Photo-aging refers to premature aging of the skin due to continuous exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. Even excessive use of sun tanning beds can cause photo-aging.
It happens on areas of the body that are most exposed to the sun, such as your face, hands, and arms. The areas that are unexposed to the sun will face normal aging. The damage starts as early as when you are a teenager or you are in your twenties. Normal aging cannot be stopped, but photo-aging can be prevented by taking simple care of yourself.
Ultraviolet (UV) rays are the main culprit behind photo-aging. We get exposed to them through Sun and also through artificial sources like tanning beds. The two chief types of UV rays are UVA and UVB. Both UVA and UVB cause photo-aging, but UVA gets soaked by the skin faster than UVB.
Frequent damage to the skin by UV radiation will in time cause visible sun spots and wrinkling linked with photo-aging. Other signs of photo-aging include freckles, leathery texture, dryness, discoloration and drooping skin in areas exposed to the sun. If you are worried about any possible signs of photo-aging, discuss them with a skin expert.
The type of skin you have determines the risk factors for photo-aging. If you have lighter skin, then you fall in the high risk zone. However, if you have a darker skin, the risk of facing skin damage due to sun exposure is low. Also, the damage depends upon the duration and frequency of UV exposure that your skin faces.
Prevention is the best defence against photo-aging. The sooner you start protecting your skin against the harmful rays of the sun, the better it is for your skin. You can prevent premature aging by easy steps-