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Review
. 1992;62:328-41.
doi: 10.1007/978-3-0348-7460-1_33.

Free Radicals and Aging of the Skin

Affiliations
Review

Free Radicals and Aging of the Skin

I Emerit. EXS. .

Abstract

Cutaneous aging is the result of genetically determined or intrinsic aging superimposed by degenerative changes due to actinic irradiation, also called photoaging. The manifestations of cutaneous aging, as it relates to the perception of age, is caused by ultraviolet light, in particular in those parts of the body exposed daily to solar radiation. Free radical generation in the skin by UV light and from other sources, such as cellular infiltrations or the xanthine oxidase reaction, may be detected by direct and indirect methods. The decrease in antioxidant enzymes and small molecular weight antioxidants such as glutathione, vitamin E and ubiquinone upon exposure to UV light is an indication that the pro-antioxidant balance can be overwhelmed by acute or chronic photo-oxidative stress. Antioxidant supplementation is therefore a means for prevention or at least retardation of premature cutaneous aging.

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