Many of us have experienced an issue with our skin at some time in our lives. Whether that was simply dry or scaly skin, a few spots as a teenager or more serious issues such as psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, vitiligo or even skin cancer, less than smooth, even skin can cause embarrassment and distress, not to mention it can be extremely uncomfortable. But are most skin conditions genetic or are they caused by lifestyle factors?
Are Skin Conditions Genetic?
29 Aug, 2022
What causes skin conditions?
Genetics can influence up to 80% the development of certain skin conditions, however, certain lifestyle factors can also cause them. For example:
- Bacteria that are trapped in pores or hair follicles
- Parasites or a fungus living on the skin
- Contact with allergens or even other people’s skin
- Issues with your immune system, thyroid, and kidneys
- Certain medications
Hereditary Skin Conditions
Scientists have found links between several skin conditions and genetics. Genetics may be an influencing factor in many types of common skin conditions including some types of acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and vitiligo, and these can be passed down from generation to generation.
However, it’s not quite as simple as that. Many of these conditions are also caused by lifestyle factors and so, to understand whether genetics are at play, a DNA test kit for health would need to be carried out. For example, eczema is caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors and not everyone who develops this skin condition has a family history of the condition. But, that being said, if a parent or sibling has eczema, you’re more likely to suffer from it too.
How Much of Skin Ageing is Genetic?
As we age, our skin undergoes many changes; it can lose its suppleness, become more uneven, lose elasticity, and develop fine lines and wrinkles. We’ve probably all looked at our parents and wondered if we’ll look like them as we age. And the answer, in most cases, is probably yes.
But is this all down to our genes, or do we have any control over how our skin ages?
We look at how genetics influence skin ageing.
Studies conducted into genetics and skin ageing show that our skin ages due to different factorsand that our genes affect each of these factors. So, whether your skin is starting to sag, has developed hyperpigmentation, or has become extremely dry; it is, in part, down to your genes. On the other handyou might be lucky enough to be one of those people who never seem to age. Once again, you have your genes to thank for that.
How Much Does Genetics Affect Skin Ageing?
Most geneticists would agree that the genes you inherit influence the ageing process, but it is what you do in your everyday life that, in combination with your genes, will determine how well you age.
How fast the collagen in your skin depletes, or the level of pigmentation of your skin in response to the sunshine are highly dependent on your genes. However, the environmentand our lifestyle, also play a part. But we do know that our skin deteriorates over time. Excessive exposure to the UV rays and other factors that cause oxidative stress (alcohol, smoke, pollution) can accelerate collagen depletion, which may induce changes in your skin texture and pigmentation.
So, you can be born with great genes that preserve your skin collagen for longer, but if your lifestyle exposes you to stressors, your genetic advantage will be lost. Similarly, if you are born with a predisposition for accelerated collagen depletion, but you limit exposure to UV and other stressors and you proactively provide to your skin the right building blocks for collagen production, you can slow down your genetic predisposition.
Skin & Your Genetic Makeup
How slowly or quickly your skin will start to lose elasticity is directly impacted by your genetic makeup. Some genetic nutrition tests that focus on skin health can give you a deeper insight into how your skin will age and whether you are predisposed to wrinkles, discolouration and changes in texture. Armed with such knowledge, you can make some positive changes to your lifestyle and skincare routines to help to combat this or at least reduce its impact.
Genetic tests for skin health examine factors such as the presence of genetic variations , the natural collagen depletion rate in your skin and its propensity to changes in pigmentation . So if, for example, you discover that you’re genetically disposed to discolouration, you can take steps to increase your use of sun protection and use skincare formulations that target hyperpigmentation and dark spots before you see the discolouration developing.
How Genetic Testing Can Give You a Blueprint For Better Skin
myDNA genetic testing provides a range of insights into your overall health, including factors that may affect how your skin ages. These include your likelihood of developing wrinkles from collagen depletion and the sun’s UV rays, and your risk of uneven skin texture and age spots from UV exposure. Based on this information, we provide personalised skincare tips and diet recommendations that can help you make more informed decisions to look after your skin. So, if you want better skin, better health and improved wellbeing, take a myDNA test today. Other than this, we also do DNA testing for medication tolerance, weight loss DNA test, and many more.