Purpose of review
In recent years, many new products and techniques have arisen that are useful in the rejuvenation of facial skin. Most of the therapies are directed at improving the results of photoaging. These cutaneous changes occur from chronic exposure to ultraviolet B light (290 to 320 nm) associated with sunburn, and ultraviolet AII light (320 to 340 nm), and ultraviolet AI light (340 to 400 nm) associated with photoaging. Clinically chronic photoaging may result in fine wrinkles, texture abnormalities, pigment dyschromias, and actinic keratoses.
Many methods of patient assessment are available, but the most useful include the Fitzpatrick skin type classification and the Glogau photoaging scale. Although many therapies are available to reduce or even reverse many of these aging changes, patient education regarding lifestyle changes (especially smoking cessation) and sun avoidance need to be a critical foundation of treatment. Indeed, patient participation in their own skin care regimen is important for any program to be effective. Topical therapy including tretinoins, hydroxy acids, bleaching agents, and sunscreens are discussed herein.
The physician has an important role in understanding which treatment options are appropriate for mild, moderate, and severe photoaging, and in educating patients on the risks and benefits of each. This includes resurfacing modalities with microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and laser skin resurfacing.