Curious? We thought so! Here at SkinScience Clinic in downtown Calgary, it’s our aim to both educate and deliver above-and-beyond results. And what’s one of the most common misconceptions we hear from clients here in the clinic? That inflammation is an inherently bad thing.
As a Microbiology and Immunology major of the University of Montreal, SkinScience Clinic’s founder, Marie Bertrand, knows a thing or two about inflammation… and that, despite common belief, inflammation can actually be a good thing.
“Inflammation? A Good Thing?”
While inconvenient, inflammation can actually be beneficial: after all, inflammation is the body’s natural protective response to injury and pathogens (such as bacteria or viruses). Because our bodies are so intelligently wired, they automatically know what to do when there is a disruption of the natural balance within your body; we can also commonly feel when our body may be inflamed, such as after too much alcohol or unhealthy foods.
When an inflammation trigger is registered by our body, our body’s defense systems initiate a flood of molecular action— multitudes of cells rush to the offending area to see what needs to be protected against. Once the trigger is determined, inflammatory mediators—known as “bradykinins” and “histamines”— cause blood vessels to open in order for an increased flow of blood and oxygen to the affected area.
Puffy cheeks post-wisdom teeth removal or a swollen wrist after a fracture are just two examples of our body’s protective responses firing correctly. So when can inflammation turn sour? Well, when our body is incapable or slow at cleaning up the residue of this inflammatory response we enter the drawbacks of inflammation: negative inflammation.
Chronic Inflammation and its Impact On Your Skin (and Overall Well-Being!)
Chronic inflammation—also referred to as long-term inflammation—is classified as inflammation that lasts for a long period of time (months or, in extreme cases, years). Chronic inflammation’s impact is so severe, in fact, that it is ranked by the World Heath Organization as “the greatest threat to human health”.
Telltale signs of chronic inflammation include:
· High blood pressure
· Eczema or psoriasis
· Food allergies
· Heart disease
· Digestive problems
· Unexplained weight gain and/or stubborn visceral fat
These conditions are serious not just due to their potential severity, but also because they can remain undetected in the body for long periods of time before being successfully diagnosed.
“I Think That I Have Chronic Inflammation! How Can I Mitigate It?”
While it may be tempting to sit and despondently ponder how your chronic inflammation came to be (genetics? Environmental factors? Poor nutrition choices? Stress? A sedentary lifestyle? Plain bad luck?) we here at SkinScience Clinic believe in solutions—especially for something such as chronic inflammation, which can be reversed.
We here at SkinScience Clinic advocate for the following in order to reduce and control chronic inflammation:
· Making nutritious food choices (especially limiting the intake of sugar and refined carbs)
· Taking a daily probiotic to balance your gut flora
· Staying hydrated
· Eliminating or reducing dairy, which, due to the hormones it contains, can cause inflammation
· Improving your sleep schedule
· Limiting your alcohol consumption
· Managing stress
While these may seem like large lifestyle changes when facing them head-on, educating yourself on your chronic inflammation triggers and slowly making healthy lifestyle adjustments to reduce its effects can eliminate chronic inflammation over time without medical intervention.
Are you struggling with chronic inflammation and its impact on your body and skin? Reach out today to learn how one of our skin specialists can provide you with customized home care and in-clinic treatments to rid you of chronic inflammation for good.