Smoking Effects Compared on Identical Twins

The twin on the right is a smoker; the twin on the left is a nonsmoker. Notice differences in nasolabial creases.

The twin on the right is a smoker; the twin on the left is not. Notice differences in nasolabial creases.

*Results may vary

Dr. Delgado has emphasized the dangers of smoking for the surgery patient throughout his website and blogs.

Besides the risks of pneumonia, cardiac arrest, heart attack, and stroke, the effects of what smoking can do to the skin has recently been reported in a study published in “Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery,” the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Each year, there is a “Twins Day Festival” held in Twinsburg, Ohio, which is the world’s largest gathering of twins. The festival has; entertainment, arts and crafts booths, games for the kids, a food court and a beer tent for the adults. In addition, there is a Research Plaza where twins can volunteer to participate in different research projects in return for a gift bag or modest monetary compensation.

The event provided an excellent opportunity for researchers to do a comparison of facial changes caused by smoking between smoking and non-smoking identical twins. The study compared 79 pairs of twins from the years 2007 to 2010. The comparison had one twin that smoked or at least smoked 5 years or more than the other twin.Both twins are smokers. The twin on the right smoked 14 years longer than his brother.

Both twins are smokers. The twin on the right smoked 14 years longer than his brother.

The judges viewed photographs and questionnaires by the participants and rated their findings on the Lemperle Assessment Scale, which is the gold standard for measuring wrinkles.

The results showed that smoking causes noticeable differences in facial aging. The upper and lower eyelids, nasolabial folds (crease between the nose and mouth) and the jowls were the most obvious. The top third of the face, including the forehead and “crow’s feet” did not show much difference.

It was interesting for the researchers to note that even 5 years of smoking made a visible difference.

Due to health risks, patients who smoke seeking cosmetic plastic surgery for any procedure such as: breast revision, tummy tuck, liposuction, and gynecomastia, must quit a minimum of 2 weeks before surgery and not resume for a minimum of 2 weeks after surgery. With the results of this study it is hoped that patients will not resume smoking knowing it will cause adverse effects to their skin in the future, not to mention the continued health risks.

If you are considering facial rejuvenation or a facelift, call or email today for a consultation at (415) 898-4161 to find out what options are available to you.

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Dr. Miguel Delgado


Dr. Delgado, MD is a world-recognized plastic surgeon and specialist in the treatment of male breast enlargement, also called gynecomastia. He has developed new techniques and owns and operates, which has become the largest gynecomastia forum in the world. Dr. Delgado holds the two most coveted credentials; the certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and membership in the American Society of Plastic Surgery.

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