A study done by the University of California San Francisco reveals that taking proper care of your skin with the help of skin repair moisturizing cream, you can prevent and possibly delay age-related diseases.
This study was published in the Journal of European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology on 5 March 2019.
Skin is the largest organ in the human body. With aging, people experience a low-level of inflammation which is driven by an increase in molecules in the blood called cytokines. In older people, this low-level inflammation has been linked to some serious chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
It was previously believed that the inflammation arose from the immune system or the liver. The study, however, states otherwise. Scientists believe that the inflammation should come from a source that is big enough to affect the entire body.
For this reason, scientists say that skin is a fit candidate for causing inflammation at a large scale which can affect the entire body. With old age, people have dermatological symptoms. These symptoms include dryness, itchiness, and change in acidity.
When an individual ages, there is a possibility that the person’s skin has very minor inflammation. With low inflammation, there is an increase in circulation of cytokine levels. According to scientists, skin is said to be boosting this process as it is a large organ.
Around the age of 50, our skin begins to decay. This causes a change in hydration, permeability barrier and epidermal pH. These keep the water in and other potential pathogens and bacteria out.
Loss of moisture in the permeability barrier makes the skin release inflammatory cytokines. While aging, this skin barrier cannot be fixed easily resulting in the inflammatory signals to continue being released.
Theodora Mauro, lead author of the study said, “Until recently, the scientific community didn’t believe that skin could contribute to systemic inflammation and disease. But in the last five years, studies of psoriasis and dermatitis have shown that skin inflammation from these diseases likely increases the risk of heart disease.”
The study consisted of 33 older adults between the age group of 58 and 95. The people were asked to apply cream all over their bodies twice a day for a month. After a month, the scientists measured the blood levels of three cytokines.
Scientists compared cytokines before and after the use of cream. Using the cream indicated low levels of cytokines to a level nearly equivalent with people in their 30s. These results suggest that restoring the skin can lead to a reverse in “inflamm-aging”.
Scientists also observed that the cream also improved skin hydration, repaired the permeability barrier and lowered pH. These results indicate that by properly caring for the skin with a moisturizing cream, the inflammation levels can be lowered and age-related diseases can also be prevented.
Theodora Mauro also said, “Aging skin is much more common than psoriasis or dermatitis, so the overall risk to the population from aging skin could far outweigh that seen from skin diseases. Decreasing inflammation simply by treating the skin dysfunction seen in aging could have profound health effects.”
The next step to be taken by the scientists is to conduct a longer and larger study to test that if by lowering cytokine levels with cream, a delay can occur in age-related inflammatory diseases.