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The Ageing Effect of UV on the Skin

Updated: Jan 3


UV light induce the formation of free radicals in the skin causing oxidative stress and immunosuppression through the depletion of Langerhans' cells and antigen activity.

UV rays damage the DNA of skin cells which ultimately effects the growth and synthesis of new cells and can lead to apoptosis.

UVA rays penetrate the skin; deep into the dermis, damaging the collagen fibers. This leads to the increase of the production of elastin. The unusual amounts of elastin; result in large amounts of abnormal elastic materials in the skin. This further leads to the production of enzymes known as metalloproteinases which role is to repair damaged collagen. However, due to the inadequate synthesis of the proteins required for the correct assembly of the elastic fibers. The enzymes metalloproteinases can end up incorrectly restoring the skin.

According to A. C. Weihermann ‘’ aged skin is characterized by a loss of hydration, rough texture, irregular pigmentation, yellowish colour, telangiectasia, deep wrinkles or furrows, dermal thinning and fine lines’’.

These symptoms are accelerated by exposure to UV radiation.

UVB rays damage the outermost layers of the skin. It can produce sunburn and play a large role in producing skin cancers including malignant melanomas due to the damaged DNA which causes gene mutation and the formation of cancerous cells.


UVB can also accelerate the ageing of the skin. Chronic UVB exposure has been linked to the development of actinic keratoses as well as squamous cell carcinoma.


UVA can penetrate deeper than UVB rays, which means they can affect cells deeper in the skin and also play a role in the production of skin cancers. Because UVA penetrates deeper it plays a larger role in the premature ageing of the skin including wrinkle formation and photosensitivity.


Because UV rays stimulate melanocyte activity in the skin which usually produce a tan can lead to hyperpigmentation problems, as well as pre-malignant growths such as keratosis.

According to the World Health Organisation ‘’UVB radiation appears to reduce the effectiveness of the immune system’’. This is worrying so it is advised to protect your skin from UV ray by wearing SPF50 daily


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Written by Angela Blemmings

Company Director

EyeCandy Training Ltd




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