If there were extra-terrestrial beings who come to earth and asked our top scientists to describe the human body at its fundamental level, the scientist would have to say "We are nothing more than a bag of fluids, proteins and amino acids, orchestrated by enzymes and held together by electromagnetic energy!"
It is surprising to me that science has identified only 1300 enzymes that control every molecular aspect of our bodies, I am convinced there are many more. It is not surprising to me that enzymes play an important role in the treatment of the disorders of the skin. It is a series of enzymatic activities that maintain the skin at
it's healthiest in the first place.
WHAT IS AN ENZYME?
|Enzymes are nature's biological catalysts. Skin therapists and even physicians commonly believed it for many years that enzymes were not suitable for real skin therapy because they were huge, protein molecules--too big to penetrate the skin.
The fact is enzymes are not proteins any more than a light bulb is electricity.
Skin therapy enzymes USE proteins formed in plant cells to act as organic catalysts in initiating or speeding up specific chemical reactions.
Transferase—a second messenger enzyme for example, initiates many actions inside the skin that can create anti-inflammatory aspects, bring about homeostasis and influence ATP and ADP, the very energy and life force of cells.
HOW DOES AN ENZYME WORK?
Research shows that enzymes combine temporarily with the reacting molecule. Mutual contact of surrounding molecules is then no longer a matter of chance but a matter of certainty; hence, a faster reaction. As an example, when the body breaks down a carbohydrate, the energy used to hold the carbohydrate is released and immediately used or stored in the body. This is called "metabolism." Metabolism is divided into two functions: anabolism (for synthesis of cell material) and catabolism (for the decomposition of cell material).
These reactions would be very slow unless assisted by proteins orchestrated by enzymes. Without enzymes the entire concept of metabolic function would be lost. Enzymes actually work by joining to the substrate (reactant) to form an enzyme-substrate complex and then produce the products of the reaction. The enzyme itself never changes and is not used up in this reaction but is released for repeated use. Think of an enzyme as a space station in outer space. Around this station could be many different types of space ships flying at random, not interacting with each other at all thus accomplishing no missions. Each space station has a docking port for a SPECIFIC style of space ship. If the ship docks in it's own port and another ship lands in its correct place on the space station--they held in "stasis" and can interact with each other and then things happen. This is how an enzyme works.
ENZYMES AND SKIN REVISION TREATMENTS
|There are many enzyme and coenzyme (vitamin) activities in the skin that regulate its normal functions. For example, the enzyme collagenase helps to regulate the synthesis of collagen fibres. If collagenase is destroyed by invasion of an aggressive treatment--such as the drug Ro-Acutane, normally given to acne patients, the collagen fibres rush to any source of trauma to the skin such as laser resurfacing or acid peels. The result may be a keloid or hypertrophic scar. This is one of the reasons the old time; phenol acid or trichlo- racetic acid peels left the patient's skin looking plastic or waxy. The NORMAL proliferation of collagen fibres was accelerated and rushed to the surface in an effort to participate in repair and remodelling of the skin too quickly.
However, there are many enzymes that can be applied topically to the skin that are extremely beneficial. They can assist in removing the build up of dead skin cells, often misdiagnosed as "dry skin" that manifest in superficial wrinkles.
Enzymes can also release gases, impurities and other effluvia from the skin as well. This type of treatment can actually result in a younger and tighter skin.
It is not a case of "how many enzymes are used in formulation" to accomplish this, but the stimulation of enzyme activity in the skin itself. If the correct formulations of enzymes are applied to the skin, hydrolysis of the dead cells and the impurities burdening the living cells begins in about twenty minutes.
Part TWO of this article Danné will discuss topically applied enzymes, and their effect on the skin.