Rosacea: An Introduction

Treating Keratinocytes

Dead cells are constantly sloughed from the upper surface of the epidermis and are replaced by new cells being generated from the deeper layers.

This process is often referred to as "cellular renewal".

As cells progress through various stages, they finally die and harden or keratinize.

This dead cell layer, or keratinocytes, makes up the outer most layer of the epidermis, the stratum corneum.

These hardened or cornified cells are designed to act as a protective barrier.

In rosacea, this vital barrier is significantly compromised.

Living cells would be unable to provide the protective qualities necessary to insulate the living tissue from exposure to possible damaging environmental substances and organisms.

The living epidermal cells therefore die by an extremely complex process that enables humans to survive as land animals.

As the live cell begins migrating upward, it is surrounded by a membrane that is filled with essential lipid substances.

When the cell reaches its destination and hardens and dies, the cell membrane, along with its lipid content, is discharged into spaces between the cells.

These lipids then provide the critical barrier that assists the skin in maintaining an adequate moisture content and also provide a kind of "waterproofing" that prevents penetration by unwanted substances.

Cumulative sun exposure slows down cell turnover and also triggers free radical activity that damages the cell membrane.

This can result in many of the surface changes that appear in aging skin, especially fine lines and wrinkles and a coarse thickened texture.

Recent medical research has proven that certain topically applied agents can dramatically lessen or reverse abnormal cell functions brought about by sun damage.

By normalizing and enhancing cellular functions, the appearance of photodamaged and aged skin with rosacea can be greatly improved.


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