One thing that residents on the East Coast of the United States have not often thought about is the skin damage that can come along with exposure to air pollutants from wildfires. For years, wildfires, in the United States, have been primarily a concern for those on the West Coast, but in the past few years smoke and pollutants from wildfires burning in Canada have engulfed cities and towns up and down the Eastern seaboard.
This year, a particularly long run of days left residents of New England, the tri-state area and even Pennsylvania and Ohio reeling from the smoke and ash that was blown their way due to the wildfires that are burning in Canada. While many have resorted to covering their face with masks once again, there hasn't been as much talk about the damage that smoke and pollutants can cause to your skin and how you should stay protected.
According to dermatologists the air pollution caused by these wildfires is damaging to your skin and will not only affect your skin in the short term, but can also cause lasting damage. This is particularly true for those who have pre-existing skincare issues like eczema or chronic dryness. The smoke from these wildfires can cause lasting impacts that could take months or years to resolve.
So, what can you do to protect yourself?
Along with sticking to your typical skincare routine, experts advise you to do the following to keep your skin safe when these types of pollutants are in the air.
1.) Stay indoors. This is the best and most reliable way to keep yourself safe both internally and to protect your skin safe as well. It is best, when you can, to keep all windows and doors closed and stay indoors until the air quality improves.
2.) While indoors, run an air purifier (if you're able to) so that the air you are breathing in your home has pollutants removed from it and you are not recirculating the dirty air.
3.) If you must go outside, experts suggest that you wear a mask and also long clothing to keep your skin covered. You should be wearing long-sleeves and pants to cover your arms and your legs and if the situation continues to deteriorate you should consider wrapping your face in a scarf to keep the pollutants clear of your face.
It is an unusual thing for wildfire smoke to become such a large topic of conversation, but sadly these incidents continue to happen with greater regularity so it is important that you spend some time thinking about how you will go about your daily life without compromising the health of your body or your skin. Continuing to be vigilant about your skincare routine and also taking these additional steps will help keep you safe while the pollutants are in the air and the air quality is low.