The current research, published by several
scientists and dermatologists, clearly reveals that IR radiation significantly damages the skin. In addition to the obvious
heat effect of IR radiation, recent research
has documented the formation of free radicals on the skin when exposed to IR rays.
Maxim Darvin and his associates in
Germany have used Electron Paramagnetic
Resonance (EPR) Spectroscopy to determine that IR irradiation gives rise to the
production of free radicals in the skin.
They also report that IR will reduce the
antioxidative potential of the skin. It is
likely that enzymatic processes in the skin
are induced by increased temperature of
the skin. 8 Lademann and his associates
utilized Raman Spectroscopy to detect
free radicals on the skin that were induced
by IR radiation. 9
Free radicals are the main cause of
premature skin aging. They also contribute to immunosuppression, skin disease
and, ultimately, skin cancer. The human
organism has developed a protection system against the destructive action of free
radicals by means of the antioxidant network. Craig Elmets and his associates at
the University of Alabama report “recent
studies suggest an important role for IRA
radiation in dermal inflammation, photoaging and photocarcinogens.”1 Christian
Calles from the IUF Institute in Düsseldorf
in Germany has identified and analyzed
the IRA-induced transcriptome in human
fibroblasts.2 Korean scientists7 have also
reported that IR and heat exposure can induce cutaneous angiogenesis (forms new
blood vessels), cause inflammatory cellular infiltration, disrupt dermal extracellular
matrix (induces matrix metalloproteases)
and alter dermal structural proteins which
causes premature aging of the skin.
The current prevailing evidence paves
the way for new research possibilities in
IRA photobiology and raises important
questions regarding appropriate protection
from the sun. Since ultraviolet protection
with UV-absorbing molecules and light
scattering particles has been a mainstay
of protecting individuals from the ravaging rays of the sun, it seems that including
filters and antioxidants to combat the IR-induced free radical generation on the skin
is highly recommended. Formulation design will need to incorporate the new findings. A call to innovation has been issued.
Stay tuned for the May issue!
The Latest Word from FDA
Finally, I asked Dr. Reynold Tan if the rumors that the FDA may be planning to
delay the deadline that they gave manufacturers for implementation of its 2011
Final Rule for Labeling and Testing of
Sunscreens? I received the following answer,“ I can only say that we have received
a request to delay the effective date of the
2011 Sunscreen Final Rule. The request
was submitted to the public docket jointly
by the Personal Care Products Council
& the Consumer Healthcare Products
Association. We are considering their arguments for delaying the effective date.”•
1. Holzer, A., Athar, M. and Elmets,C., “The other end of the rainbow: Infrared and skin”, J. Invest.
Dermatol. (2010), 130: 1496-98.
2. Calles,C., et al., “Infrared A radiation influences the skin fibroblast transcriptome: Mechanism
and consequences”, J. Invest. Dermatol. (2010), 130:
3. Haywood, R., et al.,”Sunscreens inadequately
protect against UVA induced free radicals in skin”, J.
Invest. Dermatol. (2003),121: 862-868
4. Shaath, N., “Sunscreens: Regulations and
commercial development”, Third Edition, Taylor and
Francis, New York (2005).
6. Cho, S. et al., “Effects of Infrared radiation and
heat on human skin aging in vivo”, J. Invest. Dermatol.
Symposium Proceedings (2009), 14: 15-19.
7. Schiek, S., Scroeder,P. and Krutmann,
J., “Cutaneous effects of Infrared radiation”,
Photodermatol. Photoimmunol. Photomed. (2003),
8. Darvin,M., et al.,“Radical production by Infrared
A irradiation in human tissue”, Skin Pharmacol.
Phhysiol. (2010), 23: 40-46.
9. Lademann,J. et al., “Interaction between carotenoids and free radicals in human skin”, Skin
Pharmacol. Physiol. (2011), 24: 238-44.