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The connection between skin barrier dysfunction and common skin conditions

The connection between skin barrier dysfunction and common skin conditions

Your skin barrier is the brick wall that consists of both keratin and natural moisturizers (including cholesterol, ceramides and fatty acids) that protects your body against harsh environmental stressors and free radicals. 


Impairment or dysfunction of the skin barrier are due to multiple factors including insufficient antimicrobial peptides, problems with regulation of the immune system or skin organism imbalances. 


The most common type of chronic inflammatory skin condition due to skin barrier dysfunction is atopic dermatitis, which usually relapses and can appear as erosions, redness (erythema) or swelling. Some skin barrier abnormalities in atopic dermatitis include decrease in ceramides/fatty acids , abnormalities of filaggrin (structural protein) or impaired tight junctions.


With Eczema, nearly 1/4 of patients have mutations in the gene for filaggrin, which helps bind keratin filaments together to strengthen skin cells. Insignificant levels of ceramides impede moisture restoration of the skin, which can lead to impaired barrier function.


Understanding the important components of the skin barrier is crucial to making sure it’s functioning properly. By implementing the appropriate nourishing ingredients into your skincare regimen (including ceramides/peptides, Vitamin E, Shea butter, Niacinamide, etc.) you can restore your skin’s natural lipid barrier leading to healthy skin, which is the end goal.