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Does Vitamin C Fight Skin Ageing?

What is the link between vitamin C and skin ageing? The influence of ageing on the density of the functional entities of the papillae containing nutritive capillaries, here in terms as the papillary index, and the effect of topically applied vitamin C were investigated by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) in vivo.


A consistent feature of aged and photoaged skin is the flattening of the epidermal-dermal junction, evidenced in histological sections as a loss of rete ridges and the disappearance of papillary projections. The depth of interdigitation of the retepegs and the dermal papillae decreases with age. Using confocal scanning microscopy sections horizontal to the surface can be obtained optically in contrast to conventional transverse sections which are perpendicular to the surface. Comparison of confocal images with corresponding histological sections has been made by the group of Gonzales to validate the method. In confocal images, the dermal papillae appear as dark circles surrounded by bright reflecting rings of basal cells containing highly reflective pigment. Each papilla contains a single nutritive capillary loop. The density of these functional entities of dermal papillae containing a single nutritive capillary loop can be evaluated more accurately and precisely by confocal microscopy than by conventional histology. This is partly due to the avoidance of shrinkage artefacts after fixation for histological sectioning. Confocal microscopy is more suitable to construct a three-dimensional image than conventional serial sections are.

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Source: BMC Dermatology
Authors: Kirsten Sauermann, Sören Jaspers, Urte Koop and Horst Wenck

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