Blood Circulation and the Skin Part 1: How Increased Blood Circulation Can Affect the Skin

What we see when we look at our skin actually has a lot to do with what is occurring unseen inside of your body. Everything down to how your blood is moving through your arteries and veins can affect how your skin looks. Blood circulation is a very important part of your body’s overall function and health.

What is blood circulation?

Your heart pumps blood through blood vessels

For the most part blood circulating through the body is a straightforward process. The specifics though, are something that not everyone is familiar with. Your heart pumps blood through blood vessels within your circulatory system. Red blood cells have specific tasks of carrying oxygen to your body’s vital organs, providing vitality and energy. When your vital organs and circulatory system work in unison, you have an adequate blood flow. Good circulation is also necessary to carry away the waste products of metabolism. Depleted red blood cells are returned to the lungs to exchange carbon dioxide (CO2) for fresh oxygen (O2).

Poor circulation causes our metabolism to become dysfunctional. We become cold, available energy decreases and our organs become nutrient deprived. Another negative side effect of poor circulation is a major decline in skin health and the appearance of the skin.

What is poor blood circulation?

Circulatory system problems can mean limited blood flow to the extremities

Circulatory system problems can mean limited blood flow to the extremities: skin, legs, feet, toes, hands and fingers. Or, poor circulation can affect the internal organs such as the brain, heart and kidneys. Blood vessels may become blocked when plaque accumulates in vessels. Plaque is a fatty substance that hardens and constricts the walls of the arteries and veins. This interrupts the normal flow of blood through the vessels and results in poor circulation throughout the body.

A variety of conditions can be brought on by poor circulation such as high blood pressure, stroke, varicose veins, peripheral artery disease, heart disease, kidney damage, aneurysms, arteriosclerosis, Raynaud’s disease and phlebitis.

Skin problems associated with poor blood circulation

Skin problems associated with poor blood circulation

Problems with skin tone: Poor blood flow often goes hand-in-hand with poor delivery of nutrients throughout the body. A dull complexion may result from this. A glowing, radiant color and complexion is dependent on two very important factors; an abundance of nutrients and a well-functioning circulatory system.

Skin discoloration: In addition to nutrients, oxygen is one the major components carried through the bloodstream to be delivered to the parts of the body that need it. While we take in oxygen through the lungs, it is sent through the circulatory system for delivery to tissues. If circulation becomes poor, there is often also the additional problem of poor oxygenation. This can result in pigmentation issues of the skin which can range anywhere from dark spots to a general uneven complexion of the entirety of the face.

Acne and inflammation: Poor circulation will not directly cause acne and inflammation. Over time though, poor blood flow will affect your major organs. If the organs do not receive proper blood flow to and from them, we run into two primary issues. They are poor digestion and poor detoxification. If the liver and kidneys are unable to eliminate toxins properly, it leads to chronic inflammation in the body. This can cause issues such as acne, dry skin, eczema, psoriasis and general skin inflammation.

Slow healing: When you injure your skin, does it seem to take an extended period of time to heal? If you find that this is the case, it could be related to poor blood circulation. When circulation is poor there is less efficient conveyance of the necessary nutrients and repair hormones to the skin cells. Poor circulation may not remove the damaged cells and debris, either.

Wrinkles and aged skin: One of the major causes of wrinkles is inflammation in the skin. As mentioned above, we need good blood flow to properly detoxify the body. Accumulation of toxins can lead to inflammation which in turn contributes to a process known as glycation. This process causes wrinkles. To prevent wrinkles, we need to diminish the likelihood of glycation via a diet rich in antioxidants, a low inflammatory lifestyle and healthy blood flow to carry antioxidants to the skin.

Dark undereye circles: We often see our eyes become red, irritated, puffy or inflamed when the liver and kidneys are not working properly. The kidneys regulate fluid, while the liver builds the blood. Both the liver and the kidneys eliminate toxic wastes. If circulation is poor, it can result in poor oxygenation, toxin accumulation and water retention, which may be at the root of under eye puffiness and the increased visibility of poorly oxygenated blood through the thin skin under the eye.

Please follow along to part two of the blood circulation series to learn tips on how to encourage proper blood circulation in your body.