The campaign against age lines, crinkles and wrinkles is not new. In fact, it dates back to medieval times. In those days women used to drench their faces in bat’s blood. It was considered that by doing a ghastly thing as this helps to keep wrinkles away. So, you see wrinkles are despised since ages.
Those who develop age lines don’t care a damn about the whole aging process and what actually causes wrinkles to form. All they are concerned with is how to get rid of them.
Many people hold that wrinkles are caused by genetic factors. Yes, genetic factors do cause wrinkles but this is not the only cause. More prominently, wrinkles are caused by sun exposure, intense gesticulation, intense intake of alcohol, stress and dehydration.
Treating wrinkles- Different people swear by different anti wrinkle products. Whatever product you choose, pay a patient look to the ingredients. An anti wrinkle cream has to have treinoin, AHAs, vitamin E, glycolic acid, fruit oxidants and other such effective ingredients.
The prevention part is rather easy. Protection from direct sun not only reduces the risk of developing pre mature wrinkles but also considerably reduces the chance of falling into the clutches of skin cancer. The person however must be able to distinguish between adequate sunlight and excessive sunlight. A person may cover his/her face while going out in the sun as it is direct sunlight that is bad not sunlight as it is. Also, you must keep your skin hydrated, facial skin especially.
Wrinkles, they say are caused by frowning as well (hence the name ‘frown lines’. So, you better chill out, play cool and keep yourself stress-free. Stop frowning at least for the sake of your skin, at least!
The last point is not to make hoo-ha about the whole thing. Do not worry yourself sick over it.
What is Tea?
Tea is the common name for the Camellia sinensis plant. It is the agricultural product of the leaves, leaf buds, and internodes (the portion of a plant stem between nodes) of the plant that are prepared and cured by various methods. “Tea” also refers to the aromatic beverage prepared from the cured leaves by combination with hot or boiling water.
Tea is known for its stimulant qualities largely attributed to caffeine. Today, herbal teas are known to have many health benefits, preventing a variety of conditions, from heart disease and cancer, to gum disease, skin aging and weight loss. The major types of tea include black, green, oolong and white, differing by the method of harvesting and processing.
The beneficial properties of tea are attributed to polyphenols. The polyphenols found in tea mainly belong to the subtype called catechins. Polyphenols or catechins are better known as antioxidants that fight free radicals. Free radicals are damaging to skin and body by attacking healthy cells. Green tea has more catechins than black tea; white tea is almost as rich in catechins as green tea but is different in composition and less well studied.
So How Is Green Tea Good For My Skin?
There have been number studies of skin benefits of green tea. One of these studies show protection from skin cancer by demonstrating topical green tea formulations can reduce sun damage.(1) Another fascinating study in 2003 was conducted by Dr. Stephen Hsu of the Medical College of Georgia Department of Oral Biology. His findings determined green tea was able to rejuvenate old skin cells at the end of their life cycle.
A quote from Dr. Hsu’s paper explained, “…we report here for the first time, that at certain concentrations, EGCG or a mixture of the major green tea polyphenols stimulated aged keratinocytes to generate biological energy and to synthesize DNA, possibly for renewed cell division.
Therefore, green tea constituents may be useful topically for promoting skin regeneration, wound healing, or treatment of certain epithelial conditions such as aphthous ulcers, psoriasis, rosacea, and actinic keratoses.” (2) Dr. Hsu went on to comment he was “so surprised” to discover EGCG actually reactivated cells that had migrated toward the surface of the skin to ‘die’.
Green tea appears to manipulate sun damage protection by fighting free radicals and reducing inflammation rather than by blocking UV rays. Therefore, green tea enhances sun protection when used in addition to a sunscreen. To boost sun protection, apply a green tea formula under your sunscreen to elevate the level of sun protection. It is best to combine green tea with zinc oxide-based sunscreens because zinc oxide is chemically inert and should not react with green tea (which some chemical sunscreens might do, especially in sunlight). You can also look for green tea in natural soaps, and other facial cleansers.
Topical green tea is also very beneficial for sensitive skin types by reducing inflammation and irritation in the skin. Wrinkles, skin sag and other signs of aging have been shown to benefit from Green tea. The tea’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory polyphenols slow down signs of premature of aging
Use green tea at home to boost your skins health, appearance and reduce signs of aging by freezing freshly brewed green tea as ice cubes and use them as a toner. Let them start thawing first before applying directly to the face to avoid irritation. You can also drink green tea or take green tea extract in capsules to benefit from the anti oxidant properties. The polyphenols will reach your skin via the bloodstream in sufficient amounts.
