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Women's skin ages faster than men's: study

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#1 doug123

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 01:57 AM

News source

Women's skin ages faster than men's: study


TORONTO - Women's skin ages faster than men's, according to a German study using a new laser-based technique to measure damage from sun exposure and aging.

The study, published in Optics Letters, a journal of the Optical Society of America, was based on a new technique in which doctors shine pulses of infrared laser light to look at the deeper layers of the skin and measure aging.

The imaging of collagen and elastin, whose degeneration causes wrinkles and loss of smoothness, found that women lose collagen faster than men.

"The dependence appeared to be sex-dependent, with women's skin losing collagen at faster rates than men's," according to the researchers from Germany's Freidrich Schiller University in Jena and the Fraunhofer Institute of Biomedical Technology in St. Ingbert.

Collagens are a group of proteins in the dermis, the connective tissue layer of the skin, and are responsible for the strength of skin. The human body makes a lot of collagen in youth but production declines with aging.

Currently, dermatologists who want to examine a patient's collagen network in the dermis have to remove a sample of tissue and look at it under a microscope.

Authors of the study said this new non-invasive test might one day help in testing anti-aging cosmetic products as well as in the study of skin diseases that affect the collagen structure.

Copyright 2006 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Copyright © 2006 ABC News Internet Ventures

#2 Anne

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 02:06 AM

I'd believe it. I've noticed that women do tend to have thinner skin; that might have something to do with more collagen loss.

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#3 kylyssa

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 11:17 PM

All the more reason to avoid the light of day, LOL.

#4 Anne

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 06:21 AM

Well, I do spend more time indoors than out, and I've been sunscreening my face daily (even when I spend the whole day indoors!) for several years now. I'm not sure how much good it's doing, but I can't imagine it can hurt. And most people are surprised to hear my age, though being short and tending to wear Star Wars t-shirts probably contributes to that. :)

#5 FunkOdyssey

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 02:22 PM

I've always noticed that older men's skin seemed to be in better shape than women of the same age. Any idea why women lose collagen faster?

#6 Anne

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 03:19 PM

Possibly hormones.

#7 sentrysnipe

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 04:38 PM

does it have anything to do with the sex cells? possibly because men produce sperm cells everyday whereas women's egg cells aren't replaced by new ones on a daily basis hence the egg cells are as old as the woman's age while sperm cells are always a day old?

#8 Anne

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 07:57 PM

Also, there's the fact that women have tended (at least in Western civilization for the past few decades) to engage in activities like tanning, whether on the beach or in tanning beds. I'm sure that statistically, women are more likely than men to purposely attempt to tan their skin, which could certainly result in degeneration. But I still suspect something hormonal as well, though I'm sure the sun damage doesn't help matters.

I doubt it has anything to do with sperm or eggs. The study wasn't about an overall faster aging of women; it was specifically about collagen loss in the skin. Which, though possibly mediated to some extent by hormones, doesn't seem to be relevant to gamete turnover. I'm really suspecting some kind of hormone connection here -- birth control pills are actually taken for dermatological reasons sometimes (since they tend to clear up acne) and excess testosterone can increase acne and result in hair thinning on top of the head (in conjunction with profuse growth of body hair). I think I read something about testosterone causing skin thickening as well but I'll need to check sources on that.

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