Inflammaging and Light Therapy

LightStim Elipsa and LightStim ProPanel

Inflammaging was coined over 20 years ago as a medical term to describe a type of chronic, low-grade inflammation that promotes the aging process and damages cells and tissues over time. As you may know, acute or short-term inflammation occurs as part of an important immune response that helps facilitate healing. What you may not be as familiar with is chronic or ongoing inflammation. This kind of inflammation can be damaging to our health and skin, therefore, it’s important to be aware of its triggers as well as how to counteract it.

Accute Inflammation vs. Chronic Inflammation

Acute Inflammation - When we think inflammation, we generally think about the redness, swelling, pain, and heat that often accompany acute illness or injury. The body rightly perceives this reaction as a threat, which makes it a good thing. It’s part of an important immune system response that serves to identify and destroy invaders like bacteria, viruses and other pathogens, and to facilitate healing. While engaged in this important work, immune cells release chemicals that promote inflammation. When the threat is removed - for example bacteria are destroyed or a cut on the skin begins to heal, the immune system retreats and inflammation gets turned off.

Chronic Inflammation - As with acute, chronic inflammation is triggered by a perceived threat. Unlike a cut on the finger or a short-lived infection, the triggers for chronic inflammation are ongoing. They include things like pollution, stress, free radicals, poor diet, too much alcohol, and genetic factors. Since these things are environmentally, physically, and lifestyle generated we’re exposed to them on an ongoing basis. Chronic inflammation is the result of the body’s continued efforts to defend itself from these regularly occurring assaults. When it does so, the immune system gets switched on which promotes inflammation. Because these triggers are ongoing, you might say the inflammation switch gets jammed in the on position causing damage to cells, tissues and organs (including the skin) over time. What’s more, chronic low-grade inflammation doesn’t present like a bright red flame on the skin. It’s more like a smoldering and unseen internal fire that never gets extinguished because the triggers never go away. Because there are generally no visual cues that inflammation is present in the skin and body, we don’t take steps to counteract it and the damage accumulates. Chronic low-grade inflammation is known to contribute to a host of age-related diseases as well as the appearance of aged skin including fine lines, wrinkles, laxity, and hyperpigmentation.

Counteracting Inflammation

The good news is that there is plenty we can do to help minimize inflammation in the body. A quick internet search will provide many useful suggestions such as:

+ Following an anti-inflammatory diet

+ Exercising regularly

+ Getting enough good quality sleep

+ Not smoking

+ Limiting alcohol

+ Managing stress

Many spa treatments are known to relieve stress due to their calming and relaxing benefits. We all know that a day at the spa can go a long way towards lightening a stressful load. We often associate this with massage, hydrotherapy, or aromatherapy; however, technology has an important role to play in terms of regulating the inflammatory response at a cellular level. In particular, light therapy is frequently used in medical, esthetic, spa, fitness, and wellness settings to reduce inflammation and support healthy skin and body.

Light Therapy

As documented in studies for roughly sixty years, reduced inflammation is one of the hallmark benefits of light therapy. In addition to energizing cells, light therapy has been shown to promote beneficial cell signaling. An example of this is its ability to down-regulate pro-inflammatory cytokines, or proteins that promote inflammation in the body. The anti-inflammatory effects of light therapy have been shown to facilitate healing, repair, rejuvenation, and pain relief, making it an attractive addition to both professional services and home care regimens.

The more we understand about aging, the better equipped we are to make choices that influence us in a positive way. With an understanding of inflammaging, we can further appreciate the value of light therapy as an important part of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle for health, wellness, beauty, and longevity.

LightStim ProPanel

This versatile hands-free device comes in three models to suit your needs – Anti-Aging, Acne, and Pain. The ProPanel can be used as part of a targeted treatment protocol to enhance results while providing a soothing and relaxing experience that keeps clients coming back.

Patient receiving a LightStim ProPanel treatment