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October 1988

In Vivo Fluorescence of Human Skin: A Potential Marker of Photoaging

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology (Drs Leffell and Milstone) and Medicine, Section of Cardiology (Dr Deckelbaum and Mr Stetz), Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, and the Veterans Administration Medical Center, West Haven, Conn.

Arch Dermatol. 1988;124(10):1514-1518. doi:10.1001/archderm.1988.01670100016005

• Fluorescence is a feature of elastin and collagen, both major compounds of human dermis that are altered by age and photoexposure. We studied the intrinsic fluorescence of skin in vivo in 28 human volunteers to determine whether photoaging and chronologic aging of the skin could be evaluated by this noninvasive technique. We demonstrate that the excitation of skin autofluorescence by laser ultraviolet radiation yields characteristic tissue fluorescence spectra that are unrelated to age, pigmentation, or skin thickness. The differences in skin autofluorescence appear to be related to photoexposure. Thus, laser-induced fluorimetry, a noninvasive technique, may be adaptable as a marker of photoaging.

(Arch Dermatol 1988;124:1514-1518)