Of all the signs of aging women experience, facial wrinkles
may be the most distressing. Those crow’s feet, brow furrows, and laugh lines are a constant reminder that we’re not as young as we used to be. Now a new study has found that wrinkles can not only reveal your age, but may also provide hints about the condition of your bones – specifically, your bone density
.Facial wrinkles can predict the health of your bones.
Scientists at Yale University have found that menopausal women’s facial wrinkles can predict bone density. The study included 114 women in their late 40s and 50s. They were within three years of menopause and were not on bone density drug therapy or taking hormone replacements. Women who had cosmetic skin procedures or excessively sun damaged skin were excluded.
Scientists measured the depth and number of the wrinkles of the women’s foreheads, faces and necks. Then they determined bone density by ultrasound and x-ray. Skeletal sites such as hip, spine, lumbar, and heel were tested. Other factors known to affect bone density such as body composition and age were accounted for.
What the researchers determined was that women with the deepest and most numerous wrinkles had the lowest bone density. On the other hand, women with fewer wrinkles and firm skin had greater bone density. Furrows between the brows were the strongest link between wrinkles and bone density.
Lubna Pal, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist at Yale School of Medicine, stated, “Women need to be aware that our skin is giving us a glimpse of what’s happening inside our skeleton.”The common link between skin and bones.
If you’re wondering how the skin can offer clues as to the condition of bones, it is because they share common building blocks called collagen
. Most women know that collagen diminishes with aging, and this causes the skin to wrinkle and sag. What you may not know is that the same changes in collagen also affect the quality of bones.
This study is important because it shows an association between early skin wrinkling and decreased bone density. Though early wrinkling doesn’t actually cause low bone density, the new finding suggests doctors could better identify postmenopausal women at risk for bone fracture.