Intrinsic skin aging occurs with time chronologically. Cumulative external factors (depicted as the “Exposome”) contribute to skin aging by accelerating the change of texture leading to a decrease in elasticity and the development of the typical leathery appearance showing wrinkles and rhytides. The most impressive change in the histological appearance of uv-damaged skin is „clumping“of elastic fibres in upper dermal layers, so called actinic elastosis.
This histopathological study aims to prove that uv-light represents the essential external influence on skin aging by examination of skin biopsies from uv-exposed skin areas versus non-uv-exposed areas.
This could pave the way for fundamental discussion on the added value of preventive actions against visible signs of skin aging like wrinkles and rhytides by application of various kinds of uv-protection to exposed skin from an early age, consequently saving expenses for an array of costly aesthetic procedures.
Biopsies were taken from the neck (uv-exposed) and the buttocks (non-uv-exposed) of eleven under 25-year-old and 30 over 80-year-old corpses within a day after death. In histological slides dermal thickness and presence of elastosis were measured and graded according to a new metric score. Histopathological examination of HE and Elastica-vanGiessonstained slides was performed measuring dermal thickness and using a new metric score for classification of actinic elastosis (RiKoMa-score)
We found statistically significant more actinic elastosis in the skin of the necks of over-80-year-olds compared to their buttocks and the skin of under 25-year-olds whether uv-exposed or not.