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Osteoporosis Health Center

Facial Wrinkles Linked to Lower Bone Density

Study Suggests Loss of Collagen in Early Menopause May Weaken Skin and Bones
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Bones and Skin Share Same Protein continued...

"When we looked at the effects of sun exposure on skin, we did not see that women who had more sun exposure had worse skin wrinkles," Pal says.

Laure Rittie, PhD, a research investigator in the department of dermatology photoaging and aging research program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, thinks the researchers could have better controlled for sun exposure by testing skin in other areas.

"It seems like the authors have only assessed wrinkle severity on the face and neck, as opposed to sun-protected skin that would more reflect internal and systemic changes and rule out potential extrinsic confounding factors," she writes in an email to WebMD. 

Possible Inexpensive Way to Screen Bones

Other experts say that while it was a new idea to connect wrinkles and bone health, the finding was worth further investigation.

"I think it's interesting, actually," says Linda A. Russell, MD, a bone health specialist in the department of rheumatology at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

 "We don't do a good job in screening everybody for osteoporosis because you have to get a test called the bone density scan. If we had a cheaper, easier way to at least screen people who should get the bone density, that would be great," Russell says. "If someone walked into your office and they had lots of wrinkles you'd say 'Aha! That's a great person for me to target to get the bone density.'"

The study is scheduled to continue for another year, Pal says, at which time, the study participants will have their skin and bone health assessed again. She hopes further findings will help to confirm this initial observation.

"We have just scratched the surface of this question," she says.

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