Using green tea in your skincare routine has definite proven benefits to slow skin aging, reduce acne and protect your skin from cancer among many others. Just be aware of the products you choose. Like most antioxidants, green tea polyphenols are oxidized and can lose their active constituents when exposed to air.
By Tiffany Oney and Rachelle Dupree
(1) Green Tea Polyphenol Treatment to Human Skin Prevents Formation of Ultraviolet Light B-induced Pyrimidine Dimers in DNA (2000). Santosh K. Katiyar, Anaibelith Perez and Hasan Mukhtar. Clinical Cancer Research Vol. 6, 3864-3869, October 2000.
(2) Green Tea Polyphenols Induce Differentiation and Proliferation in Epidermal Keratinocytes (2003). Stephen Hsu, Wendy B. Bollag, Jill Lewis, Qin Huang,Baldev Singh, Mohamed Sharawy, Tetsuya Yamamoto, and George Schuster. Journal of Pharmacology And Experimental Therapeutics. First published on March 27, 2003; DOI: 10.1124/jpet.103.049734
The biological make-up of our skin begins to show signs of aging as early as our 20s. Age shows not only on our face, neck and chest but all over. There are many ways to care for your skin and prevent premature aging. Following are five ways that you can age gracefully. These are things you can do in your daily life that will dramatically reduce signs of aging.
- Don’t smoke. If you do smoke, quit. We all know that smoking is bad for us and affects our body negatively. Smoking
contributes to premature aging and many other health problems. The many chemicals in cigarettes influence the skin’s structure and dehydrate the cells, resulting in increased aging.
- Get some sleep. Research has shown that people who sleep regularly seven to eight hours a night are healthier than those who lack sleep or over sleep. Sleeping allows the body to repair cellular damage and recharge. To prevent signs of aging on the face, try sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your stomach or side can damage skin by slowing down circulation and weakening the skin’s elasticity, resulting in wrinkles.
- Sunscreen, use it, wear it, and love it. Wear sunscreen everyday-even on cloudy or rainy days, and even if you are just going to be outside a short time. We all know that the sun has harmful affects to the skin. Sun tanning and burning damage the skin, leading to premature aging. Sun exposure over time leads to wrinkles and ugly pigmentation spots. There is no excuse to not wear sunscreen, it comes in all forms and is formulated now to be lightweight and beneficial to the skin as well as giving sun protection.
- Hydrate and Moisturize the skin from the inside and outside. Hydrated skin is healthy and plump, looks moist and shows few wrinkles and lines. As we age our skin loses elasticity; using moisturizers with ingredients such as vitamins and minerals that help repair the skin is the best way to restore elasticity and prevent its break down. Drink lots of water to hydrate the skin internally and use a good moisturizer. Try intense facial moisturizer or zinc repair cream by Vivoderm.
- A healthy lifestyle and healthy diet can dramatically strengthen the skin and prevent premature aging. Fruits, vegetables,
nuts and other nutrient- rich produce give the body strength to fight and repair damage. If you are good to your body from the inside out, you will have less external maintenance. Part of a healthy life style is getting exercise, so get up and get moving. Fit people also tend have less heath problems. Health problems can lead to premature aging of the skin by showing wrinkles and damage earlier than those people who choose to be healthy.
There is no way to prevent aging - it is inevitable, however there are ways to slow it down. Today there is plastic surgery and amazing skin care products to improve the look and feel of skin. But it’s never too late to prevent further damage so you don’t have to take the drastic measures of plastic surgery or spend tons of money on skin care later in life.
By Tiffany Oney
Tiffany Oney is a licensed esthetician, professional makeup artist and natural skincare authority. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies California State University, Long Beach and interning with Vivoderm Natural Skincare in Los Angeles, California.
According to Natural News Sources, Telomeres, regions of DNA which protect the ends of chromosomes from destruction, have made big news in 2009.
In fact, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded this year to researchers who investigated the nature of telomeres. Why all the interest? It appears telomeres hold the key to why we age because when a cell becomes old and dies, it’s due to the shortening of chromosomal telomeres. So, if you could keep the length of telomeres from changing, that might literally halt aging. And now comes research showing there is a natural way to impact telomeres and produce an anti-aging effect — long-term physical activity.
