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What Causes Inflammations?

By Shannon Kietzman
Updated Feb 27, 2024
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Inflammations are caused when the body’s immune system becomes irritated or infected. A variety of conditions can cause inflammations, including bacterial conjunctivitis, blepharitis, chlamydial conjunctivitis, and corneal ulcers in the eyes. Inflammations can also occur in the reproductive system in the form of vaginitis, vulvitis, cervicitis, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Inflammations also occur in other parts of the body in response to outside stimuli.

Inflammations are identified by five characteristics: pain, swelling, redness, heat, and organ dysfunction in the affected area. This is because inflammations are both cellular and exudative, meaning that they result in the flow of bodily fluids that build up in the affected area. When the blood vessels become dilated and prevent proper fluid flow, the area becomes swollen. This also places pressure on the nerves, resulting in pain.

On the cellular level, the immune system sends white blood cells to the affected area. They filter out bacteria and other harmful components of the infection in order to stop it from spreading in the body. The white blood cells are largely responsible for starting inflammations and for keeping the area inflamed as they work to heal it.

Inflammations always lead to one of four outcomes. The best possible scenario is for the damaged tissue to be completely healed with no sign of the injury or inflammation. This is the least common result of inflammations.

Another possible outcome of inflammations is scarring of the connective tissue. As part of the healing process, the body creates connective tissues for the injured area. This helps the body provide nutrients to the new tissue formed in the healing process. In many cases, the area cannot be healed completely. As a result, a scar is formed. This area is unable to grow hair or to produce sweat.

Inflammations may also cause an abscess to form, which is often the result of a bacterial infection. Alternatively, the area may experience ongoing inflammations. Due to the possible severity of inflammations or the conditions that cause them, it is important to seek medical treatment when one occurs. In addition, inflammations must be monitored closely to ensure the body is healing properly.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
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