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Research project

Epidemiology and genetic epidemiology of skin cancer

Status: ongoing

Environmental, lifestyle and host determinants for skin aging subtypes such as wrinkles, pigmented spots, red veins, sagging and xerosis are being investigated.

What we do

About our project

What is the motivation for this research? 

Skin aging is a complex ensemble including wrinkles, red veins, pigmented spots, sagging and xerosis. Most studies investigate skin aging as a compound phenotype, however etiology and thus determinants may differ between the different signs of skin aging.

What is the aim?

We aim to study the association between common life style and environmental factors and the different skin aging phenotypes in a large population-based sample of men and women. This way we hope to gain more insight into the risk factors per subtype and identify mechanisms where we could possibly prevent skin aging in the future.

How will you perform this research?

A full body skin examination is performed  during routine visits to the research center. Skin conditions such as xerosis are scored by a dermatology trained physician. Pigmented spots, wrinkles and red veins are extracted from digital full face high resolution images. Determinants are being investigated for association in regression models, adjusted for possible and known confounders.

What is the desirable outcome?

Insight into different skin aging mechanisms and identification of factors which are associated with this process. This could stimulate us to change certain lifestyle habits (such as smoking, tanning and an unhealthy diet) which might help us to maintain a youthful appearance while simultaneously improving overall health.

Funds & Grants

Unilever Research and Development, Colworth:

Restricted research grant


Internal collaborations

The department of forensic identification (PI: professor Manfred Kaiser)

The department of cardiometabolic epidemiology (PI: assistant professor Maryam Kavousi)

The department of epidemiology (PI: professor Arfan Ikram)



External collaborations

Unilever Research and Development, Colworth Science Park, Sharnbrook, UK: dr. David Gunn & dr. Andrew Mayes




Leibniz Research Institute for environmental medicine, Düsseldorf, Germany:

Dr. Tamara Schikowski & dr. Claudia Koellmann




Our team

Merel Hamer: m.hamer@erasmusmc.nl

Luba Pardo: l.pardocortes@erasmusmc.nl

Leonie Jacobs: l.jacobs@erasmusmc.nl

Tamar Nijsten: t.nijsten@erasmusmc.nl