When our bodies are exposed to infection, irritation or injury, inflammation is a natural defensive response. The redness, warmth and swelling we experience are our bodies' attempts to heal and repair themselves when they feel overwhelmed by outside threats. In addition to taxing our internal organs, such reactions have a direct effect on how we age externally, giving way to wrinkles, puffiness and sagging skin. COSMEDIX is here to answer common questions and how to better control inflammation.
Q: What is inflammation?
A: Inflammation is triggered by the following:
- – Your diet is a leading cause of inflammation and some foods such as pre-packaged cleansed food as well as hydrogenated fats, sugar, dairy, carbohydrates and some grains can cause inflammation.
- – Prolonged sun exposure
- – Stress which deranges hormone levels initiating the inflammatory response in the body.
- – Pollution
- – Genetics
- – Products for the skin, hair and nails, which often contain ingredients that cause inflammation, such as glycolic acid, parabens, synthetic propylene glycol, acrylates and ureas.
Q: How do I know if I am suffering from inflammation?
A: Inflammation means ‘to set on fire’ in Latin. When a disease name ends in -itis, it is an indicator of inflammation (i.e. arthritis, dermatitis, gastritis, tonsillitis and hepatitis). Inflammation results when the immune system is activated by infection long before disease or skin conditions are detected.
Additionally, acne is an inflammatory disease, which is why skin becomes red and plagued by blemishes. A strong indicator that inflammation is present includes: any abnormal blood tests, acidic tissue or blood pH; thickening of blood vessels and trouble losing weight; as well as aging symptoms such as wrinkling, brown spots, abnormal tiny red veins, general skin redness and skin sensitivities.
Q: How do I treat inflammation?
A: You are what you eat and drink €” try to maintain a clean and balanced diet that includes organic, fresh, raw and green (the darker, the better) foods as often as you can. Drink at least one liter of water a day. While drinking sodas is highly inflammatory, smoking of any kind is worse. Get your heart pumping for at least 30 minutes, 2€”4 times a week, and strength train on the other days. Have your thyroid gland checked for optimum function as you age. By fighting inflammation you are taking control of your health and beauty.