What is photoaging
As the name suggests, photoaging is the process of changing the condition and structure of the skin caused by regular exposure to sunlight. In another way, it is also called heliodermatitis, actinic dermatitis or premature skin aging. Do not confuse photoaging with the natural aging of the skin caused by hormonal changes in the body. Of course, these two processes can run in parallel, but they still have different symptoms, signs and causes, which means that they must be treated differently.
Causes and consequences of photoaging
The first ideas about photoaging were gained in the late 1980s, when it was discovered that the sun may be the cause of previously thought exclusively age-related skin changes.
Today, dermatologists and cosmetologists around the world note the differences in the processes of chrono- and photoaging of the skin, highlighting various causes, symptoms and consequences of changes. Age-related aging of the skin is less dependent on external factors and more on genetic predisposition and hormonal processes in the body. Photoaging, on the other hand, is considered a special type of damage to the skin and is not caused by the internal processes of the body.
The main reason for such changes is excessive exposure to sunlight on the skin and, as a consequence, a violation of the process of renewal of the epidermis. The deterioration of cellular structures as a result of exposure to harmful factors, in this case, UV radiation, manifests itself in a loss of tone, dryness, lethargy and flabbiness of the skin, the appearance of wrinkles and age spots.
It is worth explaining that it is the excessive exposure of UV radiation to our skin and the neglect of protective equipment that causes harm. This becomes especially clear when comparing areas of the skin that are open and inaccessible to the sun. In small doses, the sun is necessary for our body to strengthen the immune system, the synthesis of vitamin D and serotonin.
How photoaging occurs
Today, photoaging is usually classified according to the Glogau scale, which distinguishes four stages of skin aging, depending on age and symptoms. According to this classification, our skin gradually goes through all stages of changes and, depending on the condition, it is necessary to prescribe the appropriate treatment.
- Lack of wrinkles. Premature photoaging is manifested by light pigmentation, no visible deep wrinkles and no keratosis. Age from 20 to 35 years old.
- Photoaging of moderate severity, manifested by the formation of facial wrinkles around the mouth and eyes. There are marked changes in skin pigmentation. Observed between the ages of 35 and 50.
- Severe photoaging, characterized by an abundance of wrinkles, visible even at rest, the presence of obvious symptoms of telangiectasia, as well as dyschromia. Traditionally, it manifests itself over the age of 50.
- Extreme photoaging is observed between the ages of 60 and 80 years. The skin becomes yellow-gray in color, pronounced wrinkles appear on the entire surface of the skin, possibly the presence of precancerous changes in the skin.
Who is most susceptible to photoaging
It is believed that melanin is the main protector of human skin from ultraviolet radiation. The more pigment the skin cells produce, the less damage the sun's rays cause. Hence, we can conclude that the lighter the skin, the higher the risk of early manifestation of signs of photoaging.
Women are also strongly influenced by ultraviolet radiation during the period of hormonal changes (pregnancy, menopause, various hormonal disorders). This is due to the fact that imbalance between estrogen and progesterone increases the sensitivity of the skin to UV radiation. As a result, increased skin pigmentation.
How to protect your skin from photoaging
Keeping skin youthful and attractive is not an easy task. However, it is still possible to slow down photoaging. It is enough not to forget to use sunscreens and not to neglect them not only at the resort, but also in the city. Keep in mind that UV radiation does not come to us only in direct sunlight on a hot summer afternoon. Ultraviolet light reaches the ground around the clock, it can reflect from various surfaces, pass through clouds, clouds, water and even light clothing, so it is so important to use protective products all year round and regardless of weather conditions.
Kiehl's SPF 50 Maximum Protection Sun Care
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