What Are the Harmful Effects of Free Radicals on Skin?


Quick Answer

Wrinkles, age spots, collagen breakdown, premature aging of skin and certain skin cancers are some of the harmful effects of free radicals on skin. Free radicals chip away at cell walls, disrupting the cells' chemical balance and causing them to function poorly or die over time, according to HealthCentral.

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Full Answer

Free radicals break down the structure of a cell's membrane and damage its DNA. This, in turn, leads to wrinkles and age spots as basal cells reproduce damaged and dysfunctional skin cells. Free radicals can also impact the immune system, leading to a greater risk of skin cancers such as squamous cell cancer, basal cell carcinoma and melanoma, according to ScienceDaily.

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