A Review of the Evidence for Intrinsic Ethnic Differences as Important Determinants of Skin Aging and Carcinogenesis: A Hope For All Ethnicities

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Stephanie Chan
Jodie Saski
Abrar Qureshi
Grace Giordano
Nicholas Brownstone
John Koo


aging, skin of color, dna repair, dna damage


By the year 2030, an estimated 1 in every 5 US residents will be over 65 years of age. Skin aging, which encompasses an entire spectrum of changes starting with fine rhytids (wrinkles), discolorations, and benign keratoses, progressing to deeper wrinkles, pre-cancerous lesions, and eventually skin cancers is of particular interest in dermatology. Skin pigmentation, or lack of it, is thought to be the most important determinant of how quickly (or slowly) people age. However, there is data suggesting that this may not be the case and other factors, such as ethnic differences in DNA repair may also play a major role. This article reviews available data on the differential aging process by ethnic background. The findings strongly suggest that there are other important determinants of aging besides skin color where future research may suggest ways to slow or reverse skin aging which can possibly benefit all ethnicities.


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