Can UV exposure affect ageing in skin genes?

Study summary

Ageing skin displays a number of changes that contribute to wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity. Photoageing is the acceleration of this natural ageing process caused by exposure to sunlight and sun beds.

Epigenetics describes the control of a person’s genes by factors other than the sequence of their DNA. It is possible that exposure to sunlight can affect genes by switching them ‘on’ or ‘off’ in the skin.

Who can take part?

Adults between the ages of 18-30 or 65 and older who have:

  • white (caucasian) skin
  • a BMI between 18-34.9

There are also a number of people who may not take part including: sunbed users, smokers, pregnant or breastfeeding women, diabetics, drug users, shift workers, those with a history of keloid scars, users of topical or systemic retinoids or steroids, anyone currently taking anticoagulant medication, anyone who has been tattooed within the last month, anyone with a skin disease or any employees of the study site or sponsor.

What will the research involve?

Volunteers will be asked to return daily to the clinic for up to twelve days (excluding weekends). They will be asked to complete a short lifestyle questionnaire and to provide a brief medical history.

The study will then commence as follows:

  • On the first day, a small blood sample will be taken. The investigator will identify how sensitive volunteers are to sunlight. This is done by exposing the lower back/buttock to increasing amounts of artificial sunlight (provided by a machine called a solar simulator).
  • The next day, the investigator will see how much sunlight is needed to produce just visible skin reddening. Once the researchers know how sensitive volunteers are to sunlight, they will irradiate four areas of the buttock.
  • These doses will be repeated every day for a maximum of 10 days.
  • Twenty-four hours following the final application of sunlight, skin biopsies will be taken.


Where will the research take place?

Dermatopharmacology Department, 1st Floor Barnes Building, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

Posted on 13th March 2017 by Jess Zadik

Share this study

Study Information Sheets

Study Summary

PDF IconCan UV exposure affect ageing in skin genes? [info]

Study References

Ethics approved references for this study are listed below

  • UREC: 16112