Causes & Symptoms

Skin Conditions

Find out more about both common and rare skin conditions, the causes and symptoms and how we can help you treat these conditions


Photoaging is when ultraviolet rays have had an ageing effect on the skin, characterised by an increase of brown spots, wrinkles and the appearance of broken blood vessels. In addition, the skin can also take on a ruddy or yellow tone as well as feeling rough to touch.

Treatment at The Skin Hospital

There are many treatment options, depending on the nature of the skin changes and depending on the skin type. Often, multiple treatments are used together for the best result.

General measures

  • Preventing further sun damage is an important step. Stay out of the sun when the UV rays are most intense (between 11am and 3pm) and cover up with protective clothing and the frequent application of a high factor broad-spectrum sunscreen is crucial.
  • Smoking can lead to a yellowish discolouration of the skin, increased wrinkles and blackhead formation. Stopping smoking can improve your skin quality.
  • Skin that has been exposed to high sun exposure is also more likely to develop skin cancer, therefore we advise regular skin checks.

Medical therapies

Cosmetic creams can help reduce the appearance of photoaging.

  • Over the counter products that contain Vitamin C and alpha-hydroxy acids can help.
  • Creams containing retinoids (vitamin A derivative) can be prescribed to smooth out roughness, fine lines and dyspigmentation in the skin.

Treatments for actinic keratoses (sun spots)

  • Various creams can be used to treat sun spots which are pre-cancerous and cause skin roughness and scaliness. The type of cream and duration of use depends on how much damage there is to your skin (see actinic keratosis page).

Physical therapies

For fine lines and wrinkling:

  • Muscle relaxant injections – Botulinum toxin (Botox or Dysport): This is a short term treatment and to maintain the effect injections are usually required every 3-4 months.
  • Dermal Fillers
  • Fractionated laser (Pearl fractional)
  • Ablative laser (Carbon dioxide/ Erbium)
  • Intense pulsed light (IPL)/ broadband light (BBL)

For pigmentary changes, variable or increased pigmentation, freckles and lentigos (brown spots)

  • Intense pulsed light (IPL)/ broadband light (BBL).
  • Pigment laser
  • Fractionated non-ablative laser

For broken blood vessels and redness

  • Vascular lasers (Nd-Yag, VBeam)
  • Intense pulsed light (IPL)/ broadband light (BBL)

For rough skin

  • Ablative laser (Carbon dioxide/ Erbium)
  • Fractional laser (Pearl fractional)
  • Chemical peels (TCA or glycolic acid peels)

For actinic keratoses (sunspots) and photorejuvenation

  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT) with IPL

Further Information

If you would like further information on photoaging the sites below provide more in-depth descriptions of photoaging:

Facial Rejuvenation – DermNet NZ 

Dermal fillers and augmentation procedures – DermNet NZ

Find a Specialist

All our dermatologists are highly skilled in diagnosing and treating Photoaging. Click on the link below to find a dermatologist who can help you with your skin condition.

General Dermatology