The 'Netherlands Consortium for Healthy Ageing' is a partnership between universities, government - through the Netherlands Genomics Initiative - and big companies like Unilever. Tamar Nijsten, dermatologist at Erasmus MC, stands at the forefront of that research that involves the skin. "Extremely exciting," said Nijsten. An interview about healthy aging, the genes behind aging, the relationship between skin and appearance, and the relationship between the condition of the skin and the medical well-being and their own sense.

What is the predictive value of wrinkles?
"The theme 'healthy aging' is very trendy. However, this study is special. Normally we leave as researchers often go from a disease. From there we are looking for the course of the disorder and the best possible treatment, but also teaches this us something about how the normal zoumoeten expired. This large-scale study, we have made a change in our thinking. We do not look at aging as a disease, no,
we consider the phenomenon as a normal aging process, map it there and try to learn lessons and understand. diseases better "Coincidence" We are more or less geraakt.We happen to be involved in this investigation did all research wrinkling of the skin , in the context of a possible risk assessment of getting skin cancer. Thus we get involved in this large-scale study. This broadening and deepening of course I applaud only increase. "

How aging skin anyway?
"During the aging cell division in the skin, decreases reduces collagen production and change the elastin fibers of structure. They are stiffer The visible changes are a decrease in sebum production - and the moisture content - which is why many elderly suffer from dry skin and decreased elasticity of the skin. the thickness of the epidermis decreases and the subcutaneous adipose tissue is thinner. The result is that the skin is flaccid and puckering ".

What are the main intrinsic and extrinsic factors in skin aging?
"The intrinsic factors is the least well known, except that the Eemmeer genetic predisposition than the other and that a few are aging syndromes with specific gene defects no mistake: we look in our profession to the outside - the skin - and. must then guess at what is happening on the inside of the extrinsic factors is more famous:. exposure to sunlight and smoking are the two main factors that make aging skin Other things play a role, diet, hormonal changes such. in transition and body weight. It will be clear that an obese person has less wrinkles than the slender fellow man. "

How do the intrinsic and extrinsic factors are relative to each other?
"We do not know yet. Nevertheless, we hope to present both factors. Within a model Ever ..."

So distant future?
His ambition refutes this immediately: "No I really hope we can develop, in which the interaction is clearly such a model within two to four years.".

Inner and outer skin aging Says something about the general state of health?
"Little is known. Still little known ... It's all very spannend.We here in Rotterdam, the privilege of the Rotterdam Study (ERGO Research) is still running. Herein are about 15,000 people, many years followed. About that people have a lot of data collected, especially in medical and genetic region, but also in terms of behavior. This research is mainly on the 'inside', such as, heart disease, dementia, eye disorders and so on. Within that group people we now look at the condition of the skin and how to develop wrinkles, pigmentation formation and elasticity of blood vessels decreases. It would be really great fun if there is a link to explain falls between the condition of the skin and internal medical condition. It would also give more respect dermatology, because then you can on the outside a bit already predict how the aging process on the inside verloopt.Maar whether we are really able to make that connection, I can not say "with certainty.

Old or young?
The saying goes: a man is as old as he feels ... Is that right?
"Nobody has looked particularly from psychological side, and I'm well aware of the literature in this regard What we do is opt for research with hard parameters:. Fenotype.We the show a large group of people see some pictures of human faces. We know of those people in the pictures how old they are, and where they are in their lives exposed. We then ask the panelists to make the age. Naturally arisen over differences, an estimate one group of people will be under estimated be, the other group exactly parent. And part will of course be a correct age estimate. We are curious which factors make it clear that a person under the age or older is estimated. It may be clear that also the pharmaceutical industry with great interest waiting for the results of this study ". Not only "Of course we can all do this only within Erasmus MC's do this research in close cooperation with the Department of Epidemiology and the Department of Forensic Molecular Biology at the last department -.. Headed by Manfred Kayser - one is working from a drop of blood to detect that say something about the look of someone So all kinds of genetic factors his skin color, eye color, and who knows -. ever - on of the skin, aging or getting wrinkles This cross-fertilization between. various departments is particularly fruitful. "

Let us return to the big culprit in aging, the sun. Running red haired people more at risk for skin change by their extra sensitivity to sunlight?
"With my common sense is that easy to answer. When redheaded people would sit as normale'mensen, they would certainly be more susceptible to skin change. Equally long in the sun But that does not happen because most redheads their tanning behavior long have adapted" .

Does rubbing with sunscreen creams?'s Sense your life
"Absolutely, because it helps prevent aging of the skin and takes away many risks of getting skin cancer. You know what the best 'invention' in the context of the prevention of wrinkles?" I'm curious ... "Recently it has been added to regular day cream a little sunscreen. So who buys for his wife good moisturizer, helps ensure that they keep a healthy and good skin."
Pauses. "Nobody knows that!"

Thanks to Skin magazine in June 2012.

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