With the largest segment of America's population now entering their "golden years", the term photoaging is getting its fair share of use. While we are all getting older, years of unprotected sun exposure is the main reason for changes to the skin often mistaken for just plain aging.

Photoaging is damage caused to the skin from…

  • Sun Exposure
  • Pollution
  • And Heredity

Not that we are all going to end up looking like our mothers or fathers, but just like hair color and eye color, skin type and texture do play a roll in how our skin stands up to the ravages of the sun and other environmental factors.

Photoaging is present in everyone - even toddlers, but it isn't visible to the naked eye until we are much older. As a matter of fact, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, 80% of all photodamage to the skin happens by age 20.

PhotoagingAppearances of photoaging are visible in the form of…

  • fine lines
  • rough texture
  • broken capillaries
  • uneven pigmentation
  • brown spots

Preventing Photoaging

Unlike other skin conditions, Photoaging can be largely prevented by simply avoiding it's causes. While you may not be able to control things like the air quality where you live, you can control the amount of pollution directed at your skin by avoiding damaging habits such as smoking. The largest preventative measure you can take is to avoid unnecessary exposure to the sun. These few simple tips can help you look years younger.

  • Cover up. Choose shirts and pants to protect as much skin as possible.
  • Use sunscreen. Choose a sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Look for sunscreens containing Parasol or Zinc Oxide.
  • Wear a hat. Choose a hat that shades the face, neck, and ears.
  • Wear sunglasses. Protect your eyes with sunglasses that block UV rays.
  • Limit sun exposure. Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the UV rays are strongest.

Most people think to protect themselves from harmful sun exposure when they are at the beach, but it is just as important to protect yourself during any other outdoor activity. Whether you enjoy...

  • Golfing
  • Gardening
  • Baseball
  • Skiing
  • Hiking
  • Fishing

Treatments For Photoaging

While the thought of looking older is not a pleasant one, there are treatments available that can combat and to an extent even reverse the signs of Photoaging.

The medical field of dermatology has made great advances in developing both products and procedures to aid in repairing the damage we do to our skin.

Products include:

  • Afirm
  • M.D. Forté Skin Care Products
  • Jane Iredale Cosmetics
  • HQ Bleaching Creams

Procedures include:

  • Microdermabrasion
  • Chemical Peels
  • IPL Photorejuvenaiton

When these procedures are used in combination with topical treatments, the signs of aging can be controlled at a much more dramatic rate producing firmer, smoother more youthful looking skin.