Experiments with mice have shown that after being exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation, being placed in an oxygen chamber resulted in comparatively less signs of aging.
As part of the study, Shigeo Kawada and colleagues from the University of Tokyo, Japan, exposed mice to UVB from a fluorescent lamp three times a week for five weeks, reports New Scientist.
AdvertisementAfter each session half the mice spent two hours in a hyperbaric chamber on 90 per cent oxygen, which increased the amount of oxygen dissolved in their blood.
Following the trial, the mice on oxygen had fewer wrinkles and less thickening of the epidermis than those who had gone untreated.
A number of transcription factors - proteins that bind to specific sections of DNA - play a role in skin damage, including one, which responds to low oxygen levels.
The researchers suggest that when skin is exposed to high-pressure oxygen, it interferes with these pathways, decreasing skin damage.
Dermatologist Richard Weller of the University of Edinburgh, UK, said: "Both UVA and UVB cause skin ageing in humans, but UVA has more influence, so I don't think this is hugely relevant to humans."
The study has been published in American Journal of Physiology.