age faster.

2. Long-term exposure to sun rays

Prolonged exposure to sunlight causes premature skin ageing, characterized by wrinkles, altered pigmentation, and poor skin tone.

It also affects the collagen fibers, which are responsible for skin colour, making your skin look tanned.

Studies have also confirmed that multiple exposures to sun rays increase the level of *matrix metalloproteinases* an enzyme that degrades skin collagen, contributing to photoaging.

3. Smoking

Smoking is one of the major causes of dermatological problems like premature skin ageing, poor wound healing, melanoma, acne, oral cancer psoriasis, and hair loss.

Studies have shown that smoke prevents the production of collagen, elastic fibers, proteoglycans and also stimulates the production of tropoelastin, elastosis material and matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) which reduces the production of matrix protein, hence causing premature ageing.

Smoke also reacts with oxygen in the cells, causing tobacco-induced premature ageing.

 Poor diet and ageing

 Diets deficient in vitamin B6 and copper cause quick ageing of the brain cells.

Animal studies have shown partial to complete loss of dendrites when placed on unbalanced diets for about 3 months. (3)

Frequent consumption of processed foods and sugary diets also causes inflammation, which may speed up ageing in humans.

It is therefore important to eat balanced diets always, and also eat more vegetables, nuts, fish, mushrooms, poultry and other rich sources of copper and vitamin B6.

Stress and premature ageing

Chronic stress is one cause of premature cellular ageing, poor health, heart disease, and poor immune function.

This leads to higher oxidative stress, lower telomere activity, and shorter telomere length.

Shorter telomere length affects the genetic components (DNA) in all the cells, it leads to senescence (biological ageing), and oncogenic change of somatic cells, resulting in poor health and shorter lifespan of an individual. (4)


Your environment also determines how you age, those in a polluted environment are likely to age faster than others.

Studies have also shown that air pollution contributes to skin ageing, cancer, pulmonary and heart diseases. (5)

Premature ageing caused by a genetic disorder (progeria)

Progeria, also called the Benjamin button disease, is unnatural ageing of the skin or organs caused by a genetic disorder or mutation.

The rare disease was first discovered by Dr Jonathan Hutchinson, Hastings Gilford (1887-1897), and Dr Werner (1904).

Their findings included Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS, or progeria) and Werner syndrome, respectively.

Progeria is a rare disease that affects about 350-400 children globally. The affected person appears old even at a youthful age.

progeria premature aging

Werner syndrome is also an autosomal recessive disorder that causes premature ageing.

The disorder has a significant ethnic association. It is most dominant in Japan, affecting about 1 in 1,000,000 pupils, while it affects about 1 in 1,000,000 to 10,000,000 people in other countries.

Symptoms of premature ageing

The symptoms of early ageing are

  • Early greying and hair loss
  • Bilateral cataracts
  • Small stature
  • Sunspot
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Gaunt hand
  • Osteoporosis
  • Wrinkles
  • Skin ulcer
  • Skin thinning and loss of elasticity
  • Joint Contractures
  • Loss of subcutaneous fats
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke and death from a heart attack.

How to prevent premature ageing

To avoid early ageing, try to identify the cause, and stay away from it. Also.

Doing regular exercise

Regular exercise is the key to keeping the body and soul fit. During exercise, most of the harmful toxins, such as excess salt, leave through heat.

It strengthens the entire body and also helps in skin ageing prevention.

Drink a glass of milk every day

Milk is fortified with amino acids, vitamin A, and other vital proteins that help protect the skin and make it look beautiful. It can also prevent the skin from ageing prematurely.

Drink  plenty of water every day

About 70% of a human body comprises water,  drinking enough water prevents dehydration and skin sagging.

Drink at least 9 glasses of water per day to moisten your skin and also help in premature ageing prevention.

Stay away from excess sunlight

Too much exposure to sun rays causes the skin to age. Stay away from it. If you must work under the sun, wear sunscreen.

Also, avoid

  • Smoking and excessive alcohol
  • Frowning your face always
  • Too much sugar, junk, and starchy foods
  • Stress
  • Skincare products that burn
  • Sleeping with makeup on your face

Always include vitamin C in your diet.

Eat balanced diets with many vegetables and fruits, to help slow your ageing.

Treatments for premature ageing skin

Premature ageing skin can be treated with anti-ageing therapies like alpha hydroxy acids, vitamin C, and retinoids.

A change in lifestyle can also help reverse ageing skin.

Go to a health centre and examine your body system to know the root cause of your early ageing.

Also check your hormone status, immune system, antioxidant status, digestive analysis, blood circulation, and others so that the cause will be identified and treated.