According to research just reported in the journal Circulation, intensive exercise can prevent a shortening of telomeres. That, the scientists found, results in a protective effect against aging on a cellular level and could be especially important in keeping the cardiovascular system healthy. So, while you can slather on expensive creams and opt for plastic surgery, if you want to actually slow down aging, your best bet is to get moving and exercise regularly.
A research team from Saarland University in Homburg, Germany, measured the length of telomeres in blood samples from a group of 32 professional runners with an average age of 20 who were on the German National Team of Track and Field. The young men regularly trained by running about 73 kilometers (km) — a little over 45 miles — each week. The scientists also measured the length of telomeres from the blood of middle-aged athletes (average age 51) who had participated in continuous endurance exercise since their youth and who ran about 80 km, or almost 50 miles, per week. These findings were then compared to the telomere lengths found in a group of healthy non-smokers, matched for age with the athletes, who didn’t exercise regularly.
The results? The scientists discovered that long-term exercise training activated an enzyme known as telomerase which reduces telomere shortening in human leukocytes (white blood cells). Telomere loss was found to be far lower in the older, master athletes who had been exercising for decades. Bottom line: the rate of telomere loss that is assumed to be normal as we grow older and that leads to the physical signs of aging can, in fact, be dramatically slowed through long term, vigorous exercise.
“This is direct evidence of an anti-aging effect of physical exercise. Physical exercise could prevent the aging of the cardiovascular system, reflecting this molecular principle,” Ulrich Laufs, M.D., the study’s lead author and professor of clinical and experimental medicine in the department of internal medicine at Saarland University, said in a statement to the media. “The most significant finding of this study is that physical exercise of the professional athletes leads to activation of the important enzyme telomerase and stabilizes the telomere.”
What’s more, previous animal studies by Dr. Laufs and colleagues have shown that exercise exerts effects on proteins that not only stabilize telomeres but also protect cells from deterioration and programmed cell death. “Our data improves the molecular understanding of the protective effects of exercise on the vessel wall and underlines the potency of physical training in reducing the impact of age-related disease,” Dr. Laufs concluded.
Facial rejuvenation is the term used to encompass all forms of restoring a youthful appearance to the face. It includes the broad categories of:
* Injectables (Botox® & fillers) (See BotoxFacts.ca for additional uses of Botox®);
* Resurfacing procedures (laser treatment, microdermabrasion & chemical peels);
* Surgical rejuvenation (brow lifts, eyelid surgery; facelifts, nose jobs, face and chin augmentation, and neck lifts);
* Topical tretinoin and tazarotene which reverse sun damage and enhance collagen production. The normal changes associated with facial aging are the result of both:
* intrinsic (age related fat and bone loss known as atrophy, and skin laxity for example) and
* extrinsic factors (like ultraviolet light / sunlight, chemicals, and smoking).
These factors contribute to biological changes associated with age and create predictable patterns of facial change. An over-simplistic analogy is mimicked by the changes in the helium balloon your child wouldn’t let you throw away. With time there is loss of internal volume (gas in this example) and as a result the covering loses its taught shape, luster, and becomes wrinkled. Moreover, there is a marked change in shape of the entire structure. Naturally, similar changes on your face can be highly distressing especially since many available treatments are being promoted.
Physicians can treat facial aging three ways: through reduction (making the skin “fit”), augmentation (“stretching” the skin back to normal) or a combination of the two.
When it comes to choosing a rejuvenation procedure, the severity of the facial aging must be considered. Here’s a review:
* Wrinkles (individual fine or deep rhytids) are managed well by Botox® or injectable fillers. Although other agents are touted to produce similar results, Botox® is currently unsurpassed in its ability to soften or eliminate wrinkles caused directly by the action of underlying muscles of facial animation. (Botox Facts has more information for you)
* For wrinkles that may not be contributed to directly by facial movement or for depressed scars; superficial or deep fillers (ranging from collagen, hyaluronic acid and poly-L-lactic acid to silicone particles and bone cement and even your own injected fat). These can also be used for wrinkles, scars, and soft tissue augmentation (most commnly lip augmentation).
* When you have wrinkles involving larger areas or if it’s related to sun-damage, the underlying problem commonly lies in the biological changes in the skin itself. Here rejuvenation methods such as laser resurfacing, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels act to restore some of the lost intrinsic biologic properties of the skin and can provide a significant restorative change over these large areas. These treatments use light associated heat, physical sanding, or chemicals, respectively, to remove the surface layers of the skin and hence stimulate a regenerative-like process. Many common skin creams advertised to improve facial wrinkles contain glycolic or other acids used in light chemical peels to help improve the taughtness of your treated skin.
