A New Wrinkle in Bone Health

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user Szakalová Edina

The eyes may be windows to the soul, but those darn wrinkles may be a window on bone health. In one of the more interesting studies presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, Dr. Lubna Pal revealed evidence of an association between bone density and skin wrinkling.

In postmenopausal women, the appearance of the skin might offer a glimpse at the skeletal well-being, a relationship not previously described,” she said in a press statement. “This information may allow the possibility of identifying postmenopausal women at fracture risk at a glance, without dependence on costly tests.”

Dr. Pal and her coinvestigators gave 114 postmenopausal women a score for face and neck wrinkles (based on the number of sites and depth). They also attempted to measure skin rigidity, using a durometer. Bone mineral density was measured with dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). The researchers found a significant association between wrinkle severity and bone density, so that more severe wrinkling was associated with lower bone density.

It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds though. After all, skin and bone share some common building blocks — collagen. Changes in collagen with age may affect both skin and bone.

Of course, such a correspondence holds only for those who refrain from Botox, fillers, peels, and plastic surgery — all bets are off then.

Kerri Wachter

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Filed under Dermatology, Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, IMNG, The Mole

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