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Keywords:

  • twin study;
  • skin aging;
  • environmental factors

Summary

Twin studies, especially those involving monozygotic (MZ) twins, facilitate the analysis of factors affecting skin aging while controlling for age, gender, and genetic susceptibility. The purpose of this study was to objectively assess various features of facial skin and analyze the effects of environmental factors on these features in MZ twins. At the Osaka Twin Research Center, 67 pairs of MZ twins underwent medical interviews and photographic assessments, using the VISIA® Complexion Analysis System. First, the average scores of the right and left cheek skin spots, wrinkles, pores, texture, and erythema were calculated; the differences between the scores were then compared in each pair of twins. Next, using the results of medical interviews and VISIA data, we investigated the effects of environmental factors on skin aging. The data were analyzed using Pearson's correlation coefficient test and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. The intrapair differences in facial texture scores significantly increased as the age of the twins increased (P = 0.03). Among the twin pairs who provided answers to the questions regarding history differences in medical interviews, the twins who smoked or did not use skin protection showed significantly higher facial texture or wrinkle scores compared with the twins not exposed to cigarettes or protectants (P = 0.04 and 0.03, respectively). The study demonstrated that skin aging among Japanese MZ twins, especially in terms of facial texture, was significantly influenced by environmental factors. In addition, smoking and skin protectant use were important environmental factors influencing skin aging.