Plastic Surgery Talk

Everything you need to know about cosmetic surgery procedures.

Inflammation is part of everyday life.  Sometimes in cosmetic medicine we induce it, other times we treat it.  What is this and how does it occur?  Why does it happen?  Lots of questions and a very simple flow of responses.

The response your skin gives to irritants or a wound (infection or bacteria too) is swelling.  Without this swelling the wound would not heal.  Why?  Inflammation is the byproduct of the immune system's effort to fight off the infection and repair tissue at the cellular level. 

There are two types of inflammation, chronic and acute.  What is the difference?  Acute inflammation is a biochemical process that is a direct response to an irritant or minor injury.  It occurs within a short period of time and clears up quickly once the irritant is removed or treated.  In cosmetic medicine we often induce this response and thus stimulate the body's own natural healing response.  We do this to create a specific, controlled, and predicable response (ex. increase fibroblast production, stimulate collagen / elastin for decreasing wrinkles and tightening the skin, heat oxyhemoglobins to treat vascular leasions, or create a photomechanical injury for treating pigmented lesions) By contast, chronic inflammation lasts months and sometimes years. Is a long drawn out reaction to injury to the tissue.  As the tissue attempts to heal, the new cells are not normal and often cause continuous swelling in the area.

You wonder why I am talking about swelling and inflammation in my blog today.  The reason is because uncontrolled long term inflammation is known to lead to premature aging.  Think of it this way, a sunburn is an example of an external inflammation response.  We know sun exposure isn't good for us and certainly not a sunburn!  How does it age you?  As inflammation levels rise in the tissue beyond what is normal, healthy tissue is destroyed by free radicals and the bodies natural homeostasis becomes out of equalibrium.  Voila, the aging process is induced. 

The best way to treat inflammation is to find out why you have it in the first place.  Seeking medical advice and following the treatment plan given to you is important to getting you on the path to healing and avoiding unnecessary again.  Controlled tissue damage which leads to the inflammation response which we as cosmetic medical specialists do is very different and again, it is done with such precision that we can anticipate the outcome.

Keep a good eye on your body and what it's telling you.  Investigate any unusual swelling and seek medical attention for proper advice on treating it fast.

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