* As the severity of skin aging increases, injection and resurfacing procedures may be combined themselves or with surgical rejuvenation (possibly in a staged fashion).
* Surgical management of more severe forms of facial aging can be through an additive (implants), reductive (excisions or tucks), or combined approach. Modern rhinoplasties (“nosejobs”) are a good example where combined approaches of reduction by excision and
augmentation through cartilage grafting are employed. As these procedures typically address changes in the three-dimensional volume (deep structures) and in the skin (envelope or cover) they obviously provide the greatest extent of rejuvenation and can address the greatest degrees of facial change. That said, they do come with a limited amount of scaring and the possibly some temporary numbness. Often these scars, created in lines of election, are fine and highly acceptable with some rare exceptions.
* Topical tretinoin and tazarotene can improve fine lines and the general appearance of the skin. The down-side is that you need to continue to use these topical treatments in order to maintain its effect. Sometimes, tretinoin and tazarotene can be combined with the procedures listed above to enhance the effects.
Although you may hear more and more about treating aging skin with the procedures and products mentioned above, we all know that the best form of care is through modification of your exposure to the extrinsic “modifiable” risk factors, like sun exposure (See Skin Cancer Guide for more information).
By: Dr Bryce J Cowan BSc MSc MD PhD FRCS(C)
Sun damage or photo damage produces both skin cancers as well as photo-aging. Photo-aging shows itself on the skin as wrinkling, scaling, dryness, and mottled pigmentation. Ultra-violet light is absorbed by skin, which in turn produces a photo-chemical reaction.
The UVA light is absorbed by both DNA as well as urocanic acid, the photo-chemical reaction produces oxidation of both DNA, nucleide acid, and protein, as well as lipids, this is known as oxidative damage. Anti-oxidants have been evolved to protect against, and reverse some of the damage produced by sunlight. An anti-oxidant mechanism is very advanced in plants that protect against the damage from sun exposure.
Oxidation is produced by reactive oxygen molecules. The DNA absorbs ultra-violet light mostly in the UVB (290-320 manometres) range. This produces damage mainly within the epidermis. UVA (320-400 manometres) penetrates deeper into the skin and produces damage in the epidermis, the dermis as well as affecting blood vessels. The UVA has a much more oxidizing effect on cells.
The carcinogenic or cancer forming effects of ultra-violet B produce mutations within the DNA. This initiates tumours within the epidermis. The UVA promotes these tumours as it has much more oxidizing stress on the skin than UVB. It may as a result be more cytotoxic and immunosuppressive.
Sunscreens certainly protect against ultra-violet light, the sunburning spectrum is UVB and sunscreens are very effective. Ultra-violet A is the most difficult to protect against. It is important to realize that the SPF numbers are calculated with an amount of sunscreen on skin that exceeds what most of us put on our own skin.
The SPF is calculated with a quantity of 2mg. of sunscreen per centimetre2. Most people will put on about half to one quarter of this when used as sun protection. Unfortunately, low quantities of sunscreen of per centimtre2 will have minimal sun protective effects. Usually if 5mg. per cm.2 of sunscreen is applied to the skin, the sun protective factor is in the region of an SPF of 3.
Anti-oxidants play a significant part in the protective and repair mechanisms within animals and plants. This can be achieved by anti-oxidants that are produced within the skin itself or by those consumed or applied from plants. The anti-oxidant effects can be divided into those that have their protection through enzymes, and those that tend to reduce the quantity of hydrogen peroxide as well as lipid hydroperoxides.
The use of topical anti-oxidants has certain requirements, these have to be stable as well as being cosmetically acceptable. It is clear that anti-oxidants have a photo-protective benefit. The physiological anti-oxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E, and ubiquinol. Vitamin C is water-soluble and is a free radical scavenger, it is required for collagen synthesis and may inhibit elastin formation in the dermis.
It may also reduce pigment synthesis, as well as enhance epidermal barrier function. For it to be active it must be present on the skin at a pH of 3.5 or lower in order to have an anti-oxidative effect. Vitamin E is different from vitamin C, in that it is lipid soluble, there is evidence that combining vitamin E and vitamin C may be of some benefit. Other anti-oxidants to be considered will be selenium as well as zinc.
Plants synthesize vitamin C, vitamin E and flavones, and polyphenolic compounds.
