Photoaging in Far East Populations
“Far East” populations refer to the people of China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia and Taiwan. The primary difference between photoaging in the Caucasian and Far East Asian skin is attributed to the higher protection conferred by more epidermal melanin in the latter population. Studies have shown that facial wrinkle onset in Asian women is delayed by approximately 10 years compared to Caucasians, appearing around 50 years of age. Melanin acts as a double-edged sword, however. Usually the first sign of photoaging in these populations is pigmented spots. Common pigmentary changes in photoaged Asian skin include solar lentigine, melasma, mottled pigmentation, postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, seborrheic keratosis and idiopathic guttate hypomelanosis. Asian skin is especially susceptible to UVA-induced pigmentation. Wrinkling is also a prominent feature of photodamage, and a significant correlation is found between wrinkles and dyspigmentation in both men and women. Cigarette smoking and sun exposure have multiplicative effects on wrinkling in Asians as well, and women tend to have more severe wrinkles than men, partially attributed to postmenopausal hypoestrogenism.