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J M Seddon, K M Egan, Y Zhang, E J Gelles, R J Glynn, C A Tucker, E S Gragoudas; Evaluation of skin microtopography as a measure of ultraviolet exposure.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1992;33(6):1903-1908.
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A pilot study was conducted to investigate the use of skin microtopography as a semiquantitative noninvasive method for estimating cumulative sun exposure in epidemiologic studies of eye disease. The subjects received a kit through the mail containing materials needed to make a replica of the skin texture of a sun-exposed area of the hand. Each subject previously had undergone a skin biopsy around the same site to evaluate elastotic degeneration, and all were interviewed about past sun exposures. A gradable skin impression was obtained from 96 of 115 (83%) participants after two mailings. The impressions were graded according to the degree of skin texture alteration using standard photographs; interobserver reliability was 0.73 using a weighted kappa statistic. The impression score was correlated most strongly with age (r = 0.53). Independent predictors of higher impression scores (more skin texture changes) were older age, cigar or pipe smoking, less education, lighter iris color, lighter skin color, male gender, and tendency to sunburn. After adjustment for age and the other predictor variables, the biopsy score was not correlated with the impression grade (r = 0.18, P = 0.13). Behaviors indexing sun exposure were not correlated with microtopography. These results suggest that skin microtopography as done in this study reflects aging from intrinsic parameters more than from actinic damage.
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