ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES - HOW THEY AFFECT OUR SKIN
Skin conditions such as dryness, skin rashes, premature aging, acne, and eczema may all be the result of environmental factors that influence your skin. Though you may be genetically predisposed to certain skin problems, they all may be aggravated by environmental factors. So, it’s essential to be cognizant of the damage that the environment can have on your skin.
Our emotional being have a strong effect on your skin, and it happens to all of us. Stress causes a chemical reaction that makes our skin more reactive and sensitive. It can also make it harder for skin problems to heal. Stress boosts production of cortisol and other hormones, which causes your sebaceous glands to produce more oil, which makes the skin more prone to acne and other skin problems. Stress causes under eye bags, dry, flaky skin, rashes and hives, red face, fine lines, graying hair, thinning hair and grooves in your nails.
Prevention. If you are stressed take care of your skin, pay more attention to changes and don’t neglect to address those concerns by making adjustments to your lifestyle. Try daily exercises even for a few minutes, learn breathing techniques that reduces tension and take time for something you enjoy, even if it is only for ten minutes. yoga, meditation or visual imagery are excellent sources to relieve stress. Get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Don't keep it inside, talk to some you trust. .
Is undeniable the environment and climate changes we are experiencing, and with it the risk of skin damage increases. Temperature changes whether cold, dry or hot, and humid- affect our skin.
Cold temperatures mean low humidity, dries our skin and takes away the moisture from our skin. The dry air both inside and out dehydrates our skin, making it feel tight and itchy, sometimes making it flaky and red. Research have shown winter is the worst season for acne and premature aging.
Warm Weather Concerns
A high temperature can make your oil glands secrete more sebum which mixes with your sweat and leaves your skin uncomfortable with a shiny appearance. If you have acne, it may get worse.
Chlorinated water in swimming pools can cause a severe form of acne called the chloracne. High levels of chemicals in sunscreens may aggravate your skin conditions. Extreme heat and humidity can increase fungal infections such as impetigo and athlete’s foot.
Prevention. To combat winter dryness, use products that offer protection and hydrations. You can add an essential oil to protect the suppleness of your skin.
To combat higher temperatures, a protective moisturizer; and serum are best. If you are outdoors and natural base sunscreen is your best choice.
Air pollution can cause dryness, premature aging, eczema, skin rashes, and acne. Both indoor and outdoor pollutants cause serious health problems. A study released by The Environmental Protection Agency says that indoor pollutants can be two to five times higher than the pollution outside.
Indoor pollutants such as particles from pressed wood and foam insulation and fireplaces cause dry skin, irritation, and rashes.
Areas with high levels of air pollution have been found to create more skin problems. Air pollution drastically increases the number of free radicals present in your skin. There is scientific evidence that traffic-related air pollutants primarily PAHs, VOCs, oxides, and PM accelerates skin aging and cause pigmented spots on the face.
Prevention: to reduce indoor air pollution allow more fresh air from the outdoors, avoid products that emit formaldehyde and keep the humidity low inside.
The use of topical antioxidants, blended with vitamins and minerals are a must to protect your skin from damage. Include more antioxidants in your diet. Wash your skin regularly at least twice a day, use sunscreen. High-performance moisturizers and serums help boost your skin’s natural barrier. If your a friend of plants, there are an array of indoor plants that absorb the harmful indoor pollutants.
Anytime something touches our skin, our immune system reacts and sends antibodies to help fight the invader which is the allergen. This red itchy rash is called contact dermatitis. There are two types:
Allergic contact dermatitis which occurs when your body reacts to an allergy trigger
Irritant contact dermatitis which is caused by chemical ingredients.
Skin allergens include nickel, medications like antibiotics, sunscreens, bug sprays, fragrances, and plants such as poison ivy, cleaning products, latex, and chemicals.
Prevention. Find out what causes the allergy and avoid it. Wear gloves to protect your skin. You may try hydrocortisone cream, calamine lotion, cold compress, oatmeal baths and antihistamines to get relief from itching.
Most skin allergies aren’t life-threatening, but in some cases, you may suffer from anaphylaxis which can make it difficult to breathe. Make a call to 911 if your lips start to swell or itch and if you find difficulty in breathing.
Tap water contains chlorine and also in some instances chemicals released by waste, which damages your skin and causes premature aging. Chlorine and chemicals in large quantities can cause severe harm. When you take a bath, the heat opens up your pores and lets the chlorine seep into your skin. The Chlorine strips the natural oils from your skin and causes it to crack and wrinkle. When you get exposed to chemicals in water, they cause from allergic reactions to cracking and dehydration of the skin, not to mention more serious conditions such skin cancer.
Prevention: reduce the time spent in the shower and other chlorinated water. Use a gentle good moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated. Consider filtering your drinking water to remove chlorine and other toxins. Try using mineral water to avoid the potentially damaging effects of chlorine in tap water. If swimming, make sure you know the water quality.
Other things that have a negative effect on our skin are; smoking, alcohol, sunburn, toxic ingredients in skincare, fragrances and synthetic colors.
This article contains researched and excerpts of medical advise from renowned Dermatologists.
Please take care of your skin!