(HealthDay News) – Visual evidence in identical twins shows that smoking hastens facial aging, particularly in the middle and lower thirds of the face, according to research published in the November issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Haruko C. Okada, MD, of the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and colleagues examined photographs to determine differences in facial features and wrinkling between smoking and nonsmoking identical twins or identical pairs with one twin who smoked at least five years longer. A panel of three judges graded wrinkles and scored age-related facial features of the identical twins without knowledge of their smoking histories.

The researchers found that twins who smoked had worse scores for upper eyelid skin redundancy, lower lid bags, malar bags, nasolabial folds, upper lip wrinkles, lower lip vermillion wrinkles, and jowls. Twins who smoked at least five years longer had worse scores for lower lid bags, malar bags, and lower lip vermillion wrinkles than their siblings.

“It is noteworthy that even among sets of twins where both are smokers, a difference in five years or more of smoking duration can cause visibly identifiable changes in facial aging,” the authors write.

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