All of us are familiar with what inflamed skin looks like. Those red and tender to the touch patches have a way of being memorable thanks to the potential pain. Inflammation of all sorts is something we associate with skin conditions like acne or rosacea. The inflammation is a symptom of the problem rather than the problem itself. It needs to be noted that those skin conditions and others may be the problem at the moment, but chronic inflammation of any sort has a negative impact on your skin. This is unfortunate given inflammation is a necessary part of how your body addresses various problems. To better understand the impact of inflammation on your skin, let’s take a closer look at what exactly it is and what it does to your skin. This should help us all have a clearer picture of how our bodies work as well as giving a few idea on how to get inflammation back under control when it becomes a chronic problem.
The Nature of Inflammation
Simply put, inflammation is a sign that your body is responding to damage or infection. White blood cells arrive at an area and begin to do their best to clean the area. Most of us remember from grade school science that white blood cells function as a key member of our immune system. They arrive at infected or damaged areas to try to clear out unwelcome bacteria. These bacteria are essentially tagged, devoured, and then passed as waste products. The catch is that we often don’t learn that how the cells prepare their food involves secreting particular chemicals. These help them do the white blood cells to do their job and make the cleaning up of an area far easier. Those same chemicals are what trigger inflammation in the body. It provides a signal to the rest of the systems involved that an area needs extra attention to clean it out and repair it. This puts that area of your body under strain though as it tries to funnel the necessary resources to the area to fix things.
Chronic Inflammation and Your Skin
Obviously, inflammation is typically a good sign. It means your body is working properly and trying to address problems. The problem is the strain that it causes means stress hormones are being released at the same time. These end up deeply affecting our body just like any source of stress. For the skin, the chances of inflammatory skin conditions occurring ends up skyrocketing. This is likely partly due to the fact that the skin is sensitized by inflammation and partly due to resources already being tied up elsewhere in the skin. This has to be address or you’ll likely experiences flare ups of conditions such as eczema or rosacea if you already have them. Breakouts aren’t uncommon either. This sensitized state also makes it far easier to build up damage on the skin. Wrinkles become more likely and skin can start to sag thanks to not getting repaired properly. That’s why it is in our best interests to minimize skin inflammation and find a way to curtail any source of chronic inflammation in our skin as quickly as possible.
Taking control of inflammation is a lot easier than you might think. A big part of it is simply prevention. It is worth noting that you technically subject your body to a wide reaching shock of inflammation every time you eat sugary foods thanks to a spike in blood sugar. Avoiding indulging in these foods too much can do your skin a lot of good. Additionally, you’ll want to get plenty of fiber in your diet to help regulate any blood sugar spikes from eating to minimize the amount of inflammation that occurs. Controlling any visible inflammation can end up being a bit trickier. A good step is to make sure to moisturize the area effective and to avoid using any harsh products there as well. This will help make your skin a little less sensitive while avoiding provoking a further reaction. Any resistant and chronic area of inflammation should be discussed with a doctor or dermatologist to assess the area for treatment.
Inflammation is one of the wondrous ways in which our body keeps itself intact, but it does have a cost. The stress it causes to the body ends up degrading the health of any organs touched by the inflammation. With our skin, the degradation becomes visible through an increased chance of experiencing various skin conditions as well as a chance of experiencing more signs of premature aging. Avoiding causes of inflammation and getting appropriate treatment for any inflammation already existing will help move you towards better overall skin health and keep you looking your best.