What Is Photoaging and How Can It Be Managed?

Published on July 10, 2017
woman looking at camera over her shoulder

Aging is a natural part of life that affects each individual at a unique rate. The physical effects of aging are apparent in our body functions and our appearance. The visible signs of aging, like skin wrinkles and folds, are the result of photoaging. This term is used to define the structural and aesthetic changes that occur in the skin as a result of repeated exposure to UV radiation.

The primary source of UV radiation is sunlight. UV radiation is capable of penetrating deep into the layers of the skin to the point where it may cause DNA mutations related to photoaging. The sun emits both UVA and UVB radiation, which have significant effects on the skin.

UVB radiation is only capable of penetrating the epidermis, the outer layer of our skin. UVB radiation can cause chemical changes in the skin that can lead to wrinkling, the formation of dark spots and freckles, and a decrease in the production of essential proteins like collagen and elastin.

UVA rays are capable of penetrating deeper into the layers of the skin and causing damage to the dermis, which is responsible for providing your skin with structural support. Years of exposure to UVA radiation can cause the dermis to shrink in size. This decrease in size reduces the amount of support provided to the epidermis, which causes the epidermis to droop and form noticeable skin folds.

UVA radiation also damages the blood vessels located in the dermis. The blood vessels may even become dilated or broken as a result of repeated exposure.

Photoaging can be effectively managed through laser skin resurfacing. These treatments utilize highly focused laser energy to destroy dead and damaged skin cells and stimulate the skin-renewal process.

We offer laser skin resurfacing treatments using the Sciton ProFractional Laser and the Sciton MicroLaserPeel. Both devices offer customized treatments that can be adjusted to provide the level of skin rejuvenation required by the patient. A treatment using both devices can be performed if more comprehensive rejuvenation is required.

Contact our office to schedule an appointment for your laser skin resurfacing treatment with board-certified nurse practitioner Jonel Gomez. She is expertly trained in laser rejuvenation and can provide you with the customized skin care you require.

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