Antioxidants in dermatology
- Skin has a contact and defence barrier against chemical, physical and biological hostilities continuously
- To maintain cellular integrity and all the immune mechanisms, a series of chemical reactions occur but they unfortunately generate reactive oxygen species
- The reactive oxygen species are highly reactive molecules that can rapidly change molecules (proteins, lipids, DNA) important to cutaneous homeostasis (ability to maintain a stable internal environment despite changes in external conditions)
- These free radicals can cause a few dermatological conditions including premature aging and skin cancers
- Antioxidants mechanisms (endogenous or exogenous),act by neutralizing the reactive molecules preventing oxidative damage to cells and tissues
- Antioxidants in the skin can be in the form of enzymes (glutathione peroxidase, catalase and superoxide dismutase) and non enzymes or low molecular weight antioxidants (hormones-oestradiol and melatonin, and/ or vitamins-E and C).
Dr. C.M. Mathobela