Inflammation leads to inflamm ‘ageing’
Angela Hodgkiss- Angelique Day Spa and Skin Clinic
Inflammation often thought of in terms of infection or a wound, but it’s actually the body natural response mechanism to protect itself and is an essential part of the immune system. It is an aspect of all age related diseases and from a lifetime accumulation of molecular damage. Inflammation itself is designed to heal the body, however when exaggerated, the body produces too many inflammatory messengers and the result is disease.
Inflammation always comes with heat, increased blood flow resulting in redness and erythema, swelling and pain and loss of function due to structural necrosis. Inflammation is either acute or chronic. Acute is the initial response by the body to initiate healing. It is the body’s way of sending support to the wound site by increasing plasma and leukocytes to eliminate the pathogens. This is normal inflammation and resides after a few days. Chronic inflammation is prolonged where the inflammation process cascades and leads to a variety of diseases seen in the skin or other body systems. This type of inflammation is referred to as a silent inflammation as there are no overt signs as in acute.
One way to measure how much chronic inflammation we have going on is via a blood test measuring C-reactive Protein (CRP). Another more precise way of measuring is measuring the arachidonic acid (AA) which is the building block of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids. Also measured is iseicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which is the building block of the anti-inflammatory eicosanoids. It is the balance of these two fatty acids in the blood that will give an indicator of inflammation present that is causing a slow death in our cells.
Chronic disruption of the skin barrier will cause chronic inflammation. The barriers lipid layer keeps the skin protected and from drying out. The dermis provides the depth and volume of our skin. It is rich in varied cells and structures that keep it in a homeostatic balance. Inflammation causes disruption and loss of structural integrity.
Inflammation is controlled by mediators. A major mediator released by cells is histamine. This causes vasodilation and increased vascular permeability. Other mediators are prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Prostaglandins are fatty acids that encourage the blood vessels around inflammation to dilate, making it easier for white blood cells and plasma to enter (hence redness and swelling). Prostaglandins also stimulate nerves that send pain messages to the brain.
Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients to calm and protect the skin are: Arnica, Centella asiatica, Epidermal growth factors, Ergothioneine, Glucosamine HCI, Glycine soja, Omega 6, Peptides, L-ascorbic acid, Liquorice, green tea, resveratrol.
A low inflammatory diet will include foods rich in vitamin A (kale, spinach, carrots, liver), C (broccoli, citrus), E (olive, walnut and wheat germ oil) , Bioflavonoids( citrus, berries, tea, red wine dark chocolate, sea buckthorn) and Polyphenols (pomegranate, dk choc, berries, tea)
Barrier repair ingredients
Cholesterol, ceramides, linoleic acid, lauric acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid are all found in the skins barrier and will help repair and reduce inflammation. Hyaluronic acid based products such as aloe vera, oleuropein, vit B, and zinc sulphate will also help with inflammation.
Source -Terry everitt, apj