moderate exercise may help your rosacea

Written by on March 6, 2008 in research, What Causes Rosacea? with 1 Comment

Some rosacea sufferers report good results if they exercise moderately but regularly. It is well known that regular exercise is good for stress relief and of course your general well being. But what about improving your skin ? Is that possible ? This paper is suggesting that exercise can reduce the amount of cytokines generated as part of the inflammatory response that is believed to cause rosacea. Thus exercise could then lead to a better rate of healing for a skin insult or injury.

From: Exercise May Play Role In Reducing Inflammation In Damaged Skin Tissue

ScienceDaily (Dec. 4, 2007) —  In recent years, researchers at the University of Illinois have uncovered a host of reasons for people to remain physically active as they age, ranging from better brain function to improved immune responses.

Now a new U. of I. study points to yet another benefit: a link between moderate exercise and decreased inflammation of damaged skin tissue

“One of the proposed mechanisms whereby aging adds to delayed healing is that the aged have hyper-inflammatory response to wounding,” Woods said. “The thought is that the exaggerated inflammatory response slows the healing process. So, in essence, what happened here is that the exercise reduced the exaggerated inflammatory response.”

Keylock explained that exercise may be contributing to that reduction in any number of ways.

“Increasing blood flow during the time of exercise is one (possibility),” he said. “We’ve shown in the past that has an effect on how certain immune cells – such as macrophages, function. “And if exercise can help decrease the amount of inflammatory cytokines put out by macrophages, maybe that would help decrease the inflammation, and therefore, speed healing.”

Cytokines are molecules that signal and direct immune cells, such as macrophages, to the site of an infection, Woods said. Macrophages play two critical roles in the wound-healing process, according to Keylock.

“This is going a bit beyond our results, but there are certain characteristics … a set of events that are followed when any tissue is damaged – not just skin, like in this study, but arterial walls or other internal organs,” he said. “First, there’s hemostasis, which is limiting blood leakage. Then there’s an inflammatory process, then a regenerative process. So, using this model, we may be able to get at whether exercise could have farther-reaching implications for tissue damage in general.

“There are probably some things unique to the skin, as opposed to these other tissues, so we can’t make leaps of faith,” he cautioned. “But if we study the inflammatory process, the regenerative process in one tissue might have implications for other tissues.”

Meanwhile, the benefits of regular, moderate exercise – essentially a brisk walk most days of the week – for older adults, are many.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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1 Reader Comment

  1. Cathryn says:

    I do intense, sustained exercise (on an elliptical machine) for over an hour 5 or 6 days a week, followed by either another hour of aerobic dance, a cardio sculpt class or yoga or pilates. I do this in a temperature controlled environment so I can stay cool, which is probably critical. I do not flush during or after these intense work-outs. One explanation I’ve heard is that exercise is alkaline in the body and it is acidic factors that influence rosacea skin negatively. This seems to be mostly true for me. ( When I eat an acidic food, like animal protein or nuts, I balance it with an alkaline food, which is working, so far).

    If the skin is in “flare” mode, it may seem that exercise
    aggravates it, as everything seems to. When the rosacea is under control (I recommend Rosacea Ltd. III, having had excellent results), engaging in exercise of any tolerable intensity seems very wise.

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