Are you photoaging?

You might be applying sunscreen, but still developing sunspots and an increasing number of fine lines. Photoaging is the premature aging of the skin caused by repeated exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) and artificial UV sources.

Understanding photoaging

The harmful rays damage the important proteins of the skin – collagen, elastin and fibres – which are responsible for youthful skin. Says Dr Pallavi Sule, dermatologist and aesthetic physician, “Sunlight is the main source of UV light. Ultraviolet radiation is composed of UVA, UVB and UVC rays. UVA rays penetrate the skin deeper, harming the epidermal layer and the dermis, also damaging the collagen and elastin tissues. Thus, UVA rays are the culprit behind photoaging – that includes

the appearance of wrinkles, leathery skin and sagging face. The UVB rays penetrate the epidermis causing sunburn. The UV rays damage the DNA of the cells causing mutations, leading to premature aging”. Watch out for these signs “Examine your skin. …

The initial signs would be hyperpigmentation that is persistent and keeps getting darker by the day, and open pores increasing in number and size. Gradually, with increased photodamage, the skin becomes rougher, dehydrated with fine lines and uneven …

Shilpi Madan for Deccan Herald

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