Not all inflammation is bad. Acute inflammation—the kind that occurs immediately following an injury or infection– is necessary to initiate healing. We’re all familiar with this acute version: swelling, redness and pain immediately develop from an injury or infection as blood, leukocytes and other immune defensive biochemicals race to the scene. Acute inflammation should last a few days to a few weeks as the injury or infection is healed or cleared out by the immune system.
Inflammation becomes far more sinister when it enters into the chronic realm. Chronic inflammation isn’t necessarily visible—but it can last days, months, or even years and it can lead to premature aging of the body and skin.
Chronic inflammation occurs due to longer-term injury or infection: chronic exposure to toxins (like alcohol and cigarettes), allergens, stress, irritants, autoimmune dysfunction, physical or emotional trauma and inflammatory foods (like sugar!). Exposure to these stimulants triggers the release of free radicals and arachidonic acid, initiating the “inflammatory cascade”—leukocytes and blood are mobilized, just like the acute inflammatory process. The real players though are called MMPs: matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). MMPs accompany inflammation for all of the right reasons: they enzymatically destroy injured tissue making way for the growth of healthy, new tissue. MMPs are required to remodel tissue during wound healing. The problem is that in the case of chronic inflammation, there isn’t injured tissue, only healthy tissue. So the MMPs destroy that instead….
MMPs break down the core components of healthy skin: collagen, elastin, glycosaminoglycans (GAG’s)and other connective tissue. If chronic inflammation exists in the skin or elsewhere in the body, MMPs will cause skin to thin, wrinkle, lose elasticity and discolor. It isn’t pretty! MMPs are also responsible for the scarring and pitting that is caused by chronic acne inflammation.
There are over 30 different types of the MMPs…but the main culprits will sound familiar: collagenase (breaks down collagen), elastinase (breaks down elastin) and hyaluronidase (breaks down hyaluronic acid). The breakdown of these key connective tissues leads to aging everywhere—in the skin, joints, organs etc. The bottom line is MMPs are bad for your skin and body unless you’re fighting an acute infection or injury.
In order to maintain beautiful, healthy skin as you age it’s necessary to reduce chronic inflammation in your body—and avoid the release of MMPs! You can do this in a number of ways:
- Eat an anti-inflammatory diet that is low in sugar and high in fruits & vegetables;
- Limit exposure to toxins and other irritants;
- Exercise to de-stress, lose weight and build muscle;
- Use products that decrease MMPs…examples are retinol, vitamin C, resveratrol and ginger;
- Use whole body and local cryotherapy to lighten your inflammatory load in your body and on your skin!
To prevent and potentially reverse the signs of aging in your skin, we recommend whole body cryotherapy at least 2 times a week; add a CryoFacial one to two times a week to directly reduce inflammation in the skin. Here’s what you will notice after starting cryotherapy:
- Acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis diminish or even disappear!
- Dry, rough, flaking skin is relieved. Skin is smoother, softer.
- Skin is tighter, spongier, more elastic.
- Cellulite is reduced from increased collagen and reduced fat.
- Wrinkles diminish as collagen, elastin & hyaluronic acid increase.
- Brown spots and other pigmentation diminish.
You will love the many benefits cryotherapy has on your skin. Cryotherapy will also increase both mental and physical energy, help reduce weight, increase metabolism and improve cognitive function and sleep!!! By reducing inflammation throughout the body, at the cellular level, cryotherapy can transform you mentally & physically. Give CoeurCryo a call to learn more at 208-449-7671 or visit our website for more blogs at www.coeurcryo.com.