Understand your shoulder

Understand your wrinkles

Blue spot in the brain

In the brain there is a blue spot called the locus coeruleus. It is a small pigmented region in the pons of the brainstem- a part of the brain just above the skull base at the back. The blue colouring is caused by the production of a pigment formed by chemical reactions involving the neurotransmitter noradrenaline. This is the principal site for brain synthesis of noradrenaline. This blue spot sends noradrenaline almost to all regions of the brain including mood control regions prefrontal cortex, amygdala and hippocampus. It is involved in physiological responses to stress and panic. Neurons in this blue spot are less active at calm situation and sleep, but their activities are increased in response to alert situation such as stress. In response to stress, the blue spot is activated and produces more noradrenaline to alter cognitive function and activate hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis to produce more stress hormones and increase sympathetic nerve activities. It also affects amygdala to induce most stress-induced fear-circuitry disorders, such as anxiety. Aging is associated with a significant loss of neurons in the blue spot.

Distinct facial skin

The facial skin is slightly different from the body skin though it is a part of it. The skin cells on the face are generally smaller than those on the rest of the body. The skin on the face is thinner than that on the body. There is less fat on the facial skin and more hair follicles, sweat and oil glands. If hair follicles become plugged with oily secretions, acne starts. Water is lost from the face more quickly than from the body. when facial skin becomes dry, it can feel rough and tight, even reddened, scaly and itchy.

Unique facial expression muscles

Facial expression muscles (or mimetic muscles) are a group of muscles on the face which control facial expression. They are innervated by the facial nerve. They are different from other muscles. They attach to the bones at one end and attach to the skin at the other end. When they contract, the skin moves and is folded forming the wrinkles that we see on the skin surface. There are five groups of expression muscles. These muscles are responsible for facial wrinkles and facial tension.

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