This may come off as a surprise but skin moisturizers can help keep several diseases at bay. Now how can a simple moisturizer accomplish such a feat? The short answer is that it is not the moisturizer but its notable work that does all the helpful deed.
This claim has been made by a small pilot study, which suggests that moisturizing your skin may lessen the risk of developing several chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart diseases, and Alzheimer’s diseases as well.
How Can A Moisturizer Help?
Our skin is the largest organ of the body and one of its chief functions is to protect our insides from the dangers of the outside. It can detect cold and heat and also regulate internal temperature. Considering its functions, scientists are speculating the role that skin plays in chronic diseases.
Researchers from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) are, however, diving deeper into the matter. They aim to understand the role that skin plays in age-related chronic diseases which also includes Alzheimer’s disease.
As one ages, inflammation levels go up. The fundamental drivers of this inflammation are cytokines and scientists are attempting to understand their role. Past research has already linked inflammation with several conditions including atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, diabetes type II, Alzheimer’s disease, and more.
Scientists say that the immune system can drive inflammation. But, the current study that has appeared in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology insists that the skin also has an essential role to play.
Senior author of the study, Sr. Mao-Qiang Man highlighted, “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.”
He pointed out that no matter how small the inflammation in the skin, the organ can increase circulation of cytokine levels due to its size. Aging also means that skin becomes drier and subsequently less reliable. Age also impacts your skin’s permeability. This means that it becomes challenging for the skin to keep pathogens out.
Moreover, a reduction in your skin’s moisture also gives way to small cracks that release cytokines into the bloodstream. In the case of younger skin, cytokines can assist in repairing cracks in the skin.
In the case of older skin, which is tough to repair, the cytokines can still be released into the blood supply. However, in that case, the inflammatory messengers can travel in the body and chip in inflammation instead of fixing the skin.
This is why, the lead author of this study shared that, “Until recently, the scientific community didn’t believe that skin could contribute to systemic inflammation and disease. But in the last 5 years, studies of psoriasis and dermatitis have shown that skin inflammation from these diseases likely increases the risk of heart disease.”
Your skin may be responsible for chronic illnesses so moisturizing it can help prevent the cracks through which inflammatory messengers enter the bloodstream and add to the risk of chronic diseases.