Doctors are observing around 30% jump in skin related issues due to pollution
As the Air Quality Index of Delhi drops to the lowest levels, experts reveal that skin related problems also surged to a record high in Delhi and NCR. Seemingly, the dangerously high pollution in the national capital is not only taking a toll on people’s health but is also adversely affecting their skin, causing allergies, rashes and premature ageing, thereby forcing them to seek medical treatments.
Dr. V K Sharma,Professor and Head,Department of Dermatology, AIIMS New Delhi says" Exposure to pollution leads to early ageing of skin, pigmentation, skin irritation and other skin related problems. Due to high pollution level patients suffering from skin allergy experience aggravation . It is proven by research that high level of PM 2.5 present in the air leads to inflammation of skin. Due to high levels of pollution in Delhi, the number of patients with skin problems has gone up. "
Dr Ajaya Kashyap, Medical Director, KAS Medical Centre and MedSpa Said “While our skin is meant to work as a protective layer and ward off environmental hazards, the current levels of pollution is way too much for it to endure, resulting in various skin problems and premature ageing. In last few days, we received a record number of patients with skin related issues and also for anti-ageing treatments, we see almost 30% increase in number of patients”.
Since Delhi’s pollution is characterized by extremely high levels of Particulate Matter (PM), reaching up to even 999 in some days, while the permissible level is 60 micrograms, it is even worse for the skin. According to research published in PubMed last year, an increase in PM is found to be associated with 20% more pigment spots on the forehead and cheeks1. Just imagine how much a 999 PM would accelerate the skin ageing.
Explaining the link between pollution and premature ageing, Dr. Ajaya Kashyap says, “Oxidative stress, caused by an imbalance between the free radicals and antioxidants, and inflammation are the major reasons behind skin damage and premature ageing. Unfortunately, pollution accelerates both these procedures, leading to breakouts, irritations, eczema, allergy, pigmentations and even wrinkles. The patients we are receiving, report black spots and fine lines coming up on their faces in a fortnight or so.”
Telling about the treatment of premature ageing, Dr Kashyap says, “To deal with oxidative stress and inflammation, we have specially developed a procedure called KAS lift. In this procedure, we inject the stem cell from the fat cells of the patient’s own fat cells. Along with stem cell, we also inject PRP and antioxidants including vitamin and amino acids(glutathione). This rejuvenates the skin and clears off the signs of premature ageing.”
However, treatment just doesn’t stop here. He also suggests green tea, rich in Catechins, an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage, and vitamin C and curcumin (found in turmeric), also antioxidants, which help keep skin young by reducing oxidative stress. Other antioxidants, which he suggested to reduce oxidative stress are beta carotene, found in carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens and peppers; Vitamin E, found in nuts and oilseeds; and essential fatty acids, found in seafood, nuts and seeds.
Along with skin-friendly diet, he also stressed the importance of high-quality sunscreens, which prevent from UV a UV B and slow down the ageing process.
As the capital is turning into a gas chamber, along with respiratory, heart and other health problems, skin related problems are also rising. With winters around the corner, the situation is only getting worse, forcing people to seek medical help.