Sun-induced Aging of the Skin: Prevention and Treatment

G. Daniel Schachter, MD, FRCPC, DABD, Consultant Dermatologist, Sunnybrook & Women's College Health Sciences Centre and St. John's Rehabilitation Hospital; Lecturer, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON.

During the past century, the amount of time spent at leisure and exposed to the sun has increased, yet we have also become increasingly aware of the detrimental effects of the sun. The skin ages slowly (intrinsic, chronologic aging), but this process is enhanced or accelerated by sun exposure (extrinsic aging, photoaging). The features of photoaging will be presented, followed by the importance of the prevention of sun damage by sun avoidance and use of sunscreens. Methods of treating or reversing photodamage will be reviewed, including topical agents, chemical peels and use of lasers and other light sources.
Key words: photoaging, ultraviolet radiation, prevention, sunscreen, skin rejuvenation.