Photoaging is a premature aging of the skin caused by repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) primarily from the sun, but also from artificial UV sources. Photoaging is different from chronologic aging, as the damaging effects of UV rays from the sun (or artificial tanning sources) alter the normal structures of the skin.

Early signs of photoaging include:

  • The appearance of fine wrinkles around the eyes and mouth, and frown lines on the forehead
  • Spider veins on the nose, cheeks, and neck
  • Various pigmented spots, such as freckles, solar lentigines (known as age or liver spots, although they are unrelated to the liver), and an uneven skin colour.
  • A general loss of skin tone in sun exposed areas
  • Taut lips that start to lose some colour and fullness

How can I prevent photoaging?

The best way to avoid photoaging is to have a good sun protection regimen. Since sun damage is cumulative it is never too late to start!

  • Protect your skin as best as you can when you are outside especially between 11 am and 3 pm, when the sun’s UV rays are strongest.
  • Seek shade whenever possible including from trees, shade coverings, buildings etc.
  • Wear clothing that covers as much of the skin as possible and broad brimmed hats.
  • Wear a minimum SPF 30, broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVB and UVA. Reapply after swimming or heavy exertion. Look for the CDA’s logo for effective products that meet these criteria.
  • Avoid indoor tanning

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