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What Does “Antiglycation” Mean?

By: Rhonda Allison
Posted: July 31, 2014, from the August 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation, in a nutshell, is excessive stimulation of melanin in the skin that results in an uneven, darkened skin tone. It may be observed in three types:

  1. Epidermal or surface—light brown and not quite as dense;
  2. Dermal—deeper brown or ashen gray, and appears more solid; and
  3. Combination—a mixture of both levels and typically dark brown.

Psoriasis. Psoriasis is a noncontagious, chronic genetic disease. It is a build up of excess skin tissue that appears as thick, red plaques covered with white or silvery scales. Although it can spread to other parts of the skin, it most commonly appears on the elbows, knees and lower back.

Rosacea. Rosacea is a chronic and progressive disorder that may first be noticed as redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead, and may present, then subsequently disappear. The cause is unknown, but some research has attributed it to poor circulation, sluggish lymph, genetic predisposition, digestive disorders, bacteria and mites attached
to cells.

Skin cancer. Skin cancer can present itself in many different forms. Common forms include basal cell carcinoma—nonhealing open sores, reddish patches, pink or tan nodules, elevated growths or scar-like tissue; squamous cell carcinoma—persistent, rough, thick, scaly patches; and melanoma—moles with irregular edges, with more than one hue, an uneven surface or that appear larger than 1/4 inch. If skin cancer is suspected, always refer a client to a physician.

What about glycation?

Glycation is the result of a sugar molecule—fructose or glucose—bonding to a protein or lipid molecule, a haphazard process that impairs the function of biomolecules. In other words, when sugar molecules are present, they grasp onto fats and proteins in a process known as glycation, forming advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which cause protein fibers, or collagen, to become stiff and malformed.