Climate change and its effect on skin

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Dr. Tauhida Rahman Ereen

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and will affect in profoundly adverse ways , some of the most fundamental determinants of health, – skin. The present review focuses on the wide and complex relationship between climate change and dermatology, showing the numerous factors that are contributing to modify the incidence and the clinical pattern of many dermatoses. Global climate appears to be changing at an unprecedented rate.

According to the environmental protection Agency , these rising global temperatures are accompanied by other changes, such as frequent and severe heat waves and more intense rainstorms. A review of the literature  for dermatologists confirms that climate change has been attributed by some to an accumulation of green house gas like carbon di oxide , methane , nitrous oxide , chloroflurocarbon in the atmosphere , mainly due to more human activities , such as use of fossil fuel , land use and agriculture , of which deforestation and irrigation are much discussed examples.

From warm summer to icy , sometimes snowy , cold winters no one can accuse the weather of being study. But its not just your wardrobe it affects , sudden temperature changes whether it be cold and dry, hot and humid an area’s climate drastically affect the skin. As our outermost layer , skin is the organ most vulnerable to external influence.

Awarness about the potential impacts of climate change on human health seems to be growing. Ultimately you should always protect your skin and supply it with beneficial ingredients to keep it  healthy year round. Its also imperative to assess your skin on a regular basis to determine

What effect the change of weather brings and then adapt your skin care routine as needed.

Let’s start with hot climate

When the weather is humid it means that there is a lot of moisture in the air. Too much humidity can cause skin disease like acne, eczema and allergic reaction. Summer is the prime time for all kind of creepy- crawly sensations. After accompanied by mysterious lumps, bumps, cracking , crusting, swelling and oozing. Additionally , increased global temperature contributes to the depletion of stratospheric ozone. Their results in increased UV radiation exposure, which can cause skin cancer. If you must do battle with hot weather , keep your face clean as you sweat. Take a cold shower , it will help to keep the skin unoccluded.  Apply water based moisturizer immediately after cleansing. Skin needs to remain clean , nourished and protected in sunny hot climate. Sunscreen is an obvious choice for face , lips, exposed parts of body. According to the dermatology(AAD) one in five americans will develop some form of skin cancer during their life time. The national institute on aging has pointed to sunlight as a major culprit of wrinkles, dryness, and age spots. If you feel that your skin issues may be related to hot humid summer weather and you need a solution contact dermatologist. Your doctor can provide you with treatments to rejuvenate your skin and give you a fresh new look.

Let’s discuss cold climate

Extreme climates are the hardest to overcome. Cold air which holds less moisture, than warm air, and low humidity which make already dry hair and skin even drier. The result your skin becomes rough and flaky even hair loses its shine. The most frequently occurring cold  climate skin problems are dermatitis, rosacea, cracking, itchiness, redness. Use a milky cleanser with alpha hydroxy acids every other day to help encourage cell turnover and remove the dead cells accumulating on the skin’s surface. Post shower after cleansing pat skin almost dry and apply oil based cream instead of lighter moisturizer to better trap and lock moisture into skin to fight cold water dryness.

Skin care needs may change depending on the climate you are in , including the changing seasons and when you travel to areas with different weather. No matter where you are, keep it natural, keep it nourished, keep it beautiful with healthy lifestyle and daily skin care routine.

The author is the Dermatologist of Surecell medical BD ltd.

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