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How air pollution can harm your skin, according to this study

How air pollution can harm your skin, according to this study

A recent study published in the journal Skin diseases and treatmentHe highlighted the relationship between air pollution and skin problems. According to research, the more pollutants in the atmosphere, the more people face irritations like eczema.

Understand the research

The study began with suspicion from dermatologist Shadi Kourosh. Although skin problems are more noticeable during the winter months, in June 2023, which is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, she received many visits to her office from patients with complaints.

During the same period, Canada was facing a series of fires that left their marks across much of North America. Therefore, the doctor analyzed five years of data on levels of particulate matter and carbon monoxide in the air in Boston, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.

He then compared the information with patient records from the Mass General Brigham Hospital System, the largest hospital group in Massachusetts. In this way, he found a relationship between levels air pollution and hospital visits to treat atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema.

As of June 2022, the carbon monoxide level in Boston is less than 0.2 ppm. In that month, dermatitis consultation records were fewer than 20.

In the same period the following year, 2023, pollution tripled, while the number of dermatology visits rose to 160.

How does pollution affect the skin?

Although the research sheds light on what happened in an extreme event,… pollution Daily also affects the skin. This is because the waste expelled by vehicles and industries also has an irritating effect, causing inflammation and accelerating aging.

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Although it does not cause death, eczema significantly impairs quality of life. In children, cases can be more serious, as the skin problem tends to develop into food allergies and asthma.

In addition, it's thought that air pollution can make people more sensitive to other allergens, putting the immune system on constant alert.

Therefore, in everyday life, experts recommend using mineral sunscreen, which contains zinc or titanium in its composition. These materials create a physical barrier and make it difficult for air pollutants to come into direct contact with the skin.