Objective: To evaluate the effects of long-term hormone therapy (HT) on skin rigidity and wrinkling.
Design: Single blinded cross-sectional analysis.
Setting: Academic medical center.
Patient(s): Sixty-five long-term HT users who underwent menopause at least 5 years before evaluation and who have either consistently used HT or have never used HT.
Intervention(s): Visual assessment of severity of wrinkles at 11 facial locations using the Lemperle scale by a plastic surgeon blinded to HT use. Measurement of skin rigidity at the cheek and forehead with a durometer.
Main outcome measure(s): Lemperle wrinkle score and skin rigidity.
Result(s): Twenty women met inclusion criteria. Eleven women who had not used HT were compared to nine long-term HT users. Demographics including age, race, sun exposure, sunscreen use, tobacco use, and skin type were similar. Rigidity was significantly decreased in HT users compared to nonusers at both the cheek (1.1 vs. 2.7) and forehead (20 vs. 29). Average wrinkle scores were lower in hormone users than in nonhormone users (1.5 vs. 2.2).
Conclusion(s): Long-term postmenopausal HT users have more elastic skin and less severe wrinkling than women who never used HT, suggesting that hormone therapy may have cosmetic benefits.