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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 oxidative stress), high pH, lipid deficiencies, and dysbiosis (a change in the relative compositions of microbes compared to normal skin).  When the skin barrier is compromised, wounding and infection can occur more easily.

Several of the ingredients included in Viniferamine® skin and wound care products enhance and protect the skin barrier. Quantitating transepidermal loss (TEWL) is a way to assess the quality of the skin barrier and how well it functions. Oleuropein, a potent small molecule polyphenol found in olives, has been shown to reduce TEWL indicating its ability to increase skin barrier function. Evidence also demonstrates that melatonin has a stimulatory role in building and maintaining the epidermal barrier. In addition, niacinamide has a stabilizing effect on the epidermal barrier as evidenced by a reduction in TEWL following topical application.

Oxidative stress occurs when the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) overwhelms the skin’s natural defense that includes antioxidants and antioxidant defense enzymes such as manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD). This can result in protein, lipid and cellular damage that can decrease skin barrier functioning. Oxidative stress caused by irritants including irritants found in air pollution can compromise the skin barrier.

Viniferamine® skin and wound care products contain ingredients that counteract oxidative stress including the important small molecules, oleuropein, resveratrol, and EGCG, as well as L-carnosine, melatonin, and L-glutathione. Interestingly, in a model where manganese (Mn)SOD was deactivated, oleuropein induced MnSOD activity; EGCG has been found to induce MnSOD expression, and resveratrol has been shown to upregulate MnSOD activity.

In addition, many other substances or agents can cause skin irritations including, detergents in soaps, chemicals in clothing, or biting insects. Individuals with eczema are more susceptible to skin irritations and dermatitis due to a greater tendency towards allergic reactions and/or defects in the skin barrier. In general, irritations typically cause inflammation that results in pruritus (itching).

Viniferamine® skin and wound care products contain ingredients that have anti-inflammatory activities including the small molecule polyphenols oleuropein, resveratrol, and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) from olives, grapes, and green tea, respectively, as well as the important small molecules, melatonin, and L-glutathione.  In addition, dipotassium glycyrrhizate from licorice, avenanthramides in oats, aloe vera and shea butter possess anti-inflammatory activities.

Other typical skin irritants include fragrances, preservatives and contaminants found in some cosmetics and other skin products. Viniferamine® skin and wound products include certified organic plant-derived ingredients to ensure the exclusion of toxins and contaminants. The delicate citrus-based fragrance is completely natural and the Viniferamine® products include a citrus-based preservative system that is certified organic. In addition, the products contain pharmaceutical-grade ingredients to ensure the highest quality and purity of the product components.

Viniferamine® Silicone Barrier includes strengthening nutrients and an advanced silicone complex that can provide a “second skin” to protect against irritants. The breathable barrier provided by this product helps keep skin hydrated and provides a shield against irritating substances. The sophisticated yet durable barrier contained in the product resists 5 soap and water washes to continue protection.

Harsh detergents in soaps can be avoided by cleaning skin with Viniferamine® Clean N Moist, a gentle cleanser that protects the natural chemistry of skin. Clean N Moist is perfectly pH balanced to ensure the most fragile skin is gently cleansed without causing irritation. In addition, Clean N Moist provides vital skin nutrients and a protective barrier.

Certain steps can be taken to avoid skin irritations including covering skin to avoid exposure to pollution (such as mold particles), irritating chemicals and biting insects. Hot baths and freezing temperatures that can disrupt the skin barrier should be avoided. Other activities that disrupt the skin barrier should be avoided including exposing skin to excess moisture and/or friction. Dry skin can also lead to inflammation and irritation. Skin moisturizers that provide skin nutrients like Viniferamine® Renewal Moisturizer can be helpful for protecting the natural skin barrier.

It’s good to know that Viniferamine® skin and wound products help protect against skin irritation by enhancing the natural skin barrier. Many of the ingredients in the products also help reduce inflammation and pruritus that can lead to scratching and wounding. In addition, Viniferamine® Silicone Barrier provides a sophisticated silicone barrier that shields skin from irritants, and Clean N Moist gently cleanses irritants away from skin while protecting skin from further irritation. 

About the author: Nancy Ray, PhD is the Science Officer at McCord Research. Dr. Ray received her PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics and was a postdoctoral fellow at NIH, Harvard University and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the University of Iowa. She also earned bachelor of science degrees in Chemistry and Microbiology.

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