MadSci Network: Cell Biology

Subject: Does acne or eczema destroy telomere length by the amount of skin repair?

Date: Thu Aug 20 14:16:33 2009
Posted by No name entered.
Grade level: undergrad School: No school entered.
City: No city entered. State/Province: No state entered. Country: No country entered.
Area of science: Cell Biology
ID: 1250802993.Cb

I have recently read about telomeres and how they shorten each time a cell repairs.

I have had bad acne for about ten years. It is finally calming down now I am in my early twenties, but it 
led me to worry that due to the extensive cell repair needed to heal the acne over and over, my 
telomeres have shortened way before their time. Is this true? What does this mean for me, that i may 
age far earlier or be more likely to get skin cancer? Or perhaps I have just misunderstood?

I do not suffer from eczema but I also wondered whether the repair due to eczema or related skin 
problems may also link to this. So would having a rash or allergy for a length of time or all your life will 
shorten the telomeres of the skin cells and make you in danger?

I have read that excessively hot drinks that damage the throat lead to throat cancer, and that cigarette 
smoke which damages the lungs leads to lung cancer so surely a skin issue that requires frequent and 
fairly long-term repair of the skin (such as my acne) would irreversibly cause problems due to the 
shortening of the telomeres and 'use up' the amount of cell replication possible.

I feel like this is a silly question but it makes sense to me and i cannot find an answer anywhere so 
hopefully you can ease my concerns... or not! Many thanks.

Re: Does acne or eczema destroy telomere length by the amount of skin repair?

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