Sunlight damages human skin, resulting in a wrinkled appearance. Since natural sunlight is polychromatic, its ultimate effects on the human skin are the result of not only the action of each wavelength separately, but also interactions among the many wavelengths, including UV, visible light, and infrared (IR). In direct sunlight, the temperature of human skin rises to about 40 degrees C following the conversion of absorbed IR into heat. So far, our knowledge of the effects of IR radiation or heat on skin aging is limited. Recent work demonstrates that IR and heat exposure each induces cutaneous angiogenesis and inflammatory cellular infiltration, disrupts the dermal extracellular matrix by inducing matrix metalloproteinases, and alters dermal structural proteins, thereby adding to premature skin aging. This review provides a summary of current research on the effects of IR radiation and heat on aging in human skin in vivo.Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings (2009) 14, 15-19; doi:10.1038/jidsymp.2009.7.
Cho S, Shin MH, Kim YK, Seo JE, Lee YM, Park CH, Chung JH. Effects of infrared radiation and heat on human skin aging in vivo. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2009 Aug;14(1):15-9. doi: 10.1038/jidsymp.2009.7. PMID: 19675547.