How Will Climate Change Affect Skin Diseases?

by | Jul 7, 2022 | Blog

As the Earth’s temperature continues to rise, so does the likelihood of developing skin diseases. Climate change affects skin diseases in various aspects of dermatology, from allergic reactions to infections. In this blog post, we will explore how climate change affects skin diseases and what you can do to protect yourself.

Climate Change: Girl on the beach with sunspots on her back

 

Western World and Skin Diseases

As the planet continues to warm, we can expect to see an increase in the prevalence of certain skin diseases. In particular, warm climates are ideal for the growth of bacteria and fungi, which can lead to infections such as athlete’s foot and ringworm. In addition, warm weather can cause skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis to flare up.

Furthermore, excessive exposure to UV radiation can damage the skin and increase the risk of skin cancer. Skin cancers are caused by exposure to UV radiation, and as the Earth’s atmosphere becomes more and more depleted of ozone, we are seeing more and more cases of melanoma and other types of skin cancer.

While the western world has largely been spared from many of these skin problems, due to its cooler climate, we can expect to see an increase in cases as global temperatures continue to rise. This is especially true for those with weaker immune systems or who are unable to take precautions against excessive exposure to sunlight. As a result, it is important to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect your skin from the sun.

 

Research studies on climate change

According to the World Health Organization, skin diseases are “the second most common category of ill health worldwide.” In the United States alone, dermatologists treat over 30 million patients each year for conditions ranging from acne to skin cancer. With such a large percentage of the population affected by skin problems, it is not surprising that research into the impact of climate change on skin diseases is becoming increasingly important.

There is evidence to suggest that climate change can have a significant impact on the incidence of skin diseases. For example, changes in temperature and humidity can alter the growth of bacteria and fungi, leading to an increased risk of infection. In addition, pollutants released into the atmosphere as a result of climate change can also damage the skin and contribute to conditions such as acne and eczema.

As more research is conducted, it is becoming clear that climate change is likely to have a profound effect on the health of our skin.

 

How to protect your skin from the climate changes 

There’s no question that exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays can damage your skin, causing premature aging, wrinkles, and even skin cancer. But there are steps you can take to protect your skin and minimize the risk of sun damage.

  • First, whenever possible, stay out of the sun during the hours when the sun’s rays are strongest (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.).
  • If you must be outdoors during these hours, be sure to wear protective clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants.
  • Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 to all exposed skin, and be sure to reapply it every two hours or after swimming or sweating.

By taking these simple precautions, you’ll help keep your skin looking healthy and young for years to come. Find out all you need to know about the perfect sunscreen for you in this article.

 

What to do if you get sunburn

Sunburns are quite common as the planet is burning vigorously and we are losing the ozone. If you find yourself with sunburn, there are a few things you can do to help ease the discomfort and speed up the healing process. 

  • First, take a cool shower or apply a cold compress to the affected area. This will help to reduce inflammation and redness. 
  • Next, apply a moisturizer or aloe vera gel to the skin. This will help to hydrate the skin and prevent further damage. 
  • Finally, avoid any further exposure to sunlight. Stay indoors during the daytime hours and wear loose-fitting clothing that covers your skin if you have to go outside. 

By following these simple steps, you can help to heal your sunburn and avoid any further discomfort. Checkout our ultimate guide for sunburns for more tips.

 

Other alarming conditions that surely will happen as a result of climate change

Climate change is already having an impact on skin diseases, and the problem is expected to worsen in the coming years. Allergic reactions are likely to become more severe as pollen levels increase, and hot, humid weather can trigger flare-ups of eczema and psoriasis.

In addition, the spread of infectious diseases is expected to increase as a result of climate change. Mosquitoes, for example, will be able to survive in hotter climates and will thus be able to transmit diseases such as malaria and dengue fever to a wider range of people.

As we experience the effects of climate change on our skin, it is important to be aware of how we can protect ourselves from its harmful effects.

 

Tips for keeping your skin healthy year-round

Just as the seasons change, so does your skin. In the winter, skin can become dry and cracked from the cold, while in the summer; it may be susceptible to sunburns and heat rash. However, no matter what time of year it is, there are a few basic steps you can take to keep your skin healthy. 

  • First, always remember to wear sunscreen when you go outside, even on cloudy days. 
  • Second, drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out. 
  • Finally, be sure to clean your skin gently with mild soap and avoid using harsh chemicals or scrubbing too vigorously.

By following these simple tips, you can enjoy healthy skin all year round.

 

Conclusion 

Climate change will undoubtedly affect skin health in both the short and long run. While it is important to prepare for these changes, there are still many things we can do to protect our skin from sun damage and other harmful effects of climate change.

Dermatologists recommend using sunscreen every day, wearing hats and sunglasses when outdoors, and avoiding peak hours of UV exposure. In addition, following a few simple tips year-round can help keep your skin healthy and looking its best.

For more information on how to care for your skin during this time of environmental uncertainty, consult a First Derm online dermatologist.

 

References

  • Balato N;Ayala F;Megna M;Balato A;Patruno C. Climate change and skin. Giornale italiano di dermatologia e venereologia : organo ufficiale, Societa italiana di dermatologia e sifilografia [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2022 Jul 1];148(1). Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23407083/
  • Silva GS, Rosenbach M. Climate change and dermatology: An introduction to a special topic, for this special issue. International Journal of Women’s Dermatology [Internet]. 2021 Jan [cited 2022 Jul 1];7(1):3–7. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7435281/

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