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Does Your Home State Increase Your Risk of Wrinkles?

woman-looking-mapSun exposure, bad weather, the natural aging process; it seems like everything is working against your skin. But did you know that where you live may also be playing a part in how quickly your skin will age?

Recently, dermatologic researchers created a state-by-state assessment of how different influences can increase the risk of wrinkles in various locales.

Wondering where your home state falls? Check out their findings below.

Determining Wrinkle Risk

Researchers used a list of specific factors to determine wrinkle risk, including:

  • UV exposure (based on local cloud cover, latitude, and elevation)
  • Demographics, including race and ethnicity
  • High and low temperature extremes
  • Average commute times
  • Rate of smoking

Taking all of these factors into account, they were able to create a “Wrinkle Index” that measures a state’s risk of aging and skin damage.

Which States Have the Highest Risk of Wrinkles?

If you live in New York, there’s bad news: your state has the highest wrinkle risk thanks to high stress levels and long commute times. Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Colorado, and Massachusetts join New York as the top 5. Alaska, on the other hand, has the least wrinkle risk on the list, along with other states in the Pacific Northwest.

Here are a few more interesting tidbits:

  • Washington DC has the lowest rate of skin cancer out of all the states, but scores high for pollution, long work hours, and binge drinking.
  • Think perpetually sunny states are high risk? Think again! Hawaii, Florida, and California all fall near the bottom of the list.
  • Southeastern and midwestern states ranked higher due to the prevalence of smoking and unhealthy eating.
  • Ethnicity plays a pretty big role in your personal risk for skin damage. Northern Europeans, for instance, have a higher level of risk.
  • Us Marylanders fall near the top of list at #9!

If you’re wondering about your state’s wrinkle risk, read the full article here.

Preventing or Undoing Skin Damage

Whether your home state ranks high or low compared with others, don’t gamble with your skin—in the end, reducing wrinkles and skin cancer risk depends on us as individuals and our habits. Here are things we can all do to help maintain your skin health:

  1. Understand the risks around you and adjust your habits accordingly. Long commute? Be sure that SPF is part of your daily routine and that you are particularly careful to apply plenty on the driver’s side of your face (it will see more sun during the hours you are on the road).
  2. Learn about your skin by learning about yourself. Knowing your heritage and how your ethnicity contributes to your skin damage risk can help you compensate in the right ways.
  3. Schedule an appointment with a skincare professional to assess your skin health and personal risk. The input of an experienced, board certified plastic surgeon, dermatologist, or licensed aesthetician can be invaluable in treating your skin or preventing further damage.

If you’re hoping to undo signs of aging or learn more about your skin, contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Garazo. Not only can he help design a treatment plan that combats the most common signs of aging, Dr. Garazo also can work with you and your dermatologist if you require skin cancer removal surgery. As your largest organ, your skin is worth protecting—no matter where you are in the world.

You might also like:

  1. Our field guide to moles and cancer prevention. Free pdf download. Spoiler alert: If you are curious about your moles, please come in and get them checked.
  2. Use our skin cancer self exam checklist alongside the field guide to moles. Free pdf download.
  3. An explanation of your skin cancer treatment options.
  4. Dr. Garazo offers a version of mohs surgery. Read all about why you might choose a plastic surgeon to perform mohs surgery.


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(301) 791-1800
Call us at 301-791-1800