Photoaging: a Review of Current Literature

Amy H. Huang, Anna L. Chien

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Photoaging, also known as extrinsic aging, consists of premature skin changes secondary to damage caused by chronic sun exposure. This review highlights epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical, and pathological features of photoaging. Recent Findings: UV radiation is the central driver of photoaging. However, there is growing evidence that other environmental factors—including ambient air pollution and visible/infrared light—also play a key role. Furthermore, newer research suggests that skin phototype, ethnicity, and sex can all differentially mediate the process of photoaging. Summary: UV radiation is the primary cause of photoaging, an extrinsic aging of the skin. This process can be exacerbated by other factors including air pollution, visible/infrared light, and endocrine factors. Clinically, decreased skin elasticity (solar elastosis) with wrinkle formation is a characteristic feature. However, differences in the features and timing of presentation may vary by skin phototype, ethnicity, and sex. Prevention through minimizing solar irradiation is key.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Dermatology Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Ethnic skin
  • Extrinsic aging
  • Photoaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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