effects of Pollution on skin

Uneven skin tone? Accelerated ageing? Pollution may be wreaking havoc on your skin.

Pollution leads to a number of skin disorders. UV rays, smoke and car exhausts have the ability to create free radicals. When these free radicals are emitted, they can easily attach to your skin when you are out and about walking to work, running errands or just enjoying a day outside.


The potential harm caused by these free radicals may be:

Compromised moisture barrier
Dry and dehydrated skin
• Dull skin tone
• Premature signs of skin ageing like wrinkles and fine lines

Let us now address pollution with the following tips.

1. Cleanse your face or skin at least twice a day with a gentle face wash based on your skin type. Make sure your skin is dirt free.
2. Use a good sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher before going outside to protect the skin from UV rays.
3. Wear makeup and go outside because of makeup prevents pollution from directly impacting the skin.
4. Always remove makeup as early as possible after coming back home.
5. Drink plenty of water and eat a lot of green vegetables, salads and fruits to detoxify the body.

Educate your friends and relatives about the effects of pollution. Be doubly careful while going out and follow the simple steps to keep your skin pollution free.

Photo-Aging

Photo-Aging is a natural process. As we grow old, our skin ages along. It loses its firmness, elasticity and appearance. Let us remind you, “it is unavoidable.”

There is another type of aging process that is caused by the sun. Aging caused by the sun is often termed as photo-aging. Most of the aging signs that appear in your 30s and 40s are because of photo-aging. This effect is caused by the UV rays of the sun. These UV rays penetrate through the skin and lead to the development of fine lines, wrinkles, freckles and so on.

But don’t worry. We have good news for you. Though they damage the skin, photo-aging can be reversed. That doesn’t mean that these aging effects are temporary. They do require proper therapy.

Early symptoms of photo-aging:

• Formation of wrinkles around regions of skin exposed to the sun such as eyes lips and forehead.
• The appearance of spider veins on the face and neck.
• Loss of colour in the lips.

Symptoms of photo-aging attributed to prolonged exposure to UV:

• Deepened wrinkles and forehead frown lines can be seen even when not frowning.
• Spider veins are most commonly seen around the nose, cheeks and chin.
• Skin becomes leathery and laxity occurs.
• Age spots appear on the face and hands.
• In extreme cases, pre-cancerous red and scaly spots appear.

Micro-needle dermal therapies play the best role in the treatment of photo-aging. Micro-needle based delivery systems are one of the new advancements for taking care of age signs. Do consult a dermatologist for direction. For people affected by photo-aging, there are broad-spectrum sunscreens that provide effective protection against harmful UV rays. These aging signs are reversible and appropriate therapy will help get rid of the same.
So when you step outside your home next time, use a photo-blocking sunscreen and see the difference.

syndet

Every day in the media, you are constantly bombarded with advertisements for soaps which claim to be healthy and good for the skin. They claim the most natural ingredients and may promise you Cleopatra’s beauty on a platter.

How do you then find out which one suits you the best? How do you know what parameter to look for in choosing a soap? pH is your magic word. Our skin is naturally designed to fight infection and environmental stresses. But the ability to do so is affected by the pH level. The pH level of the skin refers to how acidic or alkaline it is. On a scale of 1-14, with 1 being the most acidic to 14 being the most alkaline, 7 is considered a neutral reading. Skin’s natural pH is about 5.5 i.e., acidic and any deviation from this value leads to failure of the skin’s ability to protect itself.

Most cleansers, including natural soaps, detergent soaps, etc., tend to be too alkaline for the skin. Due to which they remove natural oils from the skin thereby, causing dryness and irritation. Only syndet based cleansers have a skin friendly pH 5.5. Bathing with a syndet over a long-term provides moisture to the skin and maintains skin pH. It proves very effective for the skin to fight off pathogens.

For happy skin, choose a syndet and not a soap. Bathing with a syndet over long-term provide moisture to the skin and maintains skin pH keeping it fit and healthy.

dark neck

Dark Neck? Does it seem dirty?

You might have scrubbed dark neck a hundred times or even more, but it still seems like you haven’t taken a shower for weeks. We understand how it feels. But worry not, because the issue is not on the outside, but on the inside.

Yes! The problem may appear on the skin, but it is caused by cells inside the body. This condition is called “Acanthosis Nigricans”.

This condition on the neck is due to the accumulation of extra skin cells. The main reason for accumulation of extra skin cells is hormonal imbalance, specifically the hormone that regulates blood glucose level. When this fails to lower the blood glucose level, the body produces more of it.


Besides the neck, the skin on other body folds like underarms, groin, elbows and knuckles might also get affected.

Lack of exercise, obesity and junk food are the main reasons for hormonal imbalance. Anyone who isn’t leading a healthy lifestyle is at risk. It’s even seen in children who are 8-10 years old.

Acanthosis Nigricans is a condition which makes people prone to diabetes which is an irreversible disease. So whenever you see people with dark patches on their skin, educate them that it is not dirt and ask them not to ignore the issue. Encourage them to visit a dermatologist immediately. Only a dermatologist can identify if the patches are “Acanthosis Nigricans” or just dark pigmentation and can treat it accordingly.

fungal infection

One of the most common skin infections for which people visit a skin specialist is a fungal infection or ringworm. This infection is neither painful nor burning but can get uncomfortable.

These infections are called ringworm because they appear in the form of a ring. Oh! And they also form red and itchy rashes on the skin.

Tinea Cruris or jock itch is a particular case when fungal infection occurs in the groin. Though not serious, they can be very unbearable to manage.

These infections spread from an infected person or even from infected pets. They can also spread because of unclean floors, shower stalls, locker room or even around a pool. So if any these places are unhygienic, be extremely cautious.

Where can fungal infections occur?

They can occur in any part of the body such as the groin, feet, head, and face and easily spread to the others part as well.

As you can see in the picture, these infections look subtle but require consultation of a dermatologist ASAP.

Fungal infections need proper medication and hygienic procedures. Here are a few steps you have to follow in order to avoid tinea infections:

1. Do not share any clothes or other wearable equipment with others.
2. Wear slippers in swimming pool areas, gym or public shower rooms.
3. Avoid tight clothes as they tend to dry the skin sooner.
4. Always wash with soap or shampoo after contact with others. Use antifungal cream.
5. Treat your pets from fungal infections.
6. If you find anyone with these infections, advise them to visit a dermatologist.
7. It is your foot that gets affected first with fungal infections. Especially for people working in dusty areas, wear socks first and then underwear to prevent tinea cruris from affecting the other parts of your body.