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Actinic elastosis

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Other names

Actinic elastosis is also known as solar elastosis

Micrograph of actinic keratosis
Micrograph of actinic keratosis

What is actinic elastosis?

As the name suggests, (actinic = SUN), it involves excess production and eventual accumulation of a protein called elastin in the dermis of the skin, or in the conjunctiva of the eye


The cause of actinic elastosis is due to cumulative effects of prolonged and excessive sun exposure

Solar elastosis
Solar elastosis


Actinic elastosis is part of photoaging.

Signs and symptoms

Actinic elastosis appears as thickened, dry, wrinkled skin.


In the earlier stages, elastic fiber proliferation can be seen in the dermis. As it progresses, the collagen fibers of the papillary dermis and reticular dermis become replaced by thickened and curled fibers that form tangled masses and appear basophilic under routine haematoxylin and eosin staining.


Treatment options include: dermabrasion topical application of retinoic acid carbon dioxide laser resurfacing hyaluronic acid injection into the dermis imiquimod tacrolimus ointment and topical oestrogen therapy.


The most effective prevention strategy for photoaging remains minimization of sun exposure, through use of sunscreen and other sun exposure avoidance measures.


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