Veris, February, 1994. Since the skin is the outermost layer of protection for the body, it is constantly exposed to chemicals and environmental influences that affect its health and appearance. Skin can be exposed to a greater extent than other body tissues, to excess cold or heat or ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
The surface of the skin is especially vulnerable to damaging free radicals generated by a number of physiological and biological processes. Free radicals are believed to have an important role in skin ageing and the development of disorders such as skin cancer. Free radicals have also been shown to be involved in UV-induced and ionising irradiation damage to epidermal cells.
Results of a number of animal studies show that vitamin E protects the skin from free radical-related damage from various sources and promote healing. Research is continuing on the protective effects of vitamin E against environmental insults to the skin. Future studies are expected to provide conclusive documentation of the protective role of vitamin E in skin care in humans and the clinical effectiveness of vitamin E in healing of surgical wounds and burns.