I have been coming across so many of these cases that I thought it’s just appropriate to write about this topic of ‘Photoaging’ especially given the peak of the summers right now. We all know of this, have heard of this but somehow once we become moms, we just tend to ignore so much of this.
What is Photoaging?
Photoaging means premature skin aging caused by repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV Rays) from the sun and artificial UV sources. Prolonged sun exposure accelerates the process of skin aging. The harmful UV rays damage the important proteins of the skin – collagen, elastin and fibers which are responsible for the youthful skin.
Sunlight is the main source of UV light. Ultraviolet radiation is composed of UVA, UVB and UVC rays. UVA rays penetrates skin deeper, harming the epidermal layer and the dermis, also damaging the collagen and elastin tissues. Thus UVA rays are the culprit behind photoaging, which includes wrinkling, leathery, sagging and other light induced aging. UVB rays penetrate the epidermis causing sun burn. The UVC rays have more energy and do not get through our atmosphere. The UV rays damage the DNA of the cells causing mutations , leading to premature aging and skin cancers.
What are the early signs of photoaging-
- Dyspigmentation and appearance of pigmented spots – freckles, lentigens
- Fine lines around the eyes , mouth and frown lines on forehead
- Spider veins on the face and neck
- Loss of lip color and fullness
With continous exposure to sunlight over the years there is deepening of the creases and increase in number of wrinkles. Skin becomes leathery and sags.
Can I prevent photoaging?
Ofcourse, just a few guidelines to follow!!
Photoaging is a cumulative process that happens over the years. You can prevent it by:
- Avoiding sunlight by staying indoors between 11am-3pm when the sun’s UV rays are strongest.
- Sun protective clothing.
- Wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 and repeated 2 hourly application of the same.
- Sunscreen is to be applied over all the sun exposed areas face ,ears, neck ,lips, hands.
A bit of care can take you a long way and help keep your younger for longer.
Is there a treatment for photoaged skin?
Yes of course! Depending on the extent of damage, some/all of these remedial measures can be taken. However, do consult a dermatologist.
- Retinoid creams
- Botulinum toxin (BTX-A) injections
- Hyaluronic acid fillers
About The Author
Dr Pallavi Sule is a dermatologist and cosmetologist based in Mumbai. She has done her post graduate studies from L.T,M.M.C , Sion , Mumbai. She has vast experience in the diagnosis and treatment of various problems related to skin , hair and nails. She has worked with eminent dermatologists at Lilavati hospital and has treated various cases. She has conducted clinical trials for various cosmetic products. She also has been trained for various dermatosurgeries ,peels , lasers, botox and fillers. Dr Pallavi constantly updates her knowledge and procedure techniques by attending national and international conferences and workshops. She is the member of the ethics committee with a firm who conduct clinical trials of drugs and cosmetics.
Specialisation: M.B.B.S , D.D.V.