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Salons offer a number of treatments that are aimed at supporting beauty and

self-care. Generally, treatments like pedicures, one of the most common

offerings at salons, are relaxing and moisturizing for the skin, but offer little

more than that. In the medical world, podiatrists work with patients every day

to treat and prevent infections, skin injury, and other ailments, specifically with

the feet. At HCD Anti-Aging Medical Laboratories, Inc, we thought to

combine beauty and self-care with podiatry, designing the medical-grade

Immuni-T PediPod, which includes a vitamin and mineral soak that

supports immune and skin function with an FDA-approved antiseptic

ingredient, known as benzalkonium chloride.

Skin is the most vulnerable organ of the human body. Ensuring that it is

supported, especially when it comes to its strength, ability to heal, and

functionality can be tantamount to aging gracefully. Research suggests that

various nutritional and environmental interventions, including those included

in the Immuni-T PediPod formula, have the ability to support these aspects of

the skin, improving health outcomes throughout life. (1) This formula,

specifically designed for skin support, contains vitamin C, vitamin E,

vitamin B-complex, vitamin A, and zinc, all of which are supported by


Vitamin C is a well-known antioxidant; in human skin, it is actually the most

abundant antioxidant with multiple important roles in maintaining skin health

and integrity. Though as a society we consume a lot of it, whether, through

food or oral supplements, only a small amount ingested is biologically active in

the skin. Thankfully, when applied topically it is well supported in having

antioxidative, photoprotective, antiaging, and anti-pigmentary effects.

Much of this can be attributed to the role of vitamin C in collagen

formation, which strengthens the skin, preventing injury and reducing

signs of aging. (2)

As an antioxidant, vitamin C can protect against photoaging, UV-induced

immunosuppression, and photocarcinogenesis by neutralizing the

oxidative stress these things induce. For example, one double-blind,

placebo-controlled study showed that the topical application of 10% vitamin C

over three months showed a significant reduction in photoaging scores and

improved wrinkling. At the same concentration, vitamin C has also been

shown to reduce UVB-induced erythema (visual burn) by 52 percent and

sunburn-related cellular damage by 40-60%. This ultimately means it can help

reduce the risk of skin cancers developing. (2)

Synergistically, vitamin C also interacts with another ingredient in the Immuni-

T PediPod; specifically, vitamin E. Though vitamin E has its own actions

when it comes to skin health, vitamin C is essential to its replenishment

within the skin, as it is depleted rapidly by UV light exposure. By working to

keep levels where they should be, vitamin E can therefore function to its full

potential. (2)

Vitamin C and vitamin E have a very similar mechanism of action when it

comes to the skin. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble, lipophilic vitamin that gained

popularity in dermatology and cosmetics due to its antioxidant

properties, resulting in its having antitumorigenic, photoprotective, and

skin barrier stabilizing properties (3). Though more studies are needed to

elucidate vitamin E’s direct success on skin health in humans, there are studies

that show topical exposure is the best way to ensure the skin has an adequate

amount of this vitamin. One done in 2004 by Tavokkol et al, showed this by

measuring the amount of vitamin E in the stratum corneum layer of sun-

exposed skin with either topical or oral vitamin E supplementation. Though

both were able to improve levels, the topical application was significantly

more effective at replenishing lost vitamin E levels after sun exposure.

(4) The Immuni-T PediPod ensures the skin is exposed to topical vitamin E,

replenishing the skin after a day in the sun.

Vitamin A, another fat-soluble vitamin included to support skin health in

the Immuni-T PediPod formula, plays a crucial role in skin health,

especially when it comes to skin cell turnover, collagen formation, and

elastin production. Therefore, it works to make skin firmer and thicker,

improving wrinkles and preventing injury. Similar to vitamin E, vitamin A can

easily become depleted, both by UV exposure or dietary deficiency; by

supplying it topically, the skin is given a dose to support these physiological

processes. (5) One study, by Kafi et al in 2007, was able to show that topical

retinol (vitamin A) applied up to three times per week for six months was able

to significantly improve the fine wrinkles associated with natural aging. They

found that this was done by inducing glycosaminoglycan, which retains

moisture in the skin, and by increasing collagen production. They reported

less reported injury and improved skin appearance at the end of the trial. (6)

For these reasons, it was included in the Immuni-T PediPod, promoting

healthy and strong skin.

