Introduction| Volume 13, ISSUE 1, P1, April 2008

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Skin and Anti-Aging Research Update: Proceedings from the 2007 World Congress of Dermatology

      Differences in how populations across the globe experience skin health and disease are affected by myriad factors. Demographics, genetics, immunology, environmental exposures, cultural practices, and the indigenous plants in a region will all affect population-based skin care and, ultimately, many aspects of appearance, including pigmentation and aging. Our understanding in all of these areas is increasing, but in some areas the data gaps remain large. On a population basis, there is little data available about the prevalence of skin conditions and practices worldwide. Moreover, we are just beginning to be able to quantify, characterize, and measure differences in skin structure and function that occur in what we perceive as normal skin. Areas with substantial progress include new imaging technologies, the identification of key genes involved in pigmentation, and an understanding of how the immune system responds to injury, including exposure to ultraviolet light. The use of new approaches that range from sophisticated and highly engineered technologies to the scientific evaluation of naturally found botanicals has paved the way for improvements in the formulations of skin care products that address the common problems of disordered pigmentation and photoaging.
      In this symposium, we offer papers by researchers who present different aspects of the factors affecting skin care, with the objective of enhancing the lives of all patients. Determining which of these factors have the greatest impact on diseased and healthy skin is essential in identifying new preventative strategies and therapeutic approaches.