Researchers found that having psoriasis and dermatitis, which are both cause skin inflammation, associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
According to a small pilot study, moisturising our skin might reduce the risk of developing a range of chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and even Alzheimer's disease.
If the skin barrier isn't working it could be absorbing lots of inflammation causing bits. This causes your body to release chemicals that cause inflammation. And because your skin is the largest organ, even small amount of inflammation that are happening all over your skin can add up to big consequences.
Researchers from the University of California tested this.
They asked people between the ages of 58 to 95 to apply a skin repairing cream on their bodies 2 times a day for 30 days.
As people age, levels of inflammation in their bodies steadily increase. Scientists refer to this as inflammaging. Cytokines are important drivers of this inflammation, and the scientists involved in the current study want to understand whether the skin might be involved.
Inflammaging and the skin.
Scientists have already outlined a relationship between inflammation and a range of conditions, including type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and osteoporosis.
In the past, scientists thought that the immune system or the liver drove inflammaging. However, according to a new study that the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology recently published, the skin might play a significant role, too.
"The inflammation must come from an organ big enough that very minor inflammation can affect the whole body. Skin is a good candidate for this because of its size."
The researchers studied 3 chemicals your body releases to kick-off inflammation.
All 3 were lowered by using moisturising cream over 30 days.
When compared age for age - the levels of these 3 inflammation markers were at the same levels, you would expect in a 30 year old.
In the study, published March 5, 2019 in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology,
Mauro, Man and colleagues attempted to reverse age-related skin damage using an over-the-counter skin cream formulated based on prior research by Man and colleagues, and which the researchers had previously shown to contribute to skin repair based on its beneficial ratio of three types of lipids (cholesterol, free fatty acids, and ceramides) that are vital for skin health.
Thirty-three older adults between the ages of 58 and 95 applied the cream all over their bodies twice a day for 30 days. After a month, the researchers measured blood levels of three cytokines—interleukin-1 beta, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha—that have all been implicated in age-related inflammatory diseases. Using the cream reduced the amount of all three cytokines compared to both the participants’ levels before using the cream and the levels of similarly aged adults who did not use the cream. In fact, using the cream lowered participants’ cytokine levels to be nearly equivalent with people in their 30s, suggesting that rejuvenating the skin can reverse “inflamm-aging.” The cream also improved skin hydration, lowered pH, and repaired the permeability barrier.
The scientists now plan to conduct a longer, larger study to test if lowering cytokine levels with the cream can delay or prevent age-related inflammatory diseases.
“We're going to see whether using the cream to keep epidermal function normal as people age will prevent the development of those downstream diseases,” said co-author Peter Elias, MD, a UCSF professor of dermatology based at the San Francisco VA Health Care System. “If we do, the implication would be that after the age of 50, you would want to be applying an effective topical barrier repair preparation daily for the rest of your life.”
Authors: The co-lead authors of the study were Li Ye of Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, and Erle Dang of Xijing Hospital in Xi’an, China. Additional authors on the paper include: Kenneth Feingold of UCSF/SFVAMC; Gang Wang and Chen Yu of Xijing Hospital in Xi’an, China; Lizhi Hu of Tianjin Medical University in Tianjin, China; Sekyoo Jeong of Seowon University in Cheongju, South Korea; and Chengzhi Lv of Dalian Skin Disease Hospital in Dalian, China.
Funding: This work was supported by the National Institute on Aging (AG028492), the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (AR061106, AR051930), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81430037, 81573075).