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Vitamin C and Skin Health

Posted by Nancy Ray on

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for skin as well as the rest of the body.  It’s absolutely necessary for normal skin and bodily functions, cannot be naturally synthesized in humans and must be provided externally. Skin itself has various critical roles in overall health including protection from dehydration and infection, and its appearance is an important reflection on general well-being. The epidermal layer of skin is responsible for most of its barrier function and includes many cells, particularly keratinocytes. In contrast, the lower dermal layer is composed mainly of fibroblasts that secrete the major component of the dermis, collagen...

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Managing Radiation Dermatitis

Posted by Nancy Ray on

Radiation dermatitis is an acute skin reaction to radiation therapy that ranges from a mild rash to skin ulceration.  Nearly two-thirds of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy.  Although many technological advances have resulted in improved treatment protocols, skin damage is still a common side effect of radiation therapy.  Radiation dermatitis, induced by ionizing radiation, affects a large proportion (up to 95%) of patients receiving this type of cancer therapy. The severity of radiation dermatitis is dependent upon treatment factors including the total radiation dose, the schedule of dosing, the type and quality of beam utilized, and the volume and...

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Avoiding Skin Irritation that Can Lead to Wounding

Posted by Nancy Ray on

Taking optimal care of skin is vital for overall health and wellbeing. In fact, keeping skin intact and healthy is critical for maintaining homeostasis including proper body temperature and hydration. Skin also provides a barrier to pathogens and chemicals that could cause systemic disease and/or damage. When skin is exposed to irritants, it often becomes inflamed and itchy, and it’s difficult not to scratch.  Unfortunately, scratching can result in wounds. Various factors are important for a well functioning skin barrier including proper skin pH, balanced lipids and healthy microbial flora (microbiome). Factors that can disturb barrier function include stress (including...

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Taking Care of Aging Skin

Posted by Nancy Ray on

The average age of our population is still rising.  Because individuals are living longer, the need for optimal care of aging skin is increasingly recognized.  Aging results in visible consequences that become obvious with time including wrinkling and sagging skin.  Aging skin is generally more fragile and can also be associated with undesirable skin issues including fragile skin bruising (senile purpura), skin tears, xerosis (abnormally dry skin), and pruritus (itching) that can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life.  In addition, vascular changes in the skin, such as thinning capillaries and slowing microcirculation is evident in aging...

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Reducing Dermal Scarring

Posted by Nancy Ray on

Scars are areas of dermal fibrosis that replace normal tissue after injury and during wound healing. There are several types of dermal scars including: 1. Atrophic scars that appear as sunken or pitted areas of skin 2. Hypertrophic scars that are characterized by raised areas of skin 3. Keloid scars characterized by growth outside the original wound area 4. Striae distensae (stretch marks) characterized by linear bands of atrophic-appearing skin. Wound healing involves 4 critical phases that overlap: the coagulation phase, the inflammatory phase, the migration-proliferation phase (development of granulation tissue), and the remodeling-regeneration phase that includes maturation, scar formation...

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Reducing Air Pollution Damage to Skin

Posted by Nancy Ray on

Air pollution is becoming an increasing health problem worldwide. It’s an environmental threat to which millions of people are exposed, and is currently the world’s largest single environmental health risk.  It’s well known that air pollution is bad for lungs, but scientist are just beginning to discover how damaging air pollution is to the skin.  Viniferamine® skin and wound care products were designed to protect skin from irritants, and help restore skin cells naturally back to health.  Not only is outdoor air pollution a risk to skin health, but indoor air pollution can also be harmful.  Indoor risks include exposure...

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Strengthening Fragile Skin to Reduce Skin Tears

Posted by Nancy Ray on

Fragile, thinning skin and skin tears are common issues among older individuals.  A skin tear is a wound caused by shear, friction, and/or blunt force resulting in the separation of skin layers.  Skin tears can be either partial thickness (separation of the epidermis from the dermis) or full thickness (separation of both the epidermis and the dermis from the subcutaneous tissue).  Loss of cohesion between the skin layers allows the skin to move independently, resulting in tears with even minor forces including tape removal from skin. Skin tears may be considered by some as minor injuries, but in fact, they...

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Taking Care of Heat Rash

Posted by Nancy Ray on

It’s easy to forget how important it is to sweat in order to cool your body off when it’s really hot outside.  During intense physical exercise, you may not even notice when you’re not sweating properly.  This could lead to problems that could rapidly become serious including severe heat rash or worse, heat illnesses like heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Heat rash or miliaria (not to be confused with malaria) occurs when sweat ducts become clogged.  Heat rash results from heat accumulation in the skin due to high temperatures and humidity, intense exercise, fevers, certain medications or certain medical conditions. ...

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Reducing Sun Damage to Skin

Posted by Nancy Ray on

The sun is a powerful source of energy and radiation that can be both beneficial and harmful.  It feels great to get out in the sun, especially after a cold, rainy day, but the effects of too much sun can be incredibly damaging to skin health.  The sunlight’s cellular and molecular effects depend on the radiation energy and penetration.  The spectrum of solar radiation ranges from the shorter wavelengths of UVB and UVA to the longer wavelengths of visible radiation (VIS), near-infrared radiation (NIR) and infrared radiation (IR).  UV radiation has more energy and is more penetrating.  UVB radiation has...

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Increasing Skin Stability with Hyaluronic Acid

Posted by Nancy Ray on

Hyaluronic Acid (HA), also known as hyaluronan, HA is one of the most ubiquitous linear polysaccharides found in nature.  It is found in almost every part of the body including skin. It’s an important component of the extracellular matrix (ECM), a complex interlocking meshwork found outside of skin cells (and other cells) that includes fibrous proteins such as collagens, elastin and fibronectin.  Connective tissues including skin and cartilage are especially rich in ECM.  As an integral part of the ECM, HA provides a structural role, as well as many other crucial roles.  Amazingly, approximately half of the body’s total HA...

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