Friday, November 12, 2010
White women may be quicker to develop wrinkles after menopause than black women
This may give lighter skinned women yet more reason to protect their skin from sun damage, since that may be a culprit in the earlier signs of aging among white women. It has long been thought that darker skin is likely to be more resistant to the signs of aging than lighter skin, as the melanin in dark skin offers some natural protection against sun damage. But there has been little research into whether there are actual objective racial differences in skin aging. In addition, while skin cells have receptors for estrogen, the extent to which estrogen loss after menopause may contribute to skin aging remains unclear. In a new study, researchers assessed facial wrinkles and skin elasticity in 106 women in their 50s who had gone through menopause within the past few years. The group included 65 white women and 21 African Americans. Wrinkle scores - bestowed by a dermatologist using a standard visual scoring system - were higher among white women, whose average score was nearly double that of black women. In general, however, the women had only mild wrinkling. The researchers also found that among white women, the extent of wrinkling varied with age, but not with time passed since menopause. This, they say, suggests that aging, rather than waning estrogen levels, may be the prime culprit in wrinkle development soon after menopause.