New Screening Tool Helps Physicians Get to Root of Persistent Skin Issues

Innovative home-collection test from ZRT Laboratory can identify when hormone imbalance may be the stumbling block to achieving clear, healthy skin

ZRT Laboratory today announces the availability of a Skin Vitality Profile, which offers physicians a new method for detecting possible causes of stubborn skin issues and provides insight into how hormone imbalances can trigger skin problems from head to toe.

“Our skin is literally teeming with hormone receptors and is also a site of hormone synthesis,” said Dr. David Zava, Ph.D., founder and chief scientist of ZRT Laboratory. “It’s really no surprise that patients experiencing premature aging, unexplained skin problems, or unwanted hair growth are also likely to have a hormone imbalance.”

The hormones tested in the Skin Vitality Profile, which are evaluated through saliva and dried blood spot samples, include estradiol, estriol, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA-S, cortisol, thyroid and Vitamin D. Test results can pinpoint deficiencies or excesses that may be contributing to a patient’s skin problems, leading to treatment of previously undiagnosed conditions such as a thyroid disorder or PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), or adjustment of hormone replacement therapy when levels are either too high or too low.

“Deficiencies of estrogen, progesterone, and thyroid hormones are a major cause of skin thinning, dryness and wrinkling in women,” says Zava. “Alternately, excesses of estrogen can cause a dark discoloration of the skin known as melasma, while excess androgens cause oily skin, acne, hirsutism and/or hair loss.”

Development of the new profile was spurred by the rapid expansion of the anti-aging skincare marketplace, which is fueled in large part by aging Baby Boomers. Market research firm Global Industry Analysts has projected the U.S. market for anti-aging products will leap from about $80 billion in 2011 to more than $114 billion by 2015.

With the popularity of anti-aging skincare, however, comes the concern for unintended over-exposure to chemicals and hormones, which can disrupt the body’s natural hormone balance. Disturbance is often caused when chemicals considered “hormone disruptors” mimic or block the action of hormones like estrogen, disrupting the body’s normal functions and leading to development of allergies, cancers and other issues. Read more about hormone disruptors at Skin Deep®, breastcancer.org or the National Resources Defense Council.

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