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What Processed Meats Can Do to Your Skin

When you think about caring for your skin, your thoughts probably don’t wander to your refrigerator. But what you eat can have more of an impact on your skin than you think! Ever wondered what processed meats could do to your skin? Here’s what you need to know.


Processed Meat and Your Skin


What Is Considered Processed Meat?

Before we get into what processed meat can do in terms of cosmetic dermatology, it’s important to first understand what is and isn’t considered processed meat. The better you understand the foods you put into your body, the better off you’ll be to take great care of it. In layman’s terms, processed meat is any kind of meat that has been preserved by curing, salting, smoking, drying, or canning. Mechanically processed meat, on the other hand, is still considered unprocessed. For instance, sliced turkey breast meat would be considered unprocessed if it hadn’t gone through any preservation processes. Some of the most commonly consumed processed meats include sausages, hot dogs, salami, cured bacon, ham, corned beef, and any canned meat. Now that you have a bit of knowledge on what kinds of meat are considered to be processed, we can start talking about the effects they have on your skin.

Degradation of Collagen and Elastin

Excess consumption of processed foods has been known to contribute to the degradation of collagen and elastin in the skin. These two naturally-occurring substances in your skin are responsible for keeping your skin supple and elastic. While your body naturally slows the production of these two substances as you age, it’s thought that processed meat may encourage faster degradation of these production processes. As a result, you may start seeing premature signs of aging like wrinkles. Without sufficient collagen, you may also start to lose volume in your face. In addition, a lack of elastin may lead to premature skin sagging. If you want to maintain smooth, supple skin, it’s a good idea to consider limiting your intake of processed meats and processed foods in general.

Skin Inflammation

Processed meats can often come with high levels of sugar, especially if you’re dealing with cured meats or smoked meats that have been treated with barbecue sauce. Unfortunately, that excess sugar can cause inflammation in the skin, which can aggravate conditions like acne and rosacea. If you’ve ever dealt with acne, you know how difficult it can be to calm your skin once a flare-up has started. And if you can’t resist the urge to pick at your blemishes, you may end up with acne scars as a result. Rosacea, on the other hand, is an inflammatory skin disorder that causes redness and may lead to broken blood vessels and vision problems. Needless to say, it’s important to avoid common rosacea triggers to protect the health of your skin. If the sugars in processed meats can contribute to skin inflammation and rosacea flare-ups, it’s safe to say you’ll want to avoid it when possible.

If you’re curious about how your diet is affecting your skin health, set up a consultation with our team at North Pacific Dermatology today.

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