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Spaceflight Stressors and Skin Health
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
Traveling to space puts astronauts at risk of developing serious health problems. Of particular interest is the skin, which is vitally important in protecting the body from harmful environmental factors. Although data obtained from long-duration spaceflight studies are inconsistent, there have been indications of increased skin sensitivity and signs of dermal atrophy in astronauts. To better understand the effects of spaceflight stressors including microgravity, ionizing radiation and psychological stress on the skin, researchers have turned to in vitro and in vivo simulation models mimicking certain aspects of the spaceflight environment. In this review, we provide an overview of these simulation models and highlight studies that have improved our understanding on the effect of simulation spaceflight stressors on skin function. Data show that all aforementioned spaceflight stressors can affect skin health. Nevertheless, there remains a knowledge gap regarding how different spaceflight stressors in combination may interact and affect skin health. In future, efforts should be made to better simulate the spaceflight environment and reduce uncertainties related to long-duration spaceflight health effects.
Number of pages: 19