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What is photoaging and how to prevent it?

Updated: Aug 6, 2019

According to Canadian Dermatology Association Photoaging is premature aging of the skin caused by repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV), primarily from the sun but also from artificial UV sources. Photoaging differs from chronologic aging: the damaging effects of UV rays – from the sun or artificial tanning sources – alter normal skin structures.

Lifetime exposure to sunlight is a key risk factor.


Signs of photoaging include:

- Hyperpigmentation spots, uneven skin color, freckles

- Spider veins on the face and neck

- Loss of skin tone and elasticity

- Dryness of the skin

- Fine lines and wrinkles


Unfortunately, for those of us who love chilling under the palm trees this is not good news. You don’t have to stop going to paradise destinations but please use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, 30 even better, reapply SPF every 2 hours if you are outdoors and every hour if you are swimming, seat in the shade other than being exposed under the direct sunlight, wear a hat and protective clothes and, hydrate and moisturize.


Please use sunscreen protection on a regular basis as we are exposed to the sun all year around. Photoaging mostly appears on the most visible parts of the body: face, neck, chest and hands.


If you already see signs if photoaging your dermatologist might prescribe topical retinoids. Tretinoin is considered the most effective and researched form of retionoids for treating photoaging.

Procedures like microdermabrasion, chemical peels, laser resurfacing, photo-rejuvenation and Radio-Frequency technology also help to reduce signs of Photoaging.


Remember: preventing photoaging is so much easier than treating it.

Photo by Salvador Martin Yeste on Unsplash

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