Using Copper for skin, to improve well being, is practice that has been utilized for more than four decades. Scientist discovered the relationship between copper supplementation and the retention of skin elasticity, while studying the effects of vitamin and mineral supplementation, in the late 1970’s.
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There are two major reasons why copper has been sought to be used in products. Copper plays a key role in the production of skin proteins, and it also has potent medicinal properties.
Copper Helps Reduce Skin Aging
The largest organ of the body is the skin. It protects the inner organs from bacterial invasions and physical harm. It behaves like a second liver, excreting toxins through sweat. It regulates body temperature as well. The dermal layer of the skin provides shape and firmness. This is where collagen, the main structural protein found in skin and other connective tissue, has its greatest effect.
As the body ages, its production of collagen and elastin decreases. this causes loss of moisture, firmness and elasticity. The skin thins and becomes rigid. This change manifests itself as wrinkles. All of this is due to a gradual loss of the mineral, copper, as it plays a crucial role in normal processes in basically all human tissues, as well as in the skin. This same collagen is also responsible for maintaining the walls of the blood vessels, that without it, may give way to the pressure inside.
The metallic mineral starts off in the ground as a solid. Unfortunately, in this state, it is useless to plants and animals, as a nutrient. Bacteria in the ground convert the mineral into an ionic form. Plants then consume the mineral and use it to form its parts. Inturn, animals consume the plants and thus are able to benefit from the ionic copper. Other animals may consume those plant eating animals and also benefit from the ionic copper.
Fibroblasts, a cell in connective tissue which produces collagen and other fibers, relies heavily on the presence of copper for fabrication. Wound healing depends on the assembling of collagen. A deficiciency of copper may be the cause of larger than normal scars formations.
Copper is a cofactor of superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant enzyme, important for protection against free radicals. It’s also cofactor of tyrosinase, a melanin essential enzyme responsible for skin and hair pigmentation. Some, that suffer deficiencies of copper display blotchy skin and/or white hair.
Copper For Good Health
As a biocide, copper can destroy, deter, render harmless, or exert a controlling effect on any harmful organism, and has been used as a biocide for centuries by many different civilizations. Antibiotic resistant bacteria as well as hard to kill bacterial spores, fungi and viruses, when exposed to high copper concentrations, are killed. In anarticle published at PubMed.gov we read “Moreover, owing to its potent antiviral activities, Cu may also act as a preventive and therapeutic regime against COVID-19.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32388476/
Malachite is a green copper carbonate hydroxide mineral with a chemical composition of Cu2(CO3)(OH)2. It was one of the first ores used to produce copper metal. From 4000–2300 B.C. the Sumerians used pulverized malachite for generic medical purposes. From 3900–1550 B.C the Egyptians used pulverized malachite for the prevention and cure of eye infections. From 1750–539 B.C. the Babylonians used different compounds containing copper, as well as copper bracelets, as generic therapeutic remedies.
Copper Intrauterine, within the uterus, devices and contraceptive implants, also called long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC), are the most effective reversible contraceptive methods. The major advantage of LARC compared with other reversible contraceptive methods is that they do not require ongoing effort on the part of the patient for long-term and effective use. In addition, after the device is removed, the return of fertility is rapid.
Ointments containing copper, which liberate copper ions that are absorbed through the skin, are used in the treatment of cramps. Metallic copper is used already for many years in dental fillings. There are also cosmetic facial creams that contain copper as their active ingredient. Copper also promotes the production of skin-plumping hyaluronic acid, which means, less sagging and fewer lines.
Is Copper Safe To Use
Copper and copper compounds such as, copper carbonate, copper silicate, copper oxide, copper sulfate, and copper chloride, are safe to use. Ointment preparations, containing up to 20% metallic copper, were found not to cause any adverse reactions or toxicity. The use of copper, as the coating on the surface of hospital furniture, for the reduction of bioburden, the number of microorganisms on a surface, is gaining momentum following successful trials. In an article published at PubMed.gov we read “It was found that the copper-coated samples significantly reduces the lifetime of COVID-19 virus to less than 5-hrs.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32904558/
Materials Coated With Copper Oxide
Products coated with copper oxide have a potent biocidal property. Health-related products made using this technology include hospital linens, nurse clothing, patient robes and pajamas. Another antiviral and antibacterial copper-impregnated personal protective equipment, is a protective respiratory masks. Coated socks are used for the prevention and treatment of fungal foot infections, athlete’s foot.
Below, is a Scanning electronic microscope pictures of non-woven, woven and plastic plate containing the copper oxide particles. The white dots are the copper oxide particles embedded in the polymeric matrices.
Coated materials remain effective, even after 50 washes. Pillow cases, coated with copper, were found to not only resist wrinkling, but also to improve the skin health. A benefit of using copper coated pillow covers, is a reduction of wrinkles and crow’s feet.
Below, is diagram of a patient that used copper coated socks for 8 hrs. daily, after 12 days, to treat athlete’s foot. Notably, the copper oxide containing socks also improved significantly the elasticity of the skin.
Soldiers undergoing basic training often are prone to fungal infections and related skin problems. A three week study, where the soldiers wore copper coated socks, showed a clear improvement in their skin condition. Reported problems, by soldiers in the field, were much higher with soldiers that wore regular socks than those wearing copper coated socks.
Individuls with diabetes may have a diminished ability to heal minor wounds. This leads to hard to heal ulcers, which are often a result of low levels of copper. Using copper coated socks, may significantly reduce their risk of developing skin disorders on their feet. Commercially, such socks are sold in pharmacies, designed specifically for diabetic patients.
Wound dressings coated with copper, compared to dressings without, had a reduced healing time. It is Important to note, that the wound dressings did not induce any adverse reactions in intact skin. In an article published at PubMed.gov we read “It seems that Cur_Cu_8% is the most promising biomaterial for management of wounds accompanied with bacterial infections.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32842474/
Copper is an essential mineral that plays a key role in the development of new blood vessels, skin regeneration and stabilization of extracellular skin proteins. The properties of copper make it a very attractive material for the well being of skin. It’s not surprising that copper has been used by many different civilizations for more than 6 millennia to treat skin diseases, as well as other maladies. In the last ten years, we have seen an increase in products empregnated with copper, from pillow cases to socks and even children’s teddy bears. Introduction of copper oxide into ordinary products transforms them into extraordinary products.
There are more thn 70 Essential Minerals the body needs for optimal health. Copper is just one. To find out more on this subject, click the link below