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    Volunteers needed for research into skin stress

    Researchers are investigating the impact of psychological stress on ageing of the skin. Dermatologists know that ageing of the skin is influenced by external environmental factors including sun exposure and smoking and the natural ageing process of the skin. However to date there has been little research into the effects of psychological stress on ageing of the skin.

    The research is being undertaken by The University of Manchester Dermatology and Psychology Research Centres in conjunction with Laboratoire Clarins. Researchers are looking for 140 Caucasian (white skinned) women, aged 25-40 years to have their skin measured and assessed by the Visia photographic system. The Visia system takes multiple photographs of the face in order to measure fine lines and wrinkles.

    Interested volunteers will need to complete a brief screening survey in order to assess suitability for the research, and investigate recent use of sun beds or health issues which may influence the research. The assessments will take part at either the Dermatopharmacology Unit (Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust) or the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility (Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust) and will last about 1 hour. Volunteers will complete an online survey asking questions about stress and sleep quality. They will also need to complete a brief sleep diary, and participate in a clinical interview regarding their health and medical history. Finally a blood sample will be analysed by isolating DNA to look at epigenetic signatures, which are markers of age-related changes.

    Dr Rachel Watson is leading the research in Manchester and Wai Yeung, from the University’s Centre for Dermatology Research is organising recruitment.  Mr Yeung said, “People are increasingly leading stressful lives with disrupted sleep patterns and we believe that this could have specific and measurable effects.

    “The results from the research should allow us to understand the skin ageing process better and could lead to new treatments and products.”

    All participants will be reimbursed £50 for participating in the study. More information is available here.

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