Climate change is hurting our skin and health: heed these pearls of wisdom from a pharmacy doctor and executive
We’re continually learning about climate change’s impact on the earth, but what about its impact on our bodies and health? Climate change is being linked to internal inflammation in the body as a result of warmer climates causing spring to last longer and lengthened seasons of pollen. Exposure to excess allergens can cause allergic inflammation in the body resulting in more than a person may have experienced before such as a shellfish allergy, gluten allergy and even skin conditions.
According to American Academy of Dermatology, both colder and warmer climates, as a result of climate change, can have a negative impact on your skin. Colder climates cause low humidity and cold winds, drying out skin by stripping any moisture away. During the winter months, many people find their skin to be rough, red, tightened, cracked or peeling due to dryness.
In warmer climates, increased heat and humidity can cause your skin to sweat, leaving you more prone to breakouts, especially if your skin is oily. The heat can also lead to other skin problems. Among them is heat rash, which happens when sweat ducts get closed off, trapping the moisture under the skin and leading to a rash made up of blisters or bumps. The condition is common in infants, but it can also affect adults who are exposed to hot, humid climates.
A variety of skin diseases appear to be worsened by climate change. This includes inflammatory disorders such as eczema and pemphigus, an autoimmune blistering disorder. With the skin being the largest organ in the body and very absorbent, it is possible to treat the external effects of internal inflammation with skin care. Yes, you read that right, skin care can help treat inflammation as a result of climate change’s effects on the body and help aid the skin concerns associated with it.
The big no-nos
Skin care cannot directly reduce internal inflammation, but it can combat the inflammation that you see on your skin as a result of it. Some of the anti-inflammatory ingredients to look out for are: licorice extract, green tea, turmeric, centella asiatica, colloidal oatmeal, chamomile, resveratrol, CBD oil–hemp seed, alœ vera and neem oil.
Stop aggravating your allergies
It is important to use skin care free of fragrances, and 14 known allergens (per FDA—the 14 allergens are: celery, cereals containing gluten [such as barley and oats], crustaceans [such as prawns, crabs and lobsters], eggs, fish, lupin, milk, molluscs [such as mussels and oysters], mustard, peanuts, sesame, soybeans, sulphur dioxide and sulphites).
What goes in shows up on your skin
Inflammation helps the body fight illness and can protect it from harm. In most cases, it is a necessary part of the healing process. However, some people have a medical condition in which the immune system does not work as it should. This malfunction can lead to persistent or recurrent low-level inflammation. Chronic inflammation occurs with various diseases, such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma. There is evidence that dietary choices may help manage the symptoms.
We recommend an anti-inflammatory diet of fruits and vegetables, foods containing omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains, lean protein, healthful fats, and spices. It discourages or limits the consumption of processed foods, red meats, and alcohol. The anti-inflammatory diet is not a specific regimen but rather a style of eating. The Mediterranean diet and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet are examples of anti-inflammatory diets.
Climate change’s effects on the body are not just skin deep. With the increase of climate change, these effects are going to worsen and allergies will increase in people. By using preventative measures now by using skin care and make-up products devoid of allergens and eating an anti-inflammatory diet, you will save yourself from the health issues climate change can cause to your skin and body.
Take care and stay strong
Take time for yourself, meditate, exercise and lead a serene lifestyle. When your mental health is in check, usually the body is calm and the inflammation can be reduced.
With the temperature rising, and the sun being stronger, make sure to use sunscreen and cover yourself from too much exposure. If you live in a place that is actually becoming colder (also an effect of climate change), then moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
Make sure to truly nourish your mind, body (with the right diet and lifestyle) and a good allergen-free skin care and cosmetics’ routine.
Dr Liia Ramachandra, Pharm.D., Ph.D. is a serial entrepreneur and health care executive. Dr Liia is the founder and CEO of EpiLynx by Dr Liia, a gluten-Free, allergen-Free and medically clean skin care and cosmetics brand. She comes with vast experience in global medical affairs, global ethics and compliance, clinical research and global publications. She has worked with multiple companies like Takeda Pharmaceuticals Inc, Pfizer, and Astellas. Dr Liia holds a master’s degree in pharmacy and a doctorate in pharmacy from Groningen University, Netherlands and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry and drug development from the University of Utrecht. Dr Ramachandra is the CEO of EpiLynx Skincare and Cosmetics.