Sunday, August 24, 2014

What are Thymine Dimers, and How Does it Effect Your Skin?

Unstable Molecule for Free Radical Damage
Free Radical Damage Unstable Molecule
Thymine is one of the four main nucleobases in the nucleic acid that makes up DNA structure.  The other three are adenine, cytosine, and guanine.  When the skin is exposed to UV light, thymine absorbs the UV light making it reactive and leading to thymine residues becoming covalently linked.  When these crosslinks occur, the DNA cannot replicate itself or make the correct protein.  Our body chemistry has repair enzymes that can repair these crosslinks to restore the DNA to it's correct sequence.
DNA Strand
DNA Strand


DNA Strand Mutation from Free Radical Damage
DNA Strand Mutation from Free Radical Damage

A sunburn occurs when too many thymine crosslinks occur to repair and the skin cells, leading to the skin becoming painful and dying to leave dead skin cells. Thymine dimers are the reason for melanoma formation, tumors and skin cancer.  Reducing sun exposure, using Vitamin C Serum and covering up when in the sun can help to reduce thymine dimers.  Ferulic Acid found in the popular SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic aids in repairing thymine dimers.


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