Do you suffer from inflammation of the skin? Your complete guide to inflammation and skin, what is it? What causes it? How can it be reduced?
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is a natural process; it is the body’s way of responding when we are sick or injured and commences the healing process. In the case of an injury or illness, the body responds by sending white blood cells to protect the body and promote repair. You may relate to experiencing inflammation as swelling or a fever.
However, inflammation can become problematic when chronic inflammation develops and white blood cells attempt to treat something that does not require a response.
In this circumstance, the immune system begins attacking healthy tissue and producing chemicals that damage cells. This is when autoimmune diseases like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, acne and other skin-related problems can occur.
What causes inflammation?
There are different things that cause inflammation, but some of the main causes include diet and stress.
Considering much of the immune system resides in the gut, it stands to reason that dietary choices can greatly affect inflammation.
Some of the biggest triggers include;
- refined carbs
- processed food
There are diets that can help reduce internal inflammation.
Another key trigger for inflammation is stress. Like overconsumption of sugar, stress encourages increased production of cortisol. This increased production of cortisol fosters a more toxic environment and encourages inflammation.
Unfortunately, stress is unavoidable, so it is important to manage it on a regular basis so it is not exacerbated.
Sleep, or rather lack of sleep is closely linked to inflammation and chronic inflammatory diseases.
Therefore ensuring you invest in 8 hours of sleep a night is critical to a productive and healthy lifestyle.
How does inflammation affect the skin?
When we consider the skin, collagen is one of the first things that can be affected by inflammation. Inflammation breaks down collagen and also prevents it from forming. This enhances the visual signs of the ageing in the form of wrinkles and sagging skin.
Likewise, there are many skin disorders that are quite literally a visible response to inflammation including acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis; often red and angry in appearance.
Reducing inflammation – The golden rules
Consuming a diet rich in anti-inflammatory properties can prevent excessive inflammation and quench free radicals. Healthy fats such as omega-3 and omega-6 found in oily fish like salmon, avocado, chia seeds and coconut are great options. Antioxidant rich foods can help manage inflammation and cortisol levels including berries and dark leafy greens.
Managing stress levels are one of the most important ways we can help with inflammation. Creating a lifestyle or ways to release stress will greatly affect the way the body is able to manage stress hormones.
Sleep is when the body has the opportunity to restore and recuperate. We know that performance, production and general well-being are greatly enhanced by sleep. There is also a direct correlation between sleep and reduced inflammation (including chronic diseases caused by inflammation).
How does inflammation affect your skin?
The skin is the body's largest organ, and it's no surprise that it's also one of the most affected by inflammation. Skin inflammation is one way that the body shows that it is fighting an infection or injury.
When the body senses something is wrong, it sends blood to the affected area to help fight the problem.
Skin inflammation can cause a range of symptoms, including:
- a rash that may be smooth or scaly
- and can itch, burn
- or sting
- swelling in the affected area
- raw or cracked skin that may bleed
- thickening of the skin in the affected area
How do I reduce inflammation in my skin?
Skin inflammation can have a lot of different causes. It might be because of an infection or an autoimmune condition.
Most of the time, skin inflammation is something that can be cured. The treatment depends on what is causing the inflammation.
Possible treatments could be:
- topical creams
- ointments such as steroid cream or gel
- dietary changes
- light therapy
- immune therapies
What is the fastest way to reduce inflammation in the body?
Inflammation that occurs in the body can be reduced by making some diet and lifestyle changes these include the following:
Diet: Consuming a diet rich in anti-inflammatory properties can prevent excessive inflammation and quench free radicals.
Healthy fats such as omega-3 and omega-6 found in oily fish like salmon, avocado, chia seeds and coconut are great options.
Antioxidant-rich foods can help manage inflammation and cortisol levels including berries and dark leafy greens.
Drinking water is also an easy way to reduce inflammation by increasing hydration.
Reduce stress: Managing stress levels are one of the most important ways we can help with inflammation.
Creating a lifestyle or ways to release stress will greatly affect the way the body is able to manage stress hormones.
Some of these methods could be things like yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, or even just spending time outside in nature.
Sleep: is important for so many reasons. It's when our bodies have the chance to heal and get stronger.
We perform better and feel better when we've had enough rest. Additionally, there is a strong connection between sleep and how much inflammation our bodies have.
Getting enough rest can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases caused by inflammation.
Exercise: Getting some exercise is also a great way to reduce inflammation.
What is the most common inflammatory disorder of the skin?
There are many skin disorders that are a direct response to inflammation, such as;
These conditions are often characterised by redness and swelling.
What is a natural anti-inflammatory for the skin?
People looking for natural remedies to help with inflammation may want to consider a multi-faceted approach, making changes to their diet, sleep, and exercise routines.
Additionally, specific supplements such as Omega-3, Vitamin D, and Magnesium may help.
For inflammatory skin conditions, topical remedies such as aloe vera gel, witch hazel water, colloidal oatmeal, German chamomile, marshmallow root, or yarrow may provide relief.
Does skin inflammation go away?
Skin inflammation can have many different causes, both short-term and long-term. The treatment for skin inflammation also varies depending on the cause.
Acute inflammation, usually resolved within six weeks, can be caused by things like acne, sunburns, and allergic reactions.
Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, lasts longer than six weeks and may be indefinite.
Chronic skin inflammation
What are the 5 classic signs of inflammation?
Inflammation can be caused by a variety of things, but one way it manifests is through how your body responds to infection.
Five key signs usually indicate this response:
- loss of function
However, in other cases, there may be absolutely no symptoms of inflammation.
Are bananas anti-inflammatory?
Bananas are not just delicious, but they also have awesome benefits for your health!
They contain anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties that can help reduce inflammation and bolster your immune system.
So if you're looking to improve your health, consider adding bananas to your diet and avoiding pro-inflammatory foods.
What does skin inflammation look like?
An example of inflamed skin on the arm
Skin inflammation can present in many ways. But usually comes in the form of a rash. It can be raised, red, or warm. Some rashes from inflammation cause blisters or pimples, while others may burn, sting, or itch.
What foods reduce skin inflammation?
When you're following an anti-inflammatory diet, you'll want to include foods like tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, avocados, green peppers, green tea, mushrooms, broccoli, and nuts like almonds and walnuts.
You'll also want to eat fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines, as well as fruits like strawberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, and oranges.
And don't forget dark chocolate and turmeric!