Noninvasive methods for the assessment of photoageing

Authors

  • Laura Wheller,

    1. Dermatology Research Centre, The University of Queensland, School of Medicine, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • Lynlee L Lin,

    1. Dermatology Research Centre, The University of Queensland, School of Medicine, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • Eric Chai,

    1. Dermatology Research Centre, The University of Queensland, School of Medicine, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • Sudipta Sinnya,

    1. Dermatology Research Centre, The University of Queensland, School of Medicine, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • H Peter Soyer,

    1. Dermatology Research Centre, The University of Queensland, School of Medicine, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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  • Tarl W Prow

    Corresponding author
    1. Dermatology Research Centre, The University of Queensland, School of Medicine, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    • Correspondence: Dr Tarl W Prow, Dermatology Research Centre, University of Queensland, School of Medicine, Princess Alexandra Hospital, 199 Ipswich Road, Brisbane, QLD 4102, Australia. Email: t.prow@uq.edu.au

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  • Laura Wheller, MBBS. Lynlee L Lin, BSc. Eric Chai, MBBS. Sudipta Sinnya, MBBS. H Peter Soyer, MD. Tarl W Prow, PhD,
  • Conflict of interest: none.

Abstract

Although histopathological dermal elastosis is the current gold standard for the diagnosis of photoageing, noninvasive methods for quantifying the amount of photodamage to skin are clearly preferable. This study is the first to survey five noninvasive methods of assessing photoageing (clinical examination, spectrophotometry, skin surface topography, reflectance confocal microscopy and fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy) in the same individual. Measurements for each noninvasive method were compared across nine individuals from three participant groups (‘younger’, ‘older’ and ‘photodamaged’) in UV-protected volar and UV-exposed dorsal forearm skin. Overall, participants in the younger group had the lowest measures of photodamage, while those in the photodamaged group had the highest, as indicated by each modality. The five noninvasive strategies surveyed in this study may demonstrate potential as a suitable methodology for the quantification of photoageing. The advantage of such noninvasive methods is that they allow for skin visualisation in vivo and repeated assessments of the same site. The main limitation of this study was its small sample size, which may have precluded many findings of statistical significance.

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