Smoking, weight and not using sunscreen is linked to sun damage and ageing of skin on the face, a new study conducted on twins has shown.
Kathryn J. Martires, of Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, Cleveland, and colleagues studied 65 pairs of twins present at the 2002 annual Twin Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio, to reach the conclusion.
Information was gathered on the subjects' skin type, history of skin cancer, smoking, drinking habits and weight.
Experts then marked each participant with a photodamage score, which is dependent on wrinkling and change in pigmentation.
The results showed that Photodamage scores were correlated among both monozygotic (identical) and dizygotic (fraternal) twins.
The authors said: "The Twins Days Festival provides a rare opportunity to study a large number of twin pairs to control for genetic susceptibility.
"Among the most important results is that a history of skin cancer and photodamage are highly associated in a population that shares genetic commonalities.
"The relationships found between smoking, weight, sunscreen use, skin cancer and photodamage in these twin pairs may help to motivate the reduction of risky behaviors," they added.
The research appears in the December issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.