Skin Physiology: linking inflammation and aging
On Aug 2, 2013
Guest Post by Emma Brown
This is a guest post by Emma Brown. For full disclosure, she has no financial relationship with Central Skin and wanted to share her knowledge about skin aging. We hope you all enjoy it!
For ages, people have been trying to decipher the reasons causing aging and understand secrets that can defy and dodge aging. Based on the research conducted, inflammation of skin has been shown to cause early aging of the skin. Not just aging, it can also cause acne, skin cancer, eczema, and many other skin diseases. The adverse affects from sun inflammation may also result in skin aging.
Nature of Inflammation
Technically, inflammation is a necessary self-defense mechanism- it is the immune system’s response to infection, irritation, or injury. The body produces inflammatory substances, such as histamines and cytokines, and blood vessels swell, sending immune cells to the skin to kill bacteria. In some cases inflammation becomes chronic due to some genetic and environmental factors. Inflammation gains speed, stimulating production of skin-eroding enzymes it destroys down everything in its path (collagen, elastin).
Aging and Inflammation
Aging is the natural process caused over the time due to genetic and environmental components. It is also known that in many cases aging is not always systemic. Aging might result in an increase of inflammatory cytokines, which are chemicals that are cell signals responsible for many of the degenerative diseases that are associated with aging. One example of such a disease is rheumatoid arthritis.
Inflammation as we discussed is a vital defense mechanism. But sometimes, if the tissue’s health is not recovered or if it persists as a weak but constant source of irritation, inflammation can become chronic. Here, the immune system continues producing low levels of pro-inflammatory substances, including free radicals, and encourage persistent micro-sources of inflammation causing constant damage to the surrounding tissue.
Inflammatory reaction is also triggered by other extrinsic signs. Major causes include pollution, smoking, irritants, hormonal changes, or stress. Studies have proven that the two most common causes for inflammation are loss of the skin barrier and excessive exposure to UV rays. These factors contribute towards the skin damage and chronic inflammation, thus increasing the production of free radicals and contributing to tissue damage.
Similarly with age the immune system becomes less efficient and its ability to manage the inflammatory response. As a result, inflammatory reactions are no longer able to be suppressed by your own body. This flow of events leads to an increased production of free radicals and of tissue damage.
Aging and inflammation are clearly interrelated. Researchers have shown that chronic inflammation acts as catalyst in premature aging. The chronic inflammation leaves its effects slowly and silently that no one gets to know that while it is actively affecting skin so as to detect the symptoms. It is for this reason that chronic inflammation is also called silent inflammation, but ultimately it leads to severe skin deterioration and speedy skin aging.
Some strategies to lower the impact of some extrinsic factors accelerating inflammation on the skin
Apart from Lifecell anti aging cream that works on your skin type, these are the routine skin care strategies that can help you fight inflammation.
- Apply skin protecting UVA/UVB sunscreen product before any sun exposure.
- As per the skin type and the season, hydro-lipid balance of a product is vital to preserve the integrity of the skin barrier.
- Limit the use of keratolytic agents or keratoregulators like BHA, AHA, retinol, resorcinol, etc.
- Avoid dermabrasion techniques and chemical peels. They cause inflammation.
- Doctors may prescribe corticosteroids and other anti-inflammatory drugs for many skin ailments linked to inflammation like dermatitis and psoriasis.
- You must intake a variety of antioxidant foods and supplements such as soy milk, green tea, citrus fruits and carrots available in the super market that contain potent anti-inflammatory qualities that can help protect the skin.
Emma Brown is a skin expert by profession. She loves to share her knowledge and experience with people. She regularly contributes her write ups to health or skin care related websites and blogs with most of her writings based on tips for best anti aging skin treatments. In her free time she loves to travel, fashion shows and music.