This article is not meant to be used for diagnosis or serve as treatment. A consultation should be performed by your physician if you have concerns about inflammation.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is a condition in which the body reacts to injury, irritation or infection. Characterized by redness, heat, pain and swelling
This is a very common condition that can be prominent in many areas of the skin and body and is often overlooked. Inflammation can be a good response from your body but only if it’s for a short period of time.
Inflammation is part of a natural cycle that signals our immune system to start the healing process when trauma or injury occurs. When a cell is “injured” it releases inflammatory mediators that alert the immune system to send leukocytes (white blood cells) to the site of trauma. White blood cells then release a chemical called Cytokine, which signals cells to produce a natural enzyme that begins to break down substances in the skin, including collagen, elastin and even hyaluronic acid. This enzyme is called Matrix Metalloproteinase (MMPs) and is part of the natural aging system.
The presence of MMPs lead to aging in the skin and if inflammation and MMPs are consistently present it can lead to many issues down the road and have a huge impact on over-all health. Inflammation has been linked to many health and skin issues and if not properly cared for, can spiral into a chronic pattern that can be hard to break.
However, inflammation isn’t always black and white. There’s a lot of components that accompany this condition, such as: terms – which determine the length of time inflammation is present and there are different types of inflammation that are both visible and non-visible.
Acute inflammation is considered “short term” - commonly present after an injury and goes away shortly afterwards.
Examples of this would be a bug big or a small cut.
Chronic inflammation on the other hand is a concern, as it lasts longer and can be a persistent reaction that is causing more damage than helping.
Examples of this would be Psoriasis, Rosacea and Telangiectasia.
Other skin issues associated with inflammation include – pigmentation known as Post inflammatory Hyperpigmentation. This is when discoloration is formed after inflammation was present, commonly seen after an acne lesion.
The goal is to reduce inflammation in the skin and body. This can be achieved many different ways, including: certain ingredients in skincare or through diet and supplements. A consultation should be performed by your physician regarding inflammation in the body.
Ingredients high in Antioxidants will help to fight free radical damage in the body and aid in the repair of the skin.
There are many ingredients that help to reduce inflammation in the skin. A few of our favorites are:
- Aloe Vera
- Oat Beta Glucan
- Astragalus Root
- Green Tea
- St. john’s Wort
- Tea Tree
Along with using essential ingredients it is recommended to also use anti-inflammatory practices if possible. Practices like avoiding sun exposure, strenuous exercise and using a cold compress will help to relieve symptoms of inflammation.