My Skin Centre

What is Photoaging?

When we think about the effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, the increased risk of skin cancer is the number one concern. However, it isn’t the only thing to worry about because premature ageing has a direct link to sunlight. Wrinkles, pigmentation and those fine lines may not be entirely preventable, but they can be slowed by implementing sun smart measures.

Skin damage caused by UV radiation is called Photoaging:

What is Photoaging?

Photoaging, also known as dermatoheliosis, can be a consequence of repeated exposure to the sun or solariums. This is different to typical aging processes as the changes to the skin are abnormal and the underlying structure is altered. Up to 90% of visible aging that occurs on those who have poor sun habits could be prevented. UVB rays are the biggest culprit, but UVA can also play a part.

Who is at Risk?

Anyone who has had regular exposure to UV rays is at risk of developing signs of photoaging. For those with fair skin and burn easily, this can progress more rapidly. While aging is something we often associate with mature skin, people may notice signs of photoaging as early as their 20s.

Consider that working outdoors, or playing  sports in the hot Australian summer sun such as tennis or cricket can also increase the risk.

What Does it Look Like?

The appearance of photoaging can vary from person to person, but might include:

  • Spider veins
  • Pigmentation and freckles
  • Sun spots
  • Loss of skin tone
  • Wrinkles
  • Deep lines on the forehead
  • Permanent frown lines
  • Redness and scaling
  • Rough patches
  • Dry skin
  • A sallow or leathery appearance
  • Dilated blood vessels

Common areas are those which are regularly exposed to the sun such as the face, neck, decolletage (upper chest) and the back of your hands.  

Steps for Prevention

The steps for prevention are the same as you would take to avoid sunburn and skin cancer. Always wear a hat and the right amount of sunscreen. Pick your times to go outside, find shade and keep yourself covered up. Sunglasses can help to prevent wrinkles which commonly occur around the eye area. Even while travelling in the car you are at risk, so making sun protection a daily habit is key to years of beautiful skin.

Can Photoaging be Treated?

Prevention is always better than cure. Currently photoaging can be treated with anti-wrinkle injections, laser chemical peels or  microdermabrasion. If you are noticing the signs of photoaging due to UV exposure, you are also at an increased risk of developing new moles and skin cancer. It is important to monitor your skin for any changes, and if you are concerned or notice anything unusual, please seek the help of a professional.


At My Skin Centre we specialise in skin and mole checks, and have 9 convenient locations in Perth. If you have been frequently exposed to the sun we recommend regular skin checks. We are able to detect and remove skin cancer, and offer education on how to care for your skin in the sun. Please contact us today to book an appointment.