The appearance and condition of the skin are crucial to overall health. When our skin is in a good state it protects our bodies from environmental stressors like allergens, irritants, and microbes. But our skin is getting damaged due to the growing exposure of the skin to hazardous environmental influences. Like climatic determinants, chemicals, ultraviolet radiation, or infections.
The place or environment where you work and live can have a major impact on the health of your skin. Conditions like eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and acne can either improve or worsen depending on the environment you are in.
According to a dermatologist, the condition of your skin depends on several factors counting genetics, diet, hormones, and where you live and work. Thus, how can you prevent the environment causing havoc on your body?
The winter itch
Eczema can be associated with changes in weather, especially when it gets colder outside. It causes dry skin. According to a study, humidity levels tend to drop as the temperature drops. Thus, drying out one’s skin.
Moreover, with the use of heat in the house, temperature reduces humidity and dries skin out even more.
Eczema can also be caused by pollution, occupational disclosure to certain chemicals and pollen.
Skin is more susceptible to dehydration when exposed to windy, dry, wintery weather outdoors. This may be intensified more by central heating inside. According to researchers, very dry skin can cause skin inflammation which may itch.
If the environment in which you are living or working in is dry and cold, your skin will mimic this. As our body is 90% water, in cold or dry weather the water evaporates into the air. This process is called as transepidermal water loss. It is a common problem for those patients who have eczema, psoriasis, or atopic dermatitis.
Skin problems are not only unique to the colder and drier months. The hot and moist weather can also cause havoc on your skin.
Many researchers report that skin conditions like eczema and rosacea can be generated and flare up when open to hot and humid weather. Weather like this can also cause your pores to be blocked. This blockage of pores can cause unwanted acne.
People who live in a region with higher humidity levels and have oily skin may feel a larger need to blot away excess oil production. Furthermore, eczema can exacerbate with excess sweating. It can cause a type of acne named pityrosporum folliculitis.
Heat rash or prickly heat also called miliaria is believed to arise from plugging of sweat ducts. It gives rise to tiny water bumps. Especially, heat rash occurs after recurring sweating in a hot and humid environment.
Your working place may also affect your skin. People who work in an environment where chemicals are present should pay special attention to how their skin exposed to them.
Occupational or work-related dermatitis is common in some jobs like metal working machine operators, beauticians, florists, hairdressers/barbers, medical and dental professions. Also, in those people who work with glass, rubber or ceramic materials. While working in these environments, make sure to protect your skin with equipment like gloves, aprons and eye protection.
There are two types of work-related dermatitis, according to a report online from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.
Irritant contact dermatitis
It can develop after a single exposure or recurrent, prolonged exposure to harmful substances. These substances are hazardous and cause irritation.
Irritants can be physical, chemical, biological, or mechanical. Repeated and prolonged contact with water, oils, shampoos, soaps, solvents, metalworking fluid, and greases at work can also cause irritant dermatitis.
Allergic contact dermatitis
When a person develops an allergy to any substance, allergic contact dermatitis can occur. The common causes of allergic dermatitis comprise some foods, wet cement, adhesives, some plants, and UV-cured printing inks.
How to protect your skin
If you find yourself dealing with skin problems which are worsened by the environment, there are some preventative measures you can take to reduce the irritation.
Researchers suggest you consider using a heavier petroleum-based moisturizer to help deal with air as it gets drier. You can also incorporate a hydrating oil or serum into your routine. Like, you can add a few drops of oil, such as rosehip oil to your moisturizer. But, if you are acne-prone, just be sure to avoid coconut oil.
Furthermore, the use of a cleanser and hydrating mask can be helpful. But avoid turning to any aggressive exfoliation to get freed of dry skin. The gentle way to physically exfoliate your skin is with a konjac sponge. It is made from the fibers of the root of the Asian konjac (Konnyaku) plant.
If you are dealing with psoriasis or eczema make sure you are not overdoing baths or showers. Long, hot showers have a tendency to trigger skin irritation.
So keep your showering or baths to just 5 minutes or less. And after you get out of the shower, try to apply a moisturizer. It can damp your skin that can help seal moisture into your skin.
Keep it gentle
Researchers recommend washing your face with gentle soaps twice a day. It helps to remove the excess bacteria and free radicals which we come into contact with every day. They also say it’s significant to apply Retin-A® along with a gentle moisturizer at night. It will help with the prevention of skin cancer, specifically basal cell carcinoma, stimulate the collagen in your skin, and slow down oil production.
Don’t forget the sunscreen
Many skin problems are also triggered by sun damage like hyperpigmentation, premature skin aging, and skin cancer. Sun avoidance and proper use of at least SPF 15 sunscreen can help keep these conditions to a minimum.
Moreover, it is highly suggested to follow up with your doctor if you are experiencing any kind of discomfort in your skin due to the environmental issues. He will be able to help or to refer you to a dermatologist to discuss a customized skin care plan.
Even taking minor steps can make a permanent difference in the well-being of your skin. Careful skin care can protect your skin and keep it looking fresh and younger for longer.