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Vitamin C and Skin Health

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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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Avoiding Skin Irritation that Can Lead to Wounding

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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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Reducing Air Pollution Damage to Skin

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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 to...

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Strengthening Fragile Skin to Reduce Skin Tears

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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

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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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Increasing Skin Stability with Hyaluronic Acid

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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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The Importance of Skin Lipids

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The stratum corneum or uppermost layer of the epidermis has been described of as consisting of bricks and mortar.  Long thought of as an inactive layer of dead skin cells, in contrast, the stratum corneum is highly dynamic.  The bricks are the corneocytes or differentiated keratinocytes that are tightly connected by links called corneodesmosomes and the mortar is the extracellular space composed of highly ordered lamellar lipids that form membranes.  The lipids within the extracellular spaces help provide a barrier to moisture and electrolyte loss from the skin that is absolutely required for survival.  These lipids include ceramides, cholesterol, and...

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Helping Decrease Rashes

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There are many different kinds of rashes that have various causes. Some rashes are associated with fever and/or serious illnesses and should be brought to the attention of a healthcare professional immediately. Here we will mainly focus on more common rashes not typically associated with fever. Rashes generally cause the skin to change color and can be accompanied by inflammation, itching (pruritus), blisters, swelling and pain. Many rashes are nonspecific. They can last from 5 to 20 days and can be associated with problematic issues such as irritations, sunburn, allergies, eczema, infections (including yeast infections), cancer, autoimmune diseases, medications and...

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