Air Pollution and Your Skin

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Air Pollution and Your Skin

When people discuss about skin allergies they often think that fabrics, foods and other substances that come into contact with your skin, or your internal organs, are the culprits. It’s rare that people consider air pollution as a factor since they often associate that with asthma.

But the reality is air pollution has also been contributing to the development of skin allergies and so it’s important for people to know this so that they are more prepared to deal with other allergens and possibly curb the development of skin diseases.

There are variations of air pollution that are harmful to your skin. The list below shows the air pollutants that cause various skin maladies:

  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) wherein fumes coming from wood burning and diesel engines cause skin cancer and acneiform eruptions.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) wherein fumes coming from organic solvents in paints, varnishes, vehicle refinishing products, exhaust from vehicles, tobacco smoke, stored fuels and emissions from industrial facilities cause skin lesions, atopic dermatitis and eczema.
  • Oxides wherein emissions coming from mobile and stationary combustion sources (cars, industrial facilities and volcanoes) cause atopic dermatitis and eczema.
  • Particulate Matter (PM) wherein fumes coming from industrial facilities, cars, power plants, incinerators and construction sites cause extrinsic skin aging.
  • Ozone, or more specifically ground-level ozone, wherein emissions produced by gases and sunlight can cause extrinsic skin aging, urticaria, contact dermatitis and eczema.
  • Cigarette smoke causes skin aging, psoriasis, acne vulgaris, cutaneous SCC and keratoacanthoma.

Prevention

Although air pollution is still a dire global threat there are ways to protect your skin from this debilitating substance. Experts suggest that you follow the suggestions below to protect your skin:

 

  • Clean up regularly. Experts advise to clean the skin thoroughly after spending the whole day outside your home. Use a cleansing wipe or makeup remover to remove any dirt or irritant from your skin. Afterward, clean your skin with cleansing brushes to really get into the pores and remove any pollutant still attached to your skin.
  • Take in vitamin B3 or niacinamide. This strengthens your skin barrier and repairs any skin damage caused by the sun.
  • Drink water regularly.
  • Take in antioxidants, both orally and topically to protect and preserve your skin.
  • Take adaptogens. These are fruits, vegetables and spices that have Superoxide dismutase, CoQ10 and Resveratrol, ashwaganda, curcumin, and ginseng, which could help your skin.
  • Protect your skin from UV rays. This means wear a hat and apply sunscreen every time you step out of the house.

 Ridding the world of air pollution still has a long way to go so for now do what you can to protect your skin.

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