Some of the first signs of skin aging prematurely are excessive redness, abnormal pigmentation, and loss of skin tone and elasticity. Much of the available dermatological research points to inflammation as the common denominator.
Although inflammation is often thought of as an infection or wound, it’s actually the body’s natural response to those two factors. Like most things in the human body, there is good and bad inflammation. The purpose of skin care is to reduce the bad (chronic) and damaging inflammation while permitting the body to use good (acute) inflammation to heal and repair.
Inflammation is the body’s normal protective response to trauma (an injury, irritation, surgery, etc.), and is a compulsory signal to your immune system to ward off infection and repair acute insults to the skin such as punctures and cuts.
Acute inflammation is the body’s built-in defense system that provides protection from injuries, invading viruses and bacteria. When the body is under attack, it responds by setting in motion an inflammatory process that signals the body to send increased circulation, tissue fluid and white blood cells to the area at risk. This type of inflammation is typically resolved within 1 to 2 weeks with little accompanying tissue destruction.
Inflammation becomes problematic, however, when it becomes chronic. Long lasting inflammation can be damaging to the normal skin and body, causing significant and serious tissue destruction.
And when the inflammation is in the skin, which is the body’s largest organ, in addition to affecting your health, it also accelerate fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores, as well as puffiness, sagging, blotchiness or reddening of the skin. Acne, eczema, abnormal pigmentation and rosacea can all be traced to various types of chronic skin inflammation.
Inflammation can be caused by a variety of stimulants that are physical, chemical, or biological in nature, including:
- Sun exposure
- Environmental toxin exposure including pollution and smoking
- Stress of all types
- Physical trauma)
- Bacteria and viruses
The stimulant triggers free radicals, which in turn starts an extremely destructive chain of events. This constant release of free radicals causes abnormal healing, skin cell damage, and reduction of collagen production. This results in uncommon scar formation, pigment deposits and circulation into affected skin.
While some aging factors are beyond our control, inflammation needn’t be. Now that we understand that chronic inflammation is bad, how do we control it? Dietary choices play a big role in contributing to chronic inflammation. Learning how specific foods influence the inflammatory process is the best strategy for containing it and reducing long-term disease risks.Dietary choices play a big role in contributing to chronic inflammation.Click To Tweet
In short, antioxidant-rich foods such as fruits and veggies are better for your skin, your body, and your health. Minimize your consumption of processed foods and fast food. Along with influencing inflammation, foods that are rich in vitamin A, C and E, bioflavinoids and polyphenols are best. The good foods include broccoli, kale, nuts, carrots, berries, dark chocolate, tomatoes, citrus, and spinach.
Protecting the skin is the key to preventing chronic inflammation before it begins. Since one of the major causes of skin inflammation is sun exposure, the best defense is sunscreen. While Wake Health Medical Group can help repair damage when it occurs, ounces of prevention in the form of sunscreen can be less expensive than the dollars or time spent on cure.