Photo Damage

Photoaging or photoaging (also known as “Dermatophilosis”) is a term used for the characteristic changes induced by chronic UVA and UVB exposure.

The deterioration of biological functions and ability to manage metabolic stress is one of the major consequences of the aging process. Aging is a complex, progressive process which also leads to functional and esthetic changes in the skin. This process could result from both intrinsic, such that it is genetically determined, as well as extrinsic processes which include environmental factors.

Photoaging is a process of aging of the skin attributed to continuous, long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation of approximately 300–400 nm, natural or synthetic, on an intrinsically aged skin. Photoaging is thus also known as aging of the skin of the face, ears, neck and hands, caused by UVA and UVB rays

The early symptoms of photoaging includes the following:

·         Dyspigmentation and the formation of wrinkles around regions of skin commonly exposed to sun, namely the eyes, mouth and forehead.

·         Spider veins on face and neck

·         Loss of color and fullness in lip

Symptoms of photoaging attributed to prolonged exposure to UV

·         Wrinkles deepen and forehead frown lines can be seen even when not frowning.

·         Telangiectasias most commonly seen around the nose, cheeks and chin.

·         Skin becomes leathery and laxity occurs.

·         Solar Lentigines (age spots) appears on the face and hands.

·         Possibly pre-cancerous red and scaly spots (actinic keratoses) appear.

·         Cutaneous malignancies

In addition to the above symptoms, photoaging could also result in an orderly maturation of keratinocytes and an increased in the cell population of the dermis where abundant; hyperplastic, elongated and collapsed fibroblasts and inflammatory infiltrates are found.

Photodamage could also be characterized as the disorganization of collagen fibrils which constitute most of the connective tissue and the accumulation of abnormal, amorphous, elastin-containing material.


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