Do Big-City Dwellers Age Faster?

Where you live plays a role in a great many factors relating to your health. And while it's unlikely that you sought to live in a place with a lot of auto traffic, depending on where you live, it may be hard to avoid.

New research connects chronic exposure to traffic pollution to aging skin. Brought up at the World Congress of Dermatology, nanoparticles of traffic soot are apparently bad for skin. So living near a heavily trafficked area can increase your chances of developing wrinkles and irregular pigmentation. As if the sun, loss of collagen and elastin and gravity weren't enough to worry about, now we have to add traffic pollution to the list.

The plus side is that these findings may be instrumental in developing new topical products to combat the exposure and resulting damage. Basically, the activation of a certain aryl hydrocarbon receptor is supposedly to blame for the damage of collagen and increase in melanocyte activity that shows up as lines and spots on skin, respectively. So, in theory, inhibiting this receptor should prevent those signs of aging. We'll keep our fingers crossed.