Effects of hormones on skin wrinkles and rigidity vary by race/ethnicity: four-year follow-up from the ancillary skin study of the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study

Race remains the strongest predictor of skin aging in early menopause. Neither total skin wrinkle score nor total skin rigidity score were affected by treatment with hormone therapy.

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Volume 106, Issue 5, Pages 1170-1175


Carter M. Owen, M.D., Lubna Pal, M.B.B.S., F.R.C.O.G., M.S., Sunni L. Mumford, Ph.D., Ruth Freeman, M.D., Barbara Isaac, R.N., Linda McDonald, R.N., Nanette Santoro, M.D., Hugh S. Taylor, M.D., Erin F. Wolff, M.D.



To measure skin wrinkles and rigidity in menopausal women of varying race/ethnicity with or without hormone therapy (HT) for up to four years.


Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.


Academic medical centers.


Women (42–58 years of age) within 36 months of last menstrual period and enrolled in the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS).


Treatment with 0.45 mg oral conjugated equine estrogens (CEE), transdermal E2 (50 μg/d) with micronized P (200 mg daily), or placebo for 4 years.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Skin wrinkles were assessed at 11 locations on the face and neck, and skin rigidity was assessed at the forehead and cheek at baseline and yearly for 4 years.


Neither total wrinkle score nor total rigidity score was significantly different at baseline or over the 4-year follow-up among patients randomized to CEE, E2, or placebo. Skin wrinkle and rigidity scores were primarily affected by race/ethnicity, with scores being significantly different between races for almost all of the wrinkle parameters and for all of the rigidity measures. There was no association between race and response to HT for total wrinkle or rigidity scores. Black women had the lowest wrinkle scores compared with white women across all 4 years. In general, skin rigidity decreased in all groups over time, but black women had significantly reduced total facial rigidity compared with white women after 4 years.


Race is the strongest predictor of the advancement of skin aging in the 4 years following menopause. HT does not appear to affect skin wrinkles or rigidity at most facial locations.

Clinical Trial Registration Number


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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.