Common Effects Of Air Pollution On Our Skin: A Critical Analysis

Effects Of Air Pollution On Our Skin

Whether you believe it or not, air pollution has become a constant nuisance for us, especially in the 21st century.


According to WHO, almost 4.2 million deaths occur every year due to exposure to outdoor air pollution. Amongst them, nearly 55% of deaths are caused by lung or heart-related diseases.

However, that’s not all.

Aside from this, air pollution can affect your skin to some extent as well. Here’s what you need to learn in this context.

Air Pollution And Skin Problems – An Overview 

As per various studies, air pollution affects our health in several ways. For example, the pollutants from cigarette smoke may lead to rashes, while vehicle exhausts cause different allergic reactions to your skin.

To help you understand things a little better, we have enlisted and explained some of the skin issues caused by air pollution. Let’s check them out together!

1. Premature Aging Of Your Skin 

1. Premature Aging Of Your Skin 

There was a time when people used to blame UV exposure for premature skin aging. However, a study from 2010 has revealed that the same issue can occur as a result of air pollution as well!

Additionally, traffic-related pollutants can also increase the risk of pigment spots in the cheeks and foreheads.

Solution: Well, to begin with, you can try washing your face at least twice every day. And, make sure to use lukewarm water while you are at it. Undergoing a thorough skin exfoliation procedure can also be beneficial for you in this regard. Additionally, you may also opt for certified anti aging products to take care of this problem.

2. Atopic Dermatitis 

Also known as eczema, atopic dermatitis is usually caused by pollutants released from cigarette smoke. It can create red patches on your skin and lead to painful inflammations. Besides, in severe cases, eczema can also cause flakiness, fissures, and mild bleeding.

Atopic dermatitis usually does not develop into any life-threatening situation. Nonetheless, it’s a chronic issue and, therefore, can prevent you from doing your daily work efficiently.

Solution: Identifying the triggers and avoiding them is the best way to counter atopic dermatitis. However, keeping your skin well-hydrated and moisturizing it regularly can definitely be beneficial for you. If you are already suffering from eczema, you may also take a bleach bath to subdue the extreme symptoms a little.

3. Skin Irritation 

Skin Irritation 

Even if you aren’t suffering from anything, airborne pollutants can still aggravate your skin and cause severe irritation.

But, how does the whole situation develop?

If you usually do not take baths or exfoliate, dust and pollutants from the air can begin building up on your skin. Gradually, they will also start clogging the pores and disturb the natural flora of your skin.

This, in turn, may trigger bacterial microbiome and cause acne breakout on your skin. In some cases, this build-up may also lead to irritation and inflammation of the epidermis.

Solution: Cleansing your skin with a mild cleanser at least thrice a week can be pretty beneficial for your purpose. You may also opt for taking a shower in lukewarm water for better results. However, if the issues have become too persistent, we would ask you to visit a dermatologist and treat your conditions accordingly.

4. Hives 

Hives, or urticaria, are a type of spontaneous skin reaction that occurs due to specific allergens. It is usually caused due to eating particular foods or medications.

However, in some cases, traffic-related pollutants can directly prompt this issue as well. And, when it occurs, it accompanies the following symptoms –

  • Painful swelling on the skin
  • Severe itching
  • Occurrence of skin-colored wheals or welts

Solution: If you are suffering from hives, you should always apply cold water in that place. Wearing smooth-textured, loose clothing can also help in subduing the irritation a little. In addition, whenever you come back home, do not forget to take a cool bath for at least 15 minutes.


Both indoor, as well as outdoor pollutants, can exponentially damage your skin. Due to this reason, you should always be prepared for the worst and try maintaining your skin regularly. Also, installing an air purifier in your house can be beneficial in this regard.

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