Environmental Exposure – Climate
The skin is the largest organ in our bodies and because it is an outermost layer of our body, it is the organ most vulnerable to external influences. Climate is one of the major factors that can change the behaviour of skin for better or for worse.
Cold air tends to be dry air with a very low humidity factor. When less moisture is in the air, skin can become dry. Plus, wispy winds can further deplete skin of moisture. In colder climates or the winter season, our natural sebum oil cannot keep up with the hydration demands of dry skin, which often leads to common dry skin conditions. The most frequently occurring cold climate skin problems are eczema, dermatitis, rosacea, cracking or scaliness, itchiness, redness or a course texture.
Unfortunately, once skin becomes dry, the vicious cycle of dehydration continues because cracking allows more moisture to escape from the tiny fractures created. Because dry skin can’t hold in nutrients, each of these conditions can lead to premature ageing in the form of fine lines, wrinkles, sagging and dull skin.
Humidity is common in warm climates, which is more advantageous over a dry climate, but the accompanying sun is the damaging factor. We know that UV radiation is extremely damaging to skin cells and results in premature skin
ageing and possibly, skin cancer. More toxic pollutants have been released into the air, accelerating the sun’s harmful effects on skin.
Heat rashes can occur when skin ducts are clogged, and moisture gets trapped under the surface. Bacterial and fungal infections breed in hot, humid climates, furthering potential skin problems. Both heat rashes and skin infections may lead to inflammation of the skin and could result in skin ageing in the long run.