Kathryn J. Martires, B.A., of Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, Cleveland, who led the study together with her colleagues analyzed the data of 65 pairs of twins, who were present at 2002 annual Twin Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio. The scientists asked the total of 130 participants to complete a survey, including the information on their skin type, smoking and drinking habits, weight and the history of skin cancer.
Then the scientists evaluated the level of photodamage level of the participant's skin, based on such characteristics as wrinkling and changes in skin pigmentation. Photodamage results in increased wrinkling, appearance of additional pigmentation or loss of pigmentation, as well as enlarged blood vessels on the face.
The results of the study showed that such factors as the history of skin cancer, excessive weight, smoking and not using the sunscreen were linked to higher photodamage level, while alcohol consumption was associated with lower photodamage level.
It is known that around in 40 percent of cases earlier skin ageing is caused by non-genetic factors. Previous studied showed that sun exposure leads to a number of significant changes in the skin, including photodamage and skin cancer.
The study was published in the December issue of Archives of Dermatology.