Glucose is the main source of energy for our body and when it is not broken down properly, it binds to collagen in the skin leading to abnormal structural and tissue impairment. This results in the production of advanced glycation products (AGEs) through a process called glycation, which is shown to be associated with accelerated aging. Glycation can lead to hardening of the skin and an inability of the skin to regenerate, leading to wrinkles and laxity. People of certain genetic types are at an increased risk of developing AGE than others.
Vitamin B2, also known as Riboflavin, acts as an antioxidant within the body. It plays a vital role in skin protection. Vitamin B2 deficiency damages the skin by causing cracked skin, itching and dermatitis. It also leads to elevated levels of homocysteine in the body. Susceptibility to this deficiency increases with age, illness and alcohol consumption. People of certain genetic types need more vitamin B2.
Sun spots (Actinic Keratoses), also known as solar lentigines, are darkened spots on the skin, caused by prolonged exposure to UV radiations. They are caused by a local growth of pigment-producing skin cells in response to ultraviolet radiation. Solar lentigines are benign, but they do indicate excessive sun exposure, a risk factor for the development of skin cancer. Solar lentigines most commonly occur in older adults, particularly those who sunburn easily and fail to tan. Women are particularly susceptible.
Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a common skin disease that affects a large percentage of the world’s population. Eczema can be caused due to a variety of factors like genetics, environmental factors and abnormalities in immune responses. People of certain genetic types have a higher risk of being susceptible to eczema and may experience the following symptoms: skin inflammation, itching, redness and swelling.
Vitamin B12 is actively involved in red blood cell maturity and its deficiency can lead to pernicious anemia and general fatigue. It also helps in the removal of homocysteine from the cells. People of certain genetic type need more Vitamin B12 in their diet due to lower levels in the body.
Tanning is a response to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation resulting in an increased production of melanin. This is an adaptation to protect skin from damage as the increase in melanin darkens the skin. We test for variations in genes that are associated with the production of melanin. Those who have difficulty tanning are at higher risks of sunburn, sun spots, wrinkles, folate loss and melanoma while individuals who tan easily are at risk of vitamin D deficiency as they may derive less vit D from sun exposure.
Contact dermatitis is a type of eczema which is triggered by contact with a particular allergen or substance. A high proportion of individuals affected by this condition are industrial workers in health, skin-care, beauty, food industry and metal-related occupations. Normally the symptoms of contact dermatitis will not appear on first contact with an allergen, but symptoms could develop on subsequent contact due to sensitization.
Vitamin B6 is required for the proper utilization of sugars, fats and proteins in the body. It also protects the cells against glycation-induced damage. People of certain genetic type need more Vitamin B6 in their diet as they lack the ability to fully metabolize this vitamin leading to its low levels in the body.
Wrinkles are a sign of skin aging and are caused by a variety of factors such as genetics, skin pigmentation, dehydration, UV exposure, smoking and alcohol abuse. They are accompanied by the natural aging process and occur when collagen and elastin in the skin become weak and begin to break down. This results in the damage of skin cells.
Psoriasis is a non-contagious chronic skin condition that produces plaques of thickened, scaling skin. It is one of the most baffling and persistent skin disorders. Generalized psoriasis is an inherited autoimmune disease. Men are generally more prone to the condition. Genetics play a major role in the development of psoriasis.
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and is essential for enhanced immunity. People of certain genetic type need more Vitamin C in their diet due to lower levels in the body.
Ultra-violet rays (UVR) are harmful radiations, naturally emitted by the sun. Being abundant in the environment, they can contribute to a variety of skin disorders including melanoma (skin cancer). Our skin’s response to UVR is determined by the melanin pigments present in the epidermis. Melanin protects our skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation.