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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2002 Aug;4(4):665-73.

Oxidative stress and its role in skin disease.

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National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Laboratory of Molecular Toxicology, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.


Skin is a major target of oxidative stress due to reactive oxygen species (ROS) that originate in the environment and in the skin itself. ROS are generated during normal metabolism, are an integral part of normal cellular function, and are usually of little harm because of intracellular mechanisms that reduce their damaging effects. Antioxidants attenuate the damaging effects of ROS and can impair and/or reverse many of the events that contribute to epidermal toxicity and disease. However, increased or prolonged free radical action can overwhelm ROS defense mechanisms, contributing to the development of cutaneous diseases and disorders. Although ROS play a role in diseases such as skin cancer, their biological targets and pathogenic mode of action are still not fully understood. In addition, strategies useful in the therapeutic management of ROS action in human skin are still lacking. This review is intended to give investigators an introduction to ROS, antioxidants, two skin disorders influenced by ROS action (skin cancer and psoriasis), and relevant model systems used to study ROS action.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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