Skin inflammation could indicate serious health problems. Here’s how to tamp it down – Miami Herald

Skin conditions like eczema, rosacea or psoriasis can indicate there’s chronic inflammation throughout your body. Psoriasis has been linked with an increased risk of prediabetes.
Skin conditions like eczema, rosacea or psoriasis can indicate there’s chronic inflammation throughout your body. Psoriasis has been linked with an increased risk of prediabetes.

If you struggle with inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, rosacea or psoriasis, you know the many ways that inflammation can disrupt the skin. However, did you know that skin inflammation could also be an indicator of chronic inflammation throughout your body?

Inflammation, skin and overall health

Studies have long shown that inflammatory skin conditions may increase the risk of certain adverse health conditions. Researchers now believe that the gut-skin axis, connected by a delicate microbiome of living microorganisms, could be the reason for this link.

When the gastrointestinal barrier does not function properly, “holes” in the barrier allow pathogens to escape into the bloodstream. From there, those pathogens travel to the skin, where they disrupt the skin’s delicate microbiome and protective barrier.

Thus, inflammation that is triggered by a gastrointestinal problem such as inflammatory bowel disease could show up on the skin as red, itchy psoriasis.

Psoriasis has also been linked with an increased risk of prediabetes, characterized by tissue inflammation, as well as heart disease.

Similarly, the latest research shows eczema is commonly linked with autoimmune disorders of the skin, GI tract or connective tissue, pointing to another potential gut-skin connection.

How to reduce inflammation

An overwhelming body of research shows that inflammation throughout the body and skin is connected. But there are many things you can do to reduce chronic inflammation:

Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Anti-inflammatory foods and drinks include berries, walnuts, wild-caught salmon, avocados, green tea, turmeric and others. Avoid processed and fried foods, sugary drinks and sweets and trans fats.

Use anti-inflammatory skincare ingredients. Anyone with sensitive skin and/or inflammatory skin conditions like eczema or rosacea can benefit from using anti-inflammatory skincare ingredients that are a match for their skin type. Some of the most common anti-inflammatory ingredients in skincare include argan oil, green tea, chamomile, aloe, colloidal oatmeal, feverfew and resveratrol.

Exercise and maintain a healthy, stable weight. Just 20 minutes of exercise per day has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the entire body, reducing inflammatory fatty tissues and increasing the production of anti-inflammatory cells.

Get enough sleep. Sleep plays an important role in regulating the immune system. Poor-quality sleep and sleep disturbances can trigger an inflammatory response, leading to chronic inflammation over time. Try turning off your electronic devices 30 minutes before bed to promote better sleep.

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