Reflections: You’re Blushing

We’ve got a lot of organs: the lungs, heart, skin, brain, pancreas, etc. But of all these organs, the skin is the most honest. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not calling my friend pancreas a liar, but he’s less forthcoming with his symptoms, and I can’t immediately tell when something is amiss. The skin is a visible organ that tells its owner—and the outside world—when it encounters trouble. As the body’s first line of defense, it turns darker to protect against ultraviolet rays, reddens when it’s inflamed, produces acne when it comes in contact with bacteria, loses color when we’re sick or scared, and presents a rash when it encounters irritants.

We’re lucky that the skin is our most visible organ because it is our largest. As such, we need to care for it properly, including adequate (but not overzealous) cleansing, moisturi­zation and protection. Part of that care involves recognizing and combatting inflammation. That is, I’m afraid, where our honest friend gets a little complicated.

Skin can be inflamed from a host of causes: the sun, environment, your mother-in-law’s perfume, an underlying skin condition, food sensitiv­ities, bacteria and allergies. Understanding the causes of that inflammation is an important part of treatment. This issue addresses the causes and treatment of inflamed skin.

Source: Reflections: You’re Blushing

Contact Author Katie Anderson

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