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Your Skin and Your Immune System

We now know that good bacteria in the correct balance in the gut is vital for your health. However, science has discovered the skin's own microbiome is just as important to your health.

A balanced microbiome aids in wound healing, limits exposure to allergens and UV radiation, minimizes oxidative damage, and keeps the skin plump and moist.

The microbiome and skin immune system communicate to each other regularly, reducing inflammation. When the microbiome is out of balance, the immune system can release various antimicrobial peptides such as cathelicidin to help balance things out. Likewise, our good bacteria can inhibit the release of inflammatory responses from the immune system. Our body innately tries to keep everything in balance. Pretty amazing.

"Cathelicidins serve a critical role in mammalian innate immune defense against invasive bacterial infection." ~Wikipedia.

Skin was once was believed to be simply a physical barrier from the outside world. But it has been proving to be so much more, as found through the existence of skin-associated lymphoid tissue (SALT). Skin associated lymphoid tissues (SALT) *

Lymphocytes are an important part of your immune system. ~What the heck are Lymphocytes? Ha! I wanted to know more. That is where this blog started from.

Lymphocytes are in the lymph nodes (small, bean-sized collections of immune cells throughout the body) and other lymphoid tissues (such as the spleen, bone marrow, and some other organs, including the skin). ~Google snippet

Lymphocytes are a part of white blood cells, using antibodies to stop bad bacteria or viruses from entering the body (B-cells), and kill off cells if they've been compromised by a virus and fight diseases (T-cells), or fights tumors or cancer cells (Natural Killer cells).

It is now found that Lymphocytes exist on the skin in a 1:1 ratio with bacteria. They also communicate with lymph nodes in the body signalling for appropriate immune responses to keep things in check. Think of it simply as an army protecting your body's perimeter, signalling when there is danger to the immune system. The immune system then launches the appropriate responses for attack. That whole "balance" thing.

As with any part of the immune system, when there are more assaults or dangers these cells need to fight off than it can keep up with, or if the balance is already compromised, they can become hyper reactive and communication can get impaired or even lost, causing reduced ability to fight inflammation, causing auto-immune issues, and accelerated aging skin.

Inflammation responses show up in the skin as the "issues" we like to complain about: acne, eczema, and rocasea. An example would be if too much cathelicidins are released, this has a direct correlation to development of rocasea (read more here), or a deficiency of them contribute to eczema (read more here). It also contributes to inability prevent pathogens causing cancer cells to thrive, and reduced ability to fight free-radical damage, causing accelerated aging.

Bottom line- yes it IS critically important to keep your skin immune system (SIS) functioning at it's best.


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