- Soy isoflavones
These are all potent plant anti-oxidants.
This is a Milk Thistle extract, the main component in terms of anti-oxidants is silybyn. This prevents lipid peroxidase action. It also has been shown to inhibit tumour promotion in animals.
Soy has been connected with a reduction in cardiovascular disease, and in some incidents’ of breast cancer when taken by mouth in large quantities. It has a phytoestrogen effect, which can reduce menopausal symptoms. The isoflavones are genistein and gaidzein. The genistein has a collagen synthesis effect. It is also anti-cancer. It has been used both orally as well as topically.
The genistein is a powerful scavenger of peroxyl radicals. This has a significant reduction in lipid peroxidase activity. It has been shown to reduce redness in the skin of mice which are subject to ultra-violet A. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect. The use of this compound reduces the immune suppression effect of ultra-violet light.
Tea is fermented initially to green, and then to black tea. The drinking of black tea has been shown to reduce the frequency of squamous cell carcinomas. Work done with green tea both topically and taken orally, shows that it reduces the ability of ultra-violet to produce skin cancers and redness, particularly in animals. The possibility of combining tea, plus vitamin E, to work together as anti-oxidants is interesting.
Much more work needs to be done in order to establish how combining anti-oxidants with sunscreens will have a very beneficial effect on reducing sun damage to skin.
By Van Le | Skin care has come a long way in recent years, and the numbers say it all. Current estimates assert the skincare industry generates over $2 billion annually. That’s not to say our mothers and grandmothers never took care of their complexion. Many of the tips our mothers taught us still ring true today — in fact, some of the most effective remedies for healthy skin have been passed down from generation to generation. The following are easy, no-cost techniques to prevent premature skin aging.
Smoking causes so much damage to the skin that the term “smokers’ face” was coined to describe the shallow lines and wrinkles caused by cigarettes. Even more shocking, a study published in the British Medical Journal featured a doctor who could distinguish a non-smoker from someone who has been smoking for ten years or more based on their facial features alone. A single cigarette contains thousands of toxins that seep into the bloodstream and affect the appearance of skin. In addition, scientists have calculated that every cigarette takes ten minutes off your life.
Long before they became fashion statements, sunglasses served a humble purpose: to protect the eyes from the sun. Skin near the eyes is extremely delicate, and since we can’t apply sunscreen to these areas, we need the UV protection provided by sunglasses. Not wearing sunglasses can also cause you to squint, which can lead to wrinkles over time.
Get Adequate Sleep
While we sleep, our body generates new skin cells, repairs damaged ones and strengthens collagen. Doctors recommend seven to eight hours of sleep each night for maximum performance during the day. In addition to under-eye bags - the tell-all sign that you’ve been up all night - lack of sleep can cause skin to appear dull, puffy and wrinkled.
Sleep on your back
In a perfect world, we would get our beauty sleep every night. However, in today’s fast-paced world, eight hours of sleep each night, every night is not always possible, therefore, it’s important to make the best of the time we do have to rest. We are up and about at least 12 hours a day, and gravity can take its toll. Sleeping on your back instead of stomach promotes circulation, and reduces wrinkles since your face is not buried in a pillow.
Limit Your Stress Level
Stress is an inevitable part of life, but not all stress is bad. There are two kinds of stress: eustress and distress. Eustress keeps us energized about life and stems from exciting events such as starting a new job, getting married or simply getting on a roller coaster ride. Unfortunately, most of us are more familiar with distress (negative stress) which can weaken our immune system and cause hormonal changes that result in pimple breakouts. Participating in stress-reducing activities such as exercise, spending time in nature and yoga is key in balancing eustress and distress.
Doing your best to implement these tips to prevent skin aging and overall health will keep you looking your best for years to come.
Van Le is a staff writer for the CSU Daily Titan and writing intern for Vivoderm Laboratories in Los Angeles, California. She is currently pursuing a Journalism degree at California State University, Fullerton.
For the latest findings on natural skincare and anti-aging, you can also link to http://antiagingmasks.com
By: Van Le
The healing power of Aloe vera has been known for decades, dating back to the Egyptian era when it is believed that Cleopatra used it as a skincare remedy, and found in Greek history when it is believed that Alexander the Great used it to care for his army after battles. Today, Aloe vera is widely used in many cosmetic products, anti-inflammatory creams, and some grocery store shelves even boast Aloe vera juice.
