Shield Against Environmental Damage
Whether you're indoors or out, your skin is affected by the environment.
From UV rays to blue light and pollution, all these environmental factors work by creating oxidative damage in the skin, which breaks down collagen and may also serve to damage the barrier function of the skin. A damaged barrier makes skin more prone to the destructive effects of UV damage.
Oxidative damage or stress happens when the level of harmful free radicals present overpower that of the neutralizing antioxidants.
SUN DAMAGE: UV radiation is the most significant environmental factor and also one of the most recognized when it comes to skin damage and aging.
UV rays trigger the production of free radicals in the skin that lead to DNA damage and the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin, causing wrinkles, while also stimulates the melanin production that leads to skin discolorations. Melanin is a pigment that gives skin its color. It’s the cumulative effect of sun exposure that, over time, can lead to the formation of skin cancers; early childhood UV exposure may be a bigger factor, which can be devastating.
BLUE LIGHT: Blue light or visible light is one potential skin ager that experts are increasingly wary of. Blue light lies on the visible light spectrum. The high-energy wavelength light that comes from our computer screens and phones, although small is damaging. Some studies show that keeping your face in a screen all day could lead to premature aging.
For example, one study published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity in February 2015 suggested that visible light increased free radical formation in the skin. Another, in the December 2018 issue of the Journal of Biomedical Physics Engineering suggests that this free-radical-generating light also includes the flash on smartphones.
AIR POLLUTION: Air pollution doesn’t just affect how you breathe, it can also create the same free radical damage in skin as light. Exposure to air pollution, which includes particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, hydrocarbons, and ozone, creates oxidative damage in the skin that increases inflammation.
Be aware of the mixture of small particles and liquid droplets, such as organic chemicals and soil or dust, stimulates skin inflammation and impairs collagen synthesis. Over time, this may cause sagging and fine lines and wrinkles. Pollution creates the free radicals in skin that prematurely destroys collagen and elastin. Additionally, dealing with dark spots appearing on your face, can be easily caused by exposure to air particles from traffic. These type of air particles are linked to pigment spots on cheeks.
Some skin conditions to pain attention to:
Eczema, causes dry skin, and can be related to changes in weather and pollutants in the air.
Eczema can also be triggered by pollen, pollution, and occupational exposure to certain chemicals. Dry Skin can also progress to inflamed skin that itch.
Irritant Dermatitis, this skin condition is mostly related to chemicals found in work-related environments. This type dermatitis, can be chemicals, mechanical or physical. Prolonged and repeated contact with water, soaps, shampoos, solvents, metalworking fluid, oils, and greases at work can also cause irritant dermatitis.
Allergic Contact Dermatitis: Allergic contact dermatitis can occur when an individual develops an allergy to a substance. Common causes of allergic dermatitis include: adhesives, wet cement, some plants, some foods, and UV-cured printing inks.
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