Skin is the largest human organ and one of the primary functions of the skin is to protect our internal organs from external influences. So it is important to take care of it. Maintaining a proper skin care regime is vital to keep our skin fresh and healthy, with moisturizing it being one of the most basic of cares. But a new study has revealed that significance of skin moisturizing go far beyond.
In a new pilot study that explored the impact of skin in age-related chronic diseases, a group of researchers from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) found that skin moisturizer reduces the risk of developing a number of chronic diseases, including heart issues, diabetes and even the fatal Alzheimer’s disease and helps us to fight back the negative affects of inflammation in old age.
This pilot study involved 33 participants only, falling in the age bracket 58 and 95. The researcher measured their levels of cytokine before the commencement of the study and then after a period of 30 days. During this time, the participants applied skin moisturizer on their bodies twice a day. The scientist’s measured levels of three cytokines related to age-specific inflammatory diseases specifically, including interleukin-1 beta, interleukin-6, and tumour necrosis factor alpha.
The study found reduced signs of inflammation among participants due to the application of skin moisturizer and the cytokine levels were also lower than the control group who had not used the cream. The moisturizing cream formulated by the researchers included three kinds of lipids mainly cholesterol, free fatty acids, and ceramides.
Dr Theodora Mauro, the lead author of the newest paper said:, “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.” Ageing skin is more common than skin problems such as dermatitis or psoriasis, hence, according to Dr Mauro decreasing inflammation by treating age-specific skin issues had profound effects on human health.
Ageing skin can lead to a number of chronic diseases, however, the scientists do not consider this impact. With age, the inflammation levels of our bodies also increase at a steady rate. Scientists call this process as inflammaging in which Cytokines play the role of a driver. With age, human skin becomes dry and inconsistent. Ageing also affects the permeability of skin which means that it faces trouble in maintaining the water in and pathogens out of the body. Reduced levels of moisture in the skin lead to small visible cracks which also releases cytokines into the bloodstream.