Inflammation & Aging of the Skin
The skin faces threats from internal and external irritants that can lead to inflammation and damage. When inflammation reaches the chronic level, the damage accumulates and ages skin.
Skin Inc. states that inflammatory enzymes known as matrix metalloproteinases initiate the inflammatory process that causes skin aging. These enzymes normally destroy old or damaged skin tissues to make way for new ones. Chronic or recurring inflammation, however, causes the damage to outpace the remodeling, leading to wrinkles and other signs of aging.
People can develop chronic inflammation through diseases, environmental pollutants, irritating skin treatments, injuries and other means. Dermatitis, a contact rash that often inflames the hands, causes more lost work days than any other physical condition, according to Skin Inc.
Doctors prescribe corticosteroids and other anti-inflammatory drugs for many skin ailments linked to inflammation, including dermatitis and psoriasis. Skin Inc. adds that a variety of antioxidant foods and supplements available in supermarkets contain potent anti-inflammatory qualities that can help protect the skin. These foods include soy milk, green tea, citrus fruits and carrots.