Aloe vera is a member of the succulent (water-retaining) plant family, and is also known as “lily of the desert” since researchers believe it originated in Africa. There are over 250 known species of Aloe vera, and are relatively easy to care for, therefore increasing its popularity. The spokes of Aloe vera plants are filled with a gel-like substance that is filled with a combination of enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Dermatologists and cosmetic companies often extract the gel for use in their products. Aloe vera is also considered an alternative treatment for high blood pressure and intestinal problems.
Aloe vera is a popular choice for the treatment of sunburn, since it contains a variety of enzymes and amino acids that are anti-inflammatory and speed up the skin’s healing process. Many after-sun moisturizing creams contain Aloe, and for those who have access to actual Aloe plants, the gel can be applied directly on the affected area.
Aloe vera is a common ingredient in many cosmetic products, particularly anti-aging and anti-acne products due to its ability to generate healthier skin. The combination of enzymes, vitamins and minerals in Aloe vera products increases oxygen flow, which toughens the skin tissues and provides protection from pollutants and dirt. It also moisturizes the skin and increases its elasticity, which reduces wrinkles and signs of aging. Used in conjunction with exfoliating products, Aloe vera can help control acne by helping shed dead skin cells and reduce redness.
Once Alternative, Now Mainstream
Not so long ago, herbal products or foods deemed “natural” were considered less than desirable by the mainstream public. The Industrial Revolution not only changed the face of production and how we worked, it changed what we ate and used for our health. Mass-produced, new chemical compounds in fancy packaging quickly replaced the ‘old-fashioned’ herbal remedies used by our grandmothers.
While Aloe vera never completely fell out of favor, by the 1970’s and 80’s use of medical plants and herbs to treat ailments and skin conditions was considered unconventional and provided mostly by naturalists and alternative therapists. In the new millennium, science and technology have not proven to be the miracle we were expecting. Today, modern science is re-discovering what our already ancestors knew. Aloe vera and similar natural treatments provide vital healing, nourishing and regenerative qualities that no chemical lab can re-create.
Van Le is a staff writer for the CSU Daily Titan and writing intern for Vivoderm Laboratories in Los Angeles, California. She is currently pursuing a Journalism degree at California State University, Fullerton.
For the latest findings on natural skincare, you can also link to http://bestfacemask.com
No matter your age, taking care of your skin should be a priority. It is as important to get started with a quality skin care regimen as it is to eat healthy and exercise. Here are three simple things you can do to make your skin start looking beautiful today. Read more
Infection – is an invasion by and multiplication of pathogenic microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, viruses and fungi, in a bodily part or tissue of a host organism which may produce subsequent tissue injury and progress to overt disease through a variety of cellular or toxic mechanisms. The infecting organism, or pathogen, interferes with the normal functioning and perhaps the survival of the host organism.
Skin infections are common. Breaks in the skin integrity, particularly those that let in infectious agents(pathogens) like bacteria and fungi, frequently cause or aggravate skin infections. All skin infections can be divided into 3 classes by a disease-causing agent:
The difference between an infection and colonization by microorganisms is often only a matter of circumstance. Organisms which are normally non-pathogenic and live on the surface of healthy skin can become pathogenic under the right conditions, and even the most infectious organism requires certain circumstances to cause a compromising infection. As an example, the staphylococcus species present on skin remain harmless on the skin, but, when present in a normally sterile space, such as in the capsule of a joint or the peritoneum, will multiply without resistance. The variables involved in the outcome of a host becoming inoculated by a pathogen and the ultimate outcome include:
- the route of entry of the pathogen and the access to host regions that it gains
- the intrinsic capacity of a microorganism to cause disease (virulence) of the particular organism
- the quantity or load of the initial substance introduced into the organism (inoculant)
- the immune status of the host being colonized
Any one who has a break in the skin is at risk for infection. However, certain conditions or diseases can put a person at greater risk for infection, including: diabetes (which causes poor blood flow to the skin), AIDS (because of a depressed immune system that is unable to fight the infection), skin damaged by sunburn or scratching.
Many invading organisms produce substances that cause allergic sensitivity in the host; the immune response to virus infection has been implicated in some diseases. Infections may be spread via respiratory droplets, direct contact, contaminated food, or vectors, such as insects. They can also be transmitted sexually (see sexually transmitted diseases) and from mother to fetus. Immunity is the term used to describe the capacity of the host to respond to infection. Drugs that help fight infections include antibiotics and antiviral drugs.