I get this a lot.

“Doctor, I would like to improve my appearance but am I just being vain? Maybe I should just let nature take its course. After all, everyone gets older, right?”

Here’s something to think about:

Remember the Bain de Soleil tan? Our fashion icons in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s had that rich mahogany tan. We were the generation before sunscreen, the baby oil generation. Many of us suffered extreme sun damage that caused the discoloration, wrinkles and sagging skin that we have now.

Think about the paint on a house. Usually on the side of the house that catches the most sun, the paint cracks, curls up and flakes off sooner than the rest of the house. How many people say that we should just let nature takes its course with house paint?

Can you imagine letting the paint disintegrate on the house because everyone’s house and paint is getting older?

Think how you feel when you repaint the house. If you’re like me, you get a little lift every time you catch a glimpse of the house and see the fresh, neat paint. No one thinks you’re vain for feeling that way.

But we’re not talking about your house, we’re talking about your physical self, the face you see in the mirror every day. Wouldn’t you rather look at a more fresh face rather than a discolored and damaged face?

A really important aspect of all of this is the disparity between how we feel and how we look. When your parents were the same age as you are now, were they as youthful and active as you are? Probably not.

So here we are, feeling young and vibrant inside and looking old and weathered outside. Is it vanity to want to erase the damage and look outwardly more like you feel inwardly?

I don’t think so.