The term “inflammation” has been used frequently in wellness circles for many years, but it is much more than a trendy word. Understanding inflammation may help you figure out what caused your most recent breakout or why you constantly feel exhausted.
Inflammation can also have a significant negative impact on your skin, but understanding why requires an understanding of what it is and where it comes from.
What is inflammation?
Although the idea of inflammation may be frightening, it is a natural healing process designed to keep possible irritants outside the body. When your body is put in danger, whether by an unknown substance or an injury, an inflammatory response happens. The area becomes inflamed as your body attempts to fight off the foreign substance, preventing further damage from being done by other irritants.
Causes of inflammation
What causes inflammation varies from person to person, however, the cause of inflammation is generally influenced by genetics, environment, and lifestyle. Pollution and exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays are examples of environmental factors that cause inflammation. Moreover, inflammatory chemicals are the usual causes when it comes to your lifestyle and habits such as smoking, poor eating habits including overconsumption of sugar and saturated fats, excessive alcohol consumption, and stress.
Inflammation and the skin
Your skin is a very useful tool for determining whether or not you are inflamed. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and because skin cells regenerate rather quickly, it is one of the first areas to show signs of stress.
Skin inflammation can be either acute or chronic. Overexposure to the sun without sunscreen causes sunburn and the skin becomes red and swollen, this inflammation is acute since it subsides quickly. When exposed to the sun without using sunscreen, the damage will start to accumulate over time and cause accelerated aging of the skin, including fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, and pigmentation. This is referred to as chronic inflammation.
The same reasoning holds true for other outside elements like pollution and the items you feed your skin. Your skincare can upset your skin’s balance and trigger an inflammatory response if it contains irritating substances, harsh fragrances, or high quantities of essential oils. The fibroblasts in your skin, which are in charge of producing the proteins collagen and elastin, which keep your skin elastic and plump, are harmed by this prolonged contact with irritants.
Inflammatory skin conditions are not only caused by external irritants. Your skin reflects your inner health, so when you have internal inflammation, there’s a chance that it will show up on your skin as a minor problem like breakouts or as a more serious condition like eczema or psoriasis. While eating foods with high sugar content and saturated fatty foods might contribute to outbreaks, hormonal acne may be brought on by shifting hormone levels. Stress, lackluster, blotchiness, and redness in the skin are all signs of stress on the skin. Dehydration – low water intake or not giving the skin the proper topical treatments can also cause your skin to become dry and more prone to inflammation.
Remedies for Inflammation
Altering your lifestyle and diet by reducing stress and adopting a diet rich in antioxidants. Feeding your body the vitamins and minerals it needs coupled with the proper skin care regimen is a good starting point to lessen the impact of inflammation on the skin’s surface.
- Build up the skin’s barrier – look for products with strengthening ingredients like niacinamide, which has been shown to reduce moisture loss and boost collagen, or ceramides, which are lipids that control our skin cells’ function to help reduce the impact of Inflammation to your skin barrier.
- Soothe the skin – Although they are never pleasant, redness and irritation frequently accompany inflammatory skin conditions. Look for skin care items with calming and hydrating effects, such as aloe vera for some short-term relief with long-term advantages. When you feel like your skin is on fire, skin-calming herbs like chamomile and colloidal oatmeal can be very soothing. Witch hazel can also be used as it is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
- Always use SPF – To avoid UV damage, wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher always when outdoors.
- Keep your skin hydrated – In order to prevent inflammation, it’s critical to keep your skin hydrated. Look for skincare products that contain hyaluronic acid, a potent natural moisturiser that can hold 100 times its weight in water. It also helps to give the body water from the outside – drink a lot of water.
- Avoid foods that cause inflammation – Consuming fewer foods that cause inflammation, such as sugar, refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, and processed foods is crucial.
- Consume more fruits and vegetables – incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet will help to calm inflammation.
- Include fatty acids – Omega-3 fatty acids, which are included in fatty fish like mackerel and salmon, can support a stronger skin barrier and reduce inflammation.
- Include the use of turmeric – Curcumin, a recognized anti-inflammatory substance, is a component of turmeric that will help to keep inflammation at bay.
Experiencing Inflammation on the surface of the skin can be frightening, however, there are many options for reducing it. Some of these options can even improve your mood and make your skin look radiant. While some inflammation is unavoidable, it’s best to see a doctor or skin specialist to be safe if your symptoms are persistent.