The skin, being the largest organ of the body, functions as a barrier between our body and the environment. It is consistently exposed to various exogenous and endogenous stressors (e.g., air pollutants, ionizing and non-ionizing irradiation, toxins, mitochondrial metabolism, enzyme activity, inflammatory process, etc.) producing reactive oxygen species (ROS) and physical damage (e.g., wounds, sunburns) also resulting in reactive oxygen species production. Although skin is equipped with an array of defense mechanisms to counteract reactive oxygen species, augmented exposure and continued reactive oxygen species might result in excessive oxidative stress leading to many skin disorders including inflammatory diseases, pigmenting disorders and some types of cutaneous malignancy. The nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is an emerging regulator of cellular resistance and of defensive enzymes such as the phase II enzymes. Induction of the Keap1-Nrf2 pathway may have a beneficial effect in the treatment of a large number of skin disorders by stimulating an endogenous defense mechanism. However, prolonged and enhanced activation of this pathway is detrimental and, thus, limits the therapeutic potential of Keap1-Nrf2 modulators. Here, we review the consequences of oxidative stress to the skin, and the defense mechanisms that skin is equipped with. We describe the challenges of maintaining skin redox balance and its impact on skin status and function. Finally, we suggest a novel strategy for maintenance of skin redox homeostasis by modulating the Keap1-Nrf2 pathway using nanotechnology-based delivery systems.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 by the authors.
- Delivery system
- Reactive oxygen species