How Inflammation Affects The Skin and How To Stop It
In the never-ending quest for perfect skin, many of us try different skin care products, perhaps even change our diet a little bit, and look to doctors and estheticians for solutions. Yet many people miss the crucial step of understanding how the skin works in order to really know how to best care for their skin. One very important issue that most people know little to nothing about, but greatly affects our skin, is inflammation.
Keep reading in order to find out just what skin inflammation is, how it damages the skin, and how to stop it.
What Is Skin Inflammation?
Inflammation is one of the forms the body heals itself. It is the body’s defense system against invading bacteria, viruses, and all sorts of other injuries. While your body realizes that something is wrong, perhaps you fell and cut your knee, the immune system starts a healing process that sends chemicals to the injured area in order to repair what has been hurt.
When the body’s natural healing process kicks in you might see redness or swelling in the area of injury. Once your injury is healed the inflammation is supposed to go away.
The Problem With Inflammation In the Skin
You can see inflammation in the skin when you have a sunburn or a red, inflamed breakout. Unfortunately, most skin inflammation is not noticeable which means you cannot tell if your skin is suffering from inflammation or not. There are 2 types of inflammation in the skin – acute (or short-term) and chronic (long-term). Acute or short-term inflammation can actually be good for the skin. When your inflammation occurs in your skin to repair an injury that type of inflammation is actually helpful to the skin.
Skin inflammation can also occur after a laser treatment or a chemical peel which is actually fine since the skin has been injured on purpose by these procedures. Afterward one of these procedures the skin begins to heal itself and younger, smoother skin is revealed.
But if inflammation sticks around and does not go away, lots of problems begin to happen.
Chronic, or long-term, inflammation in the body leads to many diseases such as heart disease. When inflammation sticks around in the skin, it shows up as fine lines, wrinkles, acne, dark spots (hyperpigmentation), moisture loss, and skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea. Long-term skin inflammation is caused by many factors including too much sun exposure, a diet high in sugar and processed foods, lack of sleep, pollution, and smoking (even second-hand smoke). One of the main problems with long-term skin inflammation is that unlike short-term inflammation you cannot see this type of inflammation. It is going on on a deep level inside our bodies without us seeing or feeling anything.
Lifestyle Changes to Stop Skin Inflammation
Luckily, there are many things that you can do to reduce long-term skin inflammation. These changes start with some important lifestyle decisions that will not only make your skin look great but improve your overall health as well:
- Make sure that you get enough sleep. Beauty sleep is not a myth, and you need to make sure you get enough of it.
- Eat a diet rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods. Avoid eating too much sugar, processed foods, and unhealthy fats.
- Regularly use sunscreen, even when it is cloudy or rainy outside. Be sure to reapply sunscreen throughout the day. Even if you are going to be outside just for a few minutes or a quick car ride make sure you apply sunscreen.
- Quit smoking.
- Make certain to keep your skin well moisturized. If your skin becomes too dry your skin barrier, which protects your skin from bacteria and damage, can become compromised and stop doing the job it is supposed to do – protect you. Make sure you moisturize daily.
- Use antioxidant-rich skin care products that help protect your skin from the outside in.
Skin Care Products That Fight Inflammation
One great way to fight skin inflammation is to use skin care products with antioxidants in them. All these products can all be easily purchased from Amazon: