Handling the Signs of Photoaging

Aging is a general term that we hear relatively often. We’re at a point in history at which we understand more about what causes us to age and what effects aging will have on the body. When it comes to cosmetic aging, there is the issue of cellular aging and then there is the issue of photoaging. This is what we will discuss here.

Photoaging is the process of collagen breakdown as a result of UV exposure. Sunlight carries several different kinds of ultraviolet light. Therefore, the biggest risk for photoaging is spending time in the sun without adequate protection. Another risk for photoaging that was hidden for some time is the use of tanning beds. It was once believed that tanning in a controlled atmosphere could limit the effects of ultraviolet light. Research has proven otherwise. People who are exposed to indoor tanning have a significant risk for photoaging as well as serious forms of skin cancer.

What does photoaging look like? You can spot photoaging on various parts of the body that are exposed to sunlight. Too much UV light on the skin on the arms, legs, hands, shoulders, upper back, chest, neck, and face can lead to:

  • Uneven skin tone and spots, including freckles
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Spider veins
  • Precancerous spots called actinic keratosis

What to Do About Photoaging

The best thing we can do about photoaging is to try and prevent it. Several strategies can be used, including wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen and staying in the shade on hot, sunny days. Additionally, we must know what to do if we’ve already started to see the signs of sun damage. Fortunately, there are several ways to approach this problem.

  • Develop a consistent skincare routine using medical-grade products. Ingredients like alpha-hydroxy acids, retinoids, and hyaluronic acid promote optimal cellular turnover to reduce spotting and uneven tone.
  • Nourish the skin with antioxidants. This may be accomplished with skincare containing vitamins A, C, or E. Antioxidants also help promote healthy collagen from the inside out and can be consumed in citrus fruits and leafy greens.
  • Chemical peels. Cellular turnover is paramount to healthy, vibrant skin. Chemical peels are professional treatments we tailor to each patient to help reduce the signs of photoaging and other problems.
  • This professional treatment is all about the collagen. The technique works by creating tiny channels in the upper layers of the skin. Though the channels close right away, the body is stimulated to send more collagen and elastin to the area. Collagen is the healing protein that fades scars, hyperpigmentation, and other flaws.

Within our comprehensive menu of services are several options for reducing the signs of photoaging. To explore what is available in our Seattle and Renton offices, call 206-859-5777.

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