Smokers Age Faster, Have More Wrinkles Than Non-Smokers

By Staff Reporter, Parent Herald October 29, 11:33 pm
TAG smoke

In case you needed another reason to quit smoking, researchers say smokers tend to get bags under their eyes and wrinkles around their lips earlier than non-smokers.

The study, published Tuesday in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, researchers analyzed 79 identical twin pairs and found the smoking twin's facial skin aged prematurely. In each pair, either one twin smoked and the other did not, or one twin smoked at least five years longer. Fifty-seven of the twin pairs were women; the average age was 48.

Dr. Bahman Guyuron, a plastic surgeon in Cleveland, Ohio, and the lead author of the study used the annual Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio (the "Largest Annual Gathering of Twins in the World) to collect the data. The researchers found the twin that went on to smoke had saggy upper eyelids, more bags on the lower eyelids and under the eyes, more facial wrinkles, more pronounced lines between the nose and mouth and more wrinkling around the upper and lower lips than the non-smoking twin.

The reason smoking increases the visible aging process, smoking reduces oxygen to the skin, which also decreases blood circulation, and that can result in weathered, wrinkled, older-looking skin, said Dr. Bahman Guyuron.

"We tell people, as soon as they stop smoking, the repair to not only to their skin but their lungs, their heart vessels -- it starts to repair itself," says Dr. Robin Ashinoff, medical director of of dermatologic surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.  

A professional photographer took close-up photographs of each twin's face. The twins also completed questionnaires regarding their medical and lifestyle histories.

Without knowledge of the twins' smoking history, plastic surgeons analyzed the twins' facial features, including grading of wrinkles and age-related facial features.

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