You’ve probably heard that inflammation in the skin and body can have a negative impact on our health if not managed. That’s the bad news. The good news? It can be managed and reduced. As with all things, knowledge is power, so we’ve put together a rundown of ‘inflammatory’ pearls of wisdom so that you’re armed with all you need to know to turn down the heat and let your skin and body keep its cool – and its healthy glow.
First up, what is inflammation?
Inflammation is the body’s natural immune response – both visible and invisible – to foreign bodies or injury, playing an essential role in healing. Think about it, when you get injured, a bruise develops, getting darker after the initial impact and then fading as the injured tissues recover. This is acute inflammation, healing over the course of days, maybe weeks, but it comes, gets the job done and leaves. It’s not the kind of inflammation we worry about.
The type of inflammation that’s a red flag for your body’s and skin’s health, long-term? Chronic inflammation. This is the kind that’s linked to several health and skin conditions and is listed as one of the ten leading causes of mortality in the United States, as well as a significant factor in the development of degenerative disease and loss of youthful function.
Let’s talk CAUSE…
It’s important to stress (excuse the pun) the importance of managing stress levels if you’re going to manage your inflammation levels. Once triggered, stress-induced inflammation (from low-level to chronic) can go undetected for years, even decades, systematically triggering cellular stress and dysfunction, weakening and destroying cells throughout the body like a submarine in stealth mode.
But cortisol-spiking stress isn’t the only culprit; other well-documented and widely warned-against causes of chronic inflammation include excessive calorie consumption, elevated blood sugar levels, and oxidative stress. We realise that what you’ve just read may feel daunting but… relax; understanding the causes of chronic inflammation is the first step to equipping ourselves – and our loved ones – to make more informed choices about how we deal with inflammation or prevent it from happening.
Now let’s talk EFFECT…
Brace yourself; the long-term effects of chronic inflammation, if not managed and taken seriously, are serious. From cardiovascular diseases and chronic kidney disease to cancer, diabetes, age-related macular degeneration, osteoporosis, depression and cognitive decline, the effects of chronic inflammation decrease your ability to live a long, healthy life. It’s important to note that before inflammation becomes chronic, it presents and takes residence in our bodies as low-level inflammation. Just because the term contains the word ‘low’ doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put it high up on your list of wellness priorities.
Any level of inflammation is an indication of cellular stress. Your cells are sending distress signals, so it’s important not to ignore them. How do you give these distress signals the attention they deserve? Well, you need to consciously limit and decrease your exposure to exogenous (external environmental toxins, tobacco smoke) and endogenous (internal reactive oxygen species) stressors.
How does inflammation impact your skin?
Both Acne and Rosacea are closely associated with inflammation, as is another bane of many women’s skincare struggles; hyper-pigmentation. While the effects of low-level and chronic inflammation are more than skin-deep, inflammation is probably at its most visible when you see it reflected in the mirror. Simply put, get the inflammation under control from the outside in (treatments and products) and the inside out (diet and supplements), and you’ll be well on your way to getting your skin concerns under control, too.
What can you take to start making an anti-inflammatory difference right away?
The causes and effects of inflammation may be a tough pill to swallow, but starting to tackle it isn’t, thanks to Meriva – a natural anti-inflammatory supplement ideal for treating any acute or chronic condition with an inflammatory aspect.
Meriva contains the active ingredient Curcumin, a potent natural anti-inflammatory which also has antioxidant properties and boosts the body’s own endogenous antioxidants. Regular use can protect the cardiovascular system from harmful inflammation, lowering the risk of heart disease while improving brain function and protecting against neurodegenerative diseases. It’s a useful addition in treating Acne and inflammatory skin conditions such as Eczema and Dermatitis, too.