This article highlights the relationship between human skin and environmental stress factors. A variation of clinical evaluations determined the genetic characteristics that affect ethnic skin phenotypes such as pigmentation and epidermal elasticity.
Different genotypes are responsible for the particular damaging conditions affecting ethnic skin types; which could therefore shape the future of clinical evaluations and interventions. Human skin has unique characteristics that have proven critical to researchers in identifying individual approaches to personalized skin care. The skin is the largest organ in the body and is a direct reflection of your wellness and health. Everyone’s skin is different, hence why every skin should be treated differently. Like fingerprints, skin is never the same as someone else’s. The skin consists of three multiple layers— epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis (subcutaneous tissue). Dermal fibroblasts are skin cells that produce collagen. Collagen is the overall substance that holds skin together—what makes up the strength and structure of human skin.
Skin color was defined by six different categories on the Fitzpatrick scale, with each category varying by skin exposure and reaction from the sun. In discussing skin color, it was found to determine both the amount and type of melanin pigment. Melanin is identified in two isoforms: dark brown and light brown. Four specific ethnic groups were targeted in the clinical evaluations— Caucasian, Oriental, Asian, and African. For instance, Caucasians acquire less melanin with a thinner dermis and decreased elasticity, Orientals have preserved dermal elasticity, Asians acquire more melanin and photoprotection with a thicker dermis and preserved elasticity, and the Africans have more melanin and photoprotection with a thicker dermis and preserved elasticity.
The article provides the knowledge necessary to understand human skin and its different responses to the environment. By way of illustration, if a person is not aware of the type of skin he/she has (its strength, structure, aging, melanin, dermal elasticity), a multitude of exposure to damaging conditions can and will occur. One of the primary damaging conditions revealed is skin cancer, which is the most common cancer to acquire in the United States. The different types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and melanoma. Melanoma is a skin cancer that arises from melanocytes— cells that produce pigment in our skin. Melanoma is more dangerous than most common types of skin cancer merely due to its ability to spread through the body. Because darker-toned people acquire more eumelanin while fair-toned people acquire more pheomelanin, darker-toned people have a lower risk of developing melanoma than fair-toned people (The Skin Cancer Foundation, 2020).
The risk factors of skin cancer include genetics, aging, UV-radiation, nevus, and the degree of skin pigmentation. The four pillars of skincare for anti-aging and prevention include cleanser, antioxidant, moisturizer, and SPF (sun protection factor). Cleansing the skin is the first and most important step in any skincare routine. There are two types of SPF— physical and chemical. UVA is the biggest cause of premature ageing, and although wearing SPF 30 or higher daily is critical, applying sunscreen correctly to exposed skin helps reduce your risk of skin cancer.
Throughout the article, personalized skincare and its significance is introduced. Personalized skin care is formulated based on your skin type, goals, and lifestyle. Personalized skincare aims to maintain your pH level, the cleanliness of one’s skin without stripping its natural moisture, as well as protects from damaging conditions. Three comprehensive molecular mechanisms discussed within the article comprise genetic polymorphism, melanin, and the structure and aging across skin types. Genetic polymorphism is defined as the multiple forms of a single DNA gene that exists within an individual. Genetic polymorphisms are what help determine the genetic risk factors for various diseases in human beings. Melanin is complex and defined as a skin pigment that serves as one of the primary determinants of skin complexion and UV sensitivity.
When being aware about one’s skin and its functional status, personalized skin care routines become imperative. UV exposure is one of the most damaging conditions to the human skin. Because Caucasians and Orientals have a thinner stratum corneum with little-to-no melanin, they are more susceptible to UV exposure and aging. The darker the skin, the more protective it is. Melanin has many functions including the reduction of harming conditions to human skin. The structure and aging across skin types focuses solely on DNA functions. The structure and aging of human skin varies depending on different ethnic groups. For instance, aging across Caucasians and Orientals ethnic groups vary tremendously from Asians and African ethnic groups.
Skin aging is characterized by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The defining number of melanocytes in skin types depend on structural differences in human skin. To illustrate, darker skin, however, is characterized by the presence of more dispersed, larger and labile melanocytes that contain more melanin consistent with higher tyrosinase activity and slower rate of melanosome degradation in the epidermis; in contrast, lightly pigmented skin presents with more aggregated and smaller melanosomes that contain less melanin due to the rate of synthesis and enhanced degradation (Ewa & Olusola, 2018). Photoaging is highly associated with the structure and aging of different skin types. Due to the sun’s exposure to human skin, an alteration occurs, which exemplifies the aging stage.