There are a number of B vitamins that play important roles in human

physiology. Though all are likely important to skin health, two have been well

researched as topical applications – niacinamide/nicotinamide (vitamin B3)

and dexpanthenol (vitamin B5). Vitamin B3 is considered an antipruritic,

antimicrobial, vasoactive, photo-protective, sebostatic, and lightening

agent when applied topically. (7) Because of these actions, has been cited as

a treatment for acne, melasma, atopic dermatitis, and rosacea (8). It is

included in the Immuni-T PediPod to reduce irritation, cleanse, and protect the


Dexpanthenol, a form of vitamin B5, is also well used and respected in

the cosmetic industry and included in the Immuni-T PediPod. It is known

to improve the hydration of the skin by reducing water loss and

supporting epidermal barrier function. It also is able to reduce skin

inflammation when applied topically, reducing redness from sun

exposure and improving wound healing. One review cited it also reduced

skin irritation, including dryness, scaling, and itching when applied topically

over 3-4 weeks with minimal risk of skin irritancy or sensitization, making it a

great broad-spectrum additive to support skin vitality. (9)

Niacinamide and dexpanthenol, though the most widely researched, aren’t the

only B vitamins with supportive research on topical use for skin health. In 2009

researchers performed a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study

looking at the success of topical vitamin B12 as a treatment for childhood

eczema. They found that those receiving topical B12 had significant

improvement in symptoms at 2 and 4 weeks when compared to placebo. (10)

That being said, other B vitamins are used, especially orally for skin health.

For the purposes of the Immuni-T PediPod, the B vitamins used topically are

focused on.

Zinc, the last therapeutic ingredient in the Immuni-T PediPod, has been

used for centuries as a therapy for skin symptoms. Review studies have

cited use in sunscreens to protect from UV exposure, as a soothing agent, or

in shampoos to reduce dandruff. More recently, it has also been used for skin

infections, inflammatory skin issues, and even skin cancers. Much of these

effects are attributed to its antioxidant actions, but it is also respected

as an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and cofactor for various

physiological processes. (11)

These natural and safe compounds are combined with benzalkonium

chloride, a potent FDA-approved antimicrobial that is known to be

minimally irritating to the skin. Researchers have worked diligently to combine

the traditional medicinal philosophies with modern medicine providing a new,

novel way to support patients suffering from various skin conditions. The

Immuni-T PediPod formula, containing vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A,

vitamin B, and zinc truly combines beauty, health, and self-care. It

successfully provides a spa treatment, while clinically improving the health

and vitality of the skin, while being supported by years of scientific research.

Dr. Mary Hall, ND, LAc

Medical Writer and Medical Advisory Board


1. Fore, Jane. 2006. A review of skin and the effects of aging on skin structure

and function. Ostomy Wound Manage: 52(9): 36-37.

2. Al-Niaimi, Firas and Zhen Chiang, Nicole Yi. 2017. Topical vitamin C and the

skin: mechanisms of action and clinical applications. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol:

10(7): 14-17.

3. Keen, Mohammad Abid and Hassan, Iffat. 2016. Vitamin E in dermatology.

Indian Dermatol Online J: 7(4): 311-315.

4. Tavakkol, A., Nabi, Z., Soliman, N., Polefka, T.G. 2004. Delivery of vitamin E to

the skin by a novel liquid skin cleanser: comparison of topical versus oral

supplementation. J Cosmet Sci: 55(2): 177-187.

5. Sorg, Olivier and Saurat, Jean-HIlaire. 2014. Topical retinoids in skin aging: a

focused update with reference to sun-induced epidermal vitamin A deficiency.

Dermatology: 228(4): 314-325.

6. Kafi, R. Kwak, H.S.R., Schumacher, W.E., Cho, S., Hanft, V.N., Hamilton, T.A.,

King, A.L., Neal, J.D., Varani, J., Fisher, G.J., Voorhees, J.J., Kang, S. 2007.

Improvement of naturally aged skin with vitamin A (retinol). Arch Dermatol:

143(5): 606-612.

7. Wohlrab, Johannes and Kreft, Daniela. 2014. Niacinamide - mechanisms of

action and its topical use in dermatology. Skin Pharmacol Physiol: 27(6): 311-


8. Rolfe, Heidi M. 2014. A review of nicotinamide: treatment of skin diseases

and potential side effects. J Cosmet Dermatol: 13(4): 324-328.

9. Ebner, F., Heller, A., Rippke, F., Tausch, R. 2002. Topical use of dexpanthenol

in skin disorders. Am J Clin Dermatol: 3(6): 427-433.

10. Januchowski, Ronald. 2009. Evaluation of topical vitamin B(12) for the

treatment of childhood eczema. J Altern Complement Med: 15(4): 387-389.

11. Gupta, M., Mahajan, V., Mehta, K.S., Chauhan, P.S. 2014. Zinc therapy in

dermatology: a review. Dermatol Res Pract: online.

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