Your skin is your body’s first line of defence

It is important to maintain skin immunity as it is the body's first line-of-defence

Girl with beautiful skin

The mention of the word immunity brings to mind vaccines, white blood cells, platelets and infectious diseases. However, the body’s first line of defence is the skin. Anything that enters the body has to pass through our skin or the mucous membranes. So by improving the skin’s immunity, the body can be better protected from diseases, while also reducing the visible signs of aging.

Scientifically, aging could be explained as a decline in an individual’s ability to respond and defend himself against the various internal and external factors that cause aging like stress, environmental damage and internal disorders. We are all aware of the fact that with age our body’s defence mechanisms slow down. So we easily fall prey to various diseases and infections.

Skin care beyond lotions and potions

We have not been able to completely master the reversal of the natural clock of aging. But with newer advances in biotechnology, we have been able to develop growth factors and peptides that show immense promise in enhancing skin immunity. Young skin readily generates collagen and elastin. In aging skin, the quantity of active fibroblasts is greatly reduced which means that synthesis of collagen and elastin decreases. By utilising the benefits of this new technology, we can stimulate the skin’s ability to regenerate faster.

The latest concept of skin care includes an amalgamation of topical applications, nutritional elements and lifestyle changes. Skin, our body’s largest organ, responds best to a holistic approach. Providing inclusive care means addressing skin issues inside-out. An inclusive approach involves changes that reduce stress and isolation. Various external and internal factors cause injury to free radicals which further causes functional cell death.

Skin – a defence mechanism

When we are young and skin immunity is good, the skin is resilient even under great assault from microbes, chemicals, and other environmental agents. It bounces back and wards-off the infection. You could walk through a medical ward teeming with all sorts of microbes, bacteria and viruses and come out unaffected. This means there is a sophisticated defence system at work, keeping your skin and other systems at bay from diseases as well as aging. The top layer of skin called keratin creates an effective barrier to prevent foreign matter from entering while maintaining lipids in the skin, minimising moisture loss.

Boost skin immunity

Just as our body’s immune system protects us and keeps us healthy, skin immunity gives our skin its amazing power to fight off things that age us like the sun’s UV rays, pollution and stress. Skin’s immunity gives skin the power to repair and regenerate, and to remain flawless and wrinkle-free. As skin gets older, its immunity starts to slow down. As a result, skin loses its glow and miraculous wrinkle-resisting power. So the bottom line is to boost skin immunity and give it the right skin care. One of the most important factors in maintaining skin health is eliminating toxins and replenishing it with healthy foods.

Consider these steps to improve skin immunity:

  • Vegetables and fruits are loaded with anti-oxidants which deal with free radicals. So make sure that you include 3-4 portions of fresh vegetables at each meal
  • Protect your skin from moisture loss
  • When skin immunity is weakened, it is more prone to allergy/rash. So replenish the protective layer of skin by applying the right skin products and following a skin care regime
  • Keeping the tummy fit and bowel clean helps in avoiding skin allergies
  • Sunscreens help in delaying photoaging which further help in boosting skin immunity and keep skin younger and wrinkle-free
  • Use a mild soap or a face wash to clean your skin
  • Pamper your skin occasionally with facials and massages. But take care to go light on the cosmetics and chemicals
  • Regular use of scrubs helps to remove dead cells from your skin
  • Use of herbs like aloe vera and neem helps to cleanse the skin
  • Use steam to cleanse your face once a week
  • Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily
  • Ensure that you get enough sleep; at least 6-8 hours daily and on a regular basis
  • Go for walks whenever possible. This will ensure you receive plenty of beneficial oxygen needed to cleanse your system.

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Apratim Goel
Dr Apratim Goel in the CEO and Medical Director of a chain of laser and cosmetic clinics called Cutis Skin Studio, Mumbai. An extremely passionate aesthetician and board certified dermatologist, she is an author and a voracious reader.


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