Environmental Factors Play Key Role in Skin Aging

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THURSDAY, Dec. 24 2009(HealthDay News) — Certain environmental factors are strongly associated with skin aging, according to a twin study in the December issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

Kathryn J. Martires, of the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in Cleveland, and colleagues surveyed and assessed 65 complete twin pairs mostly from Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the northeastern United States at the annual Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio.

The researchers found that photodamage scores were highly correlated among both monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs. They also found that a history of skin cancer, zygosity status (monozygotic versus dizygotic), weight, and cigarette smoking were associated with higher photodamage scores, and that alcohol consumption was associated with lower scores.

“The study of twins provides a unique opportunity to control for genetic susceptibility in order to elucidate environmental influences on skin aging,” the authors conclude. “The relationships found between smoking, weight, sunscreen use, skin cancer, and photodamage in these twin pairs may help to motivate the reduction of risky behaviors.”