Post-menopausal women who use hormone therapy for long periods have fewer wrinkles, a new study found.
"These benefits were seen in women who had consistently used hormone therapy and had been in menopause for at least five years," said Hugh Taylor of Yale School of Medicine.
"We don't believe hormone therapy will make wrinkles melt away once they're already there, but the results of our study shows that hormone therapy can prevent them," Taylor said. "Hormone therapy makes wrinkles less severe and keeps skin more elastic."
The study was small, however, and the results should be considered preliminary.
Taylor and his co-authors compared nine women who had used hormone therapy to 11 women who didn't. All were chosen for having similar age, race and previous exposure to sun and sunscreen use.
The researchers examined wrinkle severity at 11 facial locations and had a plastic surgeon rate the severity of wrinkles using a standard industry scale. Skin elasticity was also measured.
The results may reflect how hormones affect bone, the heart and other organs, the scientists say.
The study is detailed in the August issue of the journal Fertility and Sterility.