As the proportion of the aging population in industrialized countries continues to increase, the dermatological concerns of the aged grow in medical importance.
Intrinsic structural changes occur as a natural consequence of aging and are genetically determined. The intrinsic rate of skin aging in any individual can also be dramatically influenced by personal and environmental factors (extrinsic factors), particularly the amount of exposure to ultraviolet light.
UV radiation is part of the natural energy produced by the sun. Two types of UV radiation:
- Ultraviolet A (UVA) has a longer wavelength. It is associated with skin aging. Exposure causes genetic damage to cells.
- Ultraviolet B (UVB) has a shorter wavelength. It is associated with photoaging and penetrates and damages the outermost layers of your skin.
While UVA and UVB rays differ in how they affect the skin, they both do harm. Unprotected exposure to UVA and UVB damages can lead to premature aging.