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Wrinkles Increase with Sun and Smoking

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

Don't you think that wrinkles are a genetic thing? I mean, the sun causes wrinkles. But, one person will not wrinkle from the sun as much as another person. So, really it's just a case of bad luck or good luck with your genetics. Right?



Dear Pondering,

While it is true that genetics does play a major role in how much or how well a person ages, certain environmental factors will speed up the aging process for every person.

A study of identical twins by Dr. Darrick E. Antell examined external factors that influence the way one ages. Dr. Antell found that environmental factors affected how the twins looked. Specifically, the twin who had more sun exposure or who smoked appeared to be much older than her twin counterpart. Some very dramatic comparison photos are at Dr. Antell's website at

The conclusion: preliminary data indicates external factors influence the way one ages.

For more information about aging, see the letter, "Longevity Tips" below.