When your skin is sore and red, you may not think too deeply about the root cause behind it. Your primary concern is most likely how to stop the pain and discomfort. Skin inflammation occurs when the immune system reacts to a trigger, causing a wide range of symptoms such as burning, itching, redness, warmth, blisters, and cracked skin. Skin inflammation is no joke but there are ways to soothe it quickly and effectively.
In this article, we’ll explore the subject of skin inflammation including some of its causes and the difference between acute and chronic inflammation. We’ll also talk about some simple things you can do to soothe inflammation and provide product recommendations for accelerated results.
What is Inflammation?
When you stub your toe, you feel a sudden burst of pain followed by a duller ache. You may also notice that your toe turns red and might even swell. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury – it is the body’s way of signaling to the immune system that an injury needs to be healed and damaged tissue repaired. Without this natural process, wounds would never heal and infections could become deadly. In the same vein, if the inflammatory process continues for too long it can also be dangerous.
There are two types of inflammation – acute and chronic. Acute inflammation occurs when an injury happens, so it is a short-term response with localized effects. When you stub your toe and the area becomes red, warm, and swollen that is an acute inflammatory response. Acute inflammation causes the blood vessels to dilate, increasing blood flow to the area and swarming the damaged tissue with white blood cells to start the healing process. As the damage heals, the inflammation subsides.
Chronic inflammation is also known as persistent low-grade inflammation because it is a long-term widespread form of low-level inflammation. This type of inflammation causes a small increase in immune system markers which can be triggered by a perceived internal threat, even if there is no injury to heal and no disease to fight. White blood cells still flood to the area but, because there is nothing to fight, they may eventually start attacking healthy cells and tissues.
The Top 10 Causes of Skin Inflammation
Now that you have more knowledge of what inflammation is, you can better understand skin inflammation. Skin becomes inflamed when it is irritated by an internal or external cause or trigger. According to dermatologist Nada Elbuluk, MD, skin inflammation can manifest with several symptoms such as itching, burning, or discoloration of the skin. In the early stages, inflamed skin may look red or pink but may leave behind a discolored patch of skin.
Here are the top 10 causes of skin inflammation:
- Immune system dysfunction
- Allergic reaction
- Contact dermatitis
- Bacterial, viral, or fungal infection
- Heat rash
- Chronic stress
- Hormone fluctuations
- Changes in skin care regimen
Diagnosing skin inflammation typically involves a physical exam and an examination of the rash itself. Routine blood tests may help rule out specific conditions and allergy testing can be used to confirm an allergy diagnosis. In more extreme cases, a skin biopsy may be required to diagnose the condition. If the inflammation is mild and directly linked to a change in habits or lifestyle, testing may not be required.
Acute skin inflammation typically lasts for six weeks or less while chronic inflammation can become indefinite. This is true for certain inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. Even if you can’t completely eliminate skin inflammation, there are things you can do to soothe the itching, redness, and discomfort associated with it.
Simple Lifestyle Tips for Soothing Skin Inflammation
Understanding the underlying cause of your skin inflammation is the first step toward resolving it. Once you identify the issue, you can adjust your skincare routine or your lifestyle as needed.
Here are some simple lifestyle tips for soothing skin inflammation:
- Avoid direct sunlight. Sun damage is one of the primary causes of skin inflammation, so be sure to wear broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least 30 SPF when you go outside and cover up with sunglasses, a hat, and long sleeves if you are particularly prone to sun damage.
- Manage your stress level. Chronic stress can trigger or exacerbate skin inflammation, so take time to breathe throughout the day and engage in relaxing activities to lower your stress level.
- Follow a balanced diet. A balanced diet low in refined carbohydrates and added sugars is good for your skin. If inflammation is an issue, try a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats (including fish) with limited red meat.
- Avoid extreme temperatures. Exposing your skin to extreme temperature changes such as cold weather followed by a hot shower can increase inflammation.
- Be gentle with exfoliation. When your skin is already inflamed, the last thing you want to do is stress it with exfoliation. Avoid harsh scrubs and consider taking a break from your exfoliation routine to focus on gentle cleansing and moisturization instead.
- Take a break from your routine. Skin inflammation can make your skin extra sensitive even to ingredients you use regularly, so consider taking a break from your routine and avoid the urge to cover up your inflammation with heavy makeup.
The tips mentioned above may help with mild and occasional skin inflammation, but if it becomes a chronic issue you may want to seek help. A dermatologist or another skin care professional can help you get to the bottom of your skin inflammation and provide advice for how to deal with it.
The Top Yon-Ka Paris Products to Soothe Inflamed Skin
Giving your skin time to rest and rejuvenate is one of the best things you can do to soothe inflammation. In the meantime, there are certain products that might help speed the process along while addressing some of the underlying causes of skin inflammation as well.
Here are the top Yon-Ka Paris products to help soothe inflamed skin:
- Sensitive Crème – This calming, comforting treatment is specially formulated for sensitive and reactive skin. It features the Sensibiotic complex of pre- and probiotics with sea mayweed to desensitize the skin, balance the microbiome, and strengthen the skin’s protective barrier. Apply day and/or night after a thorough cleansing using gentle circular motions, and toning.
- Anti-Redness Crème – Target redness with this soothing, corrective treatment formulated to ease the signs of discomfort and reduce localized redness. Featuring centella asiatica and mirabilis jalapa to vaso-construct and reduce inflammation, this treatment also contains green mineral pigments for gentle color correction. Apply daily and nightly after cleansing and toning.
- Sensitive Masque – Made with a complex blend of soothing and calming botanicals like yarrow, arnica, German chamomile, and witch hazel, this masque is Yon-Ka’s classic 9-1-1 treatment for sensitive, reactive, and inflamed skin. Apply 1 to 3 times per week after cleansing and toning. Remove after 10 minutes then work the excess into the skin and moisturize as desired.
- Nettoyant Crème – The preferred choice for sensitive and reactive skin, this comforting cleanser calms and cools the skin while gently removing all traces of makeup. Apply with your fingertips in light circles and rinse with cool water and pat dry – avoid rubbing.
Skin inflammation doesn’t always have an immediate remedy – it takes time for irritation and inflammation to subside. In the meantime, take good care of your skin and make sure to keep it properly cleansed and moisturized. For additional skincare advice or for product recommendations, speak to a Yon-Ka Paris professional by using our Spa Locator to find a spa near you.