When glucose 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. AGEs play a role in speeding up the aging process. Glycation can lead to hardening of the skin and an inability of new skin cells to regenerate, leading to wrinkles and laxity. People with certain genetic types are at an increased risk of developing AGEs than others and may experience premature wrinkling, sagging, weak collagen, and a lowered ability of the skin to rehabilitate.
Acne (Acne Vulgaris) occurs commonly among teenagers and young adults. Adults may also suffer from acne due to hormonal imbalances. Nearly 3 million people suffer from acne, with 20% of incidences occurring in adults. This condition happens when dead skin cells and oil from skin clog hair follicles. Genetics, hormones, and stress play a role in the risk of acne. People who suffer from acne may have whiteheads, blackheads, pus-filled large or tender bumps. People with certain genetic types have a higher risk of developing acne and may experience symptoms like uninflamed blackheads, pus-filled pimples, or large, red, and tender bumps.
Sunspots (Actinic Keratoses or solar lentigines) are darkened spots on the skin caused by prolonged exposure to UV radiation. They are caused by the local growth of pigment-producing skin cells in response to ultraviolet radiation. Sunspots are benign, but indicate excessive sun exposure, a risk factor for skin cancer. Sunspots most commonly occur in older adults and women. People with certain genetic types are at a higher risk of being susceptible to sunspots and may experience symptoms like red, small, scaly, and rough or flat spots on areas of the body exposed to the sun like the face, arms, back of the head and forearms.
Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) is a common condition that is characterized by dry, red, and itchy skin. This condition has been estimated to affect 18 million individuals worldwide. It is more common among children but can occur in people of any age group. Eczema can be caused by a variety of factors like genetics, environmental factors, and abnormalities in immune responses. There is no cure for Atopic Dermatitis, and periodic flareups can occur. People with certain genetic types have a higher risk of atopic dermatitis and may experience symptoms like skin inflammation, itching, redness, and swelling.
Varicose veins occur when your veins become enlarged, dilated, and overfilled with blood. They appear as dark purple or blue in color under the skin on the back of the legs and are often twisted and bulged like cords. This condition is very common, especially among women. Some people experience pain, heaviness, and itching in the legs. About 10% of the affected people develop skin changes like pigmentation or eczema (itchy reddish appearance on the skin). People with certain genetic types are at a higher risk of developing varicose veins and may experience symptoms like misshapen veins, especially on the legs, which may also be accompanied by pain, heaviness, or swelling.
Tanning is a response to the sun's ultraviolet radiation resulting in an increased production of melanin. This is an adaptation to protect the skin from Ultraviolet Radiation damage. The production of melanin is influenced by certain genes. 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 vitamin D from sun exposure. People with certain genetic types tan faster than others due to variability in tanning response.
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. Contact dermatitis is a 'delayed-type sensitivity response' - first exposure will not result in any reaction, but subsequent exposure to the same allergen may result in skin irritation. The rash is neither life-threatening nor contagious but can be very uncomfortable. People with certain genetic types have a higher risk for contact dermatitis and may experience symptoms like redness, itching, blisters, and occasionally, dry and scaly skin.
Stretch marks (Striae Distensae), typically appear as bands of parallel lines on the skin. They are caused by various factors such as pregnancy, puberty, genetic factors, rapid weight gain or loss. Anyone can develop stretch marks; but, they tend to affect more women than men. Stretch marks occur when the skin is suddenly stretched and cannot go back to the normal form for an extended period. They are not dangerous and usually disappear over time. People with certain genetic types have a higher tendency of developing stretch marks and may have streaks of red, pink, or purple covering large parts of their body.
Wrinkles are a sign of skin aging and are caused by various 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. Black and Asian people have thick layers of skin, which act as a protective factor for wrinkles. Wrinkles tend to appear on the part of the body often exposed to sunlight - face, necks, arms. People with certain genetic types have a higher risk of having wrinkles and may experience symptoms like deep furrows or crevices, especially around the mouth, eyes, and neck.
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 in which the immune system attacks the body's skin cells. Men are generally more prone to the condition. Genetics play a major role in the development of psoriasis. People with certain genetic types have a higher risk of being susceptible to psoriasis and may symptoms like red patches of skin with white or silvery scales, cracked and dry skin, thick nails which may be ridged or pitted, swollen, and stiff joints.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble essential vitamin. It is a potent antioxidant that supports normal growth and development. Vitamin C is also crucial for a good immune system and healthy skin. Most mammals synthesize vitamin C on their own; however, humans cannot produce this vitamin and depend on dietary sources. Most people can meet their vitamin C requirements through food sources like oranges, strawberries, and broccoli. However, people with certain genetic types need more vitamin C in their diet due to inefficient absorption from food sources. These individuals may require additional vitamin C supplementation.
Ultra-violet rays (UVR) are radiations naturally emitted by the sun. UV rays can contribute to a variety of skin disorders, including sunburns and 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 - the higher the melanin production, the more the protection from UVR. The production of melanin is influenced by certain genes. People with certain genetic types are at a higher risk of being affected by the UV rays of the sun and may experience symptoms like blistered skin
Vitamin A is required for clear vision, healthy skin, and enhanced immunity. Animal sources provide vitamin A in the form of retinol (an active vitamin A derivative), while some plant sources provide vitamin A in the form of carotenes, which must be converted to retinol. This conversion is extremely variable in up to 45% of healthy individuals. Changes in the BCMO1 gene leads to a large difference in the amount of vitamin A produced. Vitamin A deficiency can increase the risk of dry skin and fine wrinkles. People with certain genetic types need more vitamin A in their diet due to less efficient conversion of carotenoids to retinol.
Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is essential for human health. It acts as an antioxidant in the body, playing a vital role in skin protection. The body can store only a small amount of vitamin B2, and thus, it needs to be consumed every day. Vitamin B2 deficiency damages the skin by causing cracked skin, itching, and dermatitis. It also leads to elevated levels of homocysteine (a harmful amino acid) in the body. This risk for vitamin B2 deficiency increases with age, illness, and alcohol consumption. People of certain genetic types may need more vitamin B2 due to the inefficient transport in their bodies.
Vitamin B6 is required for the proper utilization of sugars, fats, and proteins in the body. It is responsible for forming heme (an iron-containing compound which is a part of the hemoglobin molecule). Vitamin B6 is also an "anti-dermatitis" factor and is a major ingredient in many supplements designed for skin care and maintenance. Dietary vitamin B6 deficiency is rare as many foods we eat regularly contain adequate amounts of vitamin B6. However, people with certain genetic types cannot fully metabolize this vitamin, leading to its low levels in the body. Such individuals may need more vitamin B6 in their diet.
Vitamin B12 is actively involved in red blood cell maturity. It also helps in the removal of homocysteine (a harmful amino acid) from the cells. Vitamin B12 can be obtained from dietary sources like eggs, poultry, meat, fish and other sources. The normal level of this vitamin in the blood is 200-900 pg/mL. Levels lower than this may indicate a vitamin B12 deficiency, which increases the risk of skin conditions like vitiligo and eczema. The FucosylTransferase 2 (FUT2) gene is associated with the absorption of vitamin B12 in the gut. People with certain types of the FUT2 gene need more Vitamin B12 in their diet due to lesser absorption in the body.
Vitamin B9, also known as folate, plays a major role in the formation and repair of DNA. It is also essential for the conversion of amino acid homocysteine (the build-up of which is harmful) to another amino acid, methionine. Excess accumulation of homocysteine can be harmful. Vitamin B9 fights signs of sun damage and aging, leading to firmer-looking skin. The folic acid form of vitamin B9 is better absorbed by the body. Folate deficiency is usually a result of poor diet, alcoholism, certain medications, and malabsorptive disorders. People with certain genetic types need more vitamin B9 in their diet due to insufficient absorption of the natural form of folate by the body.
Vitamin D, also known as calciferol, is necessary for strong and healthy bones. Calcium, a crucial component of bones, can be absorbed only when there are adequate vitamin D levels in the body. Our body makes vitamin D naturally on exposure to sunlight. You can also get vitamin D through dietary sources and supplements. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with the risk of psoriasis and dermatitis. Up to 42% of the adult population in the United States has low vitamin D levels, which can cause skin problems. People with certain genetic types need more vitamin D in their diet or vitamin D supplements due to inefficient absorption by the body.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin and a potent antioxidant. It reduces cellular damage and enhances immune function. It is also beneficial in reducing skin damage due to ultraviolet radiation exposure. Most people get enough vitamin E from their diet. Some vitamin E-rich foods include vegetable oils, cereals, meat, poultry, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. The vitamin E levels in the body depend on the liver, which takes up the nutrient after the various forms of it are absorbed in the small intestine. People with certain genetic types need more vitamin E in their diet due to inefficient transport to or absorption by the liver resulting in lower plasma levels.
Vitamin K refers to a group of fat-soluble vitamins that play a role in blood clotting. It helps your body make proteins for healthy bones and tissues. It can help in skin conditions like eczema, stretch marks, and varicose veins. Vitamin K is produced in our bodies by the good bacteria in the intestines. The two natural forms of vitamin K are vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. Vitamin K is found throughout the body, including the liver, brain, heart, pancreas, and bone. While vitamin K deficiencies are rare in adults, people with certain genetic types may have inefficiency in producing and absorbing vitamin K and may need additional supplementation.
Cellulite is characterized by dimple looking skin, especially in the thigh region. It is caused by the accumulation of subcutaneous fat (fat under the skin) and uneven fibrous tissue, leading to a bumpy appearance of skin. It occurs more commonly among women than men. Cellulite affects 85-98% of post-pubertal females of all races. Genetic predisposition, hormonal changes, gender, ethnicity, age, and weight changes contribute to the risk of developing cellulite. People with certain genetic types are at a higher risk of developing cellulite and may have an uneven, bumpy skin on the pelvic region, thighs, and abdomen, characterized by padded or "orange peel" appearance.
Rosacea is a common skin condition that affects the face and neck. It is characterized by redness and visible blood vessels in your face. The US National Rosacea association has stated that more than 16 million Americans suffer from this condition. This is a chronic condition that cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. It's most common in middle-aged women who have light skin. Rosacea is often mistaken for other skin conditions like acne. People with certain genetic types are at a higher risk of being susceptible to rosacea and may experience symptoms like facial flushing, redness, pimples, blemishes, and dilated blood vessels.
Dry skin (Xerosis) is characterized by rough, dry, and scaly skin. Xerosis can be caused by several factors; cold and dry climate, frequent bathing, genetics, and other conditions like eczema. Ichthyosis is a hereditary disorder resulting in xerosis. Dry skin develops due to a decrease in the natural oils in the outer layer of skin, which makes the skin lose water. People with certain genetic types may have a higher risk of develoing dry skin and may experience symptoms like dry and itchy skin on the arms and legs, fine cracks on the skin, skin that feels tight, especially after bathing or white flaky skin.
Freckles, also known as ephelides, are small brown spots that are commonly found in the face, neck, and other sun-exposed areas of the skin. They are caused due to an increase in the amount of dark pigment called melanin. People of Caucasian and Asian descent are more prone to ephelides. Freckles are harmless and are more common among light-skinned people. Freckles in children are more likely to disappear or become lighter as they grow up. People with certain genetic types are at a higher risk of being susceptible to freckles and may have flat, circular spots of melanin (freckles) on the face.