This post is under review and in the process of being rewritten.
How Does Air Quality Affect Skin Health?
Atopic dermatitis Eczema is an itchy inflammation of the skin commonly caused by allergies. There are an array of things that could cause an allergic reaction in different people. Since the skin is completely exposed to the environment, it can be easily affected by allergens that can be found in the air. Some of these allergens include pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and even smoke.
The quality of the air can have profound effects on the skin. Dry air, in particular, can have adverse effects on the skin. Dry air causes normal skin to be rough and flaky.
Eczematous skin suffers even more as it has a damaged skin barrier, which means the skin cannot retain water. This often manifests as bumps or rashes on the skin. This leads to severely dry and itchy skin and more frequent flare ups.
Indoors, the air contains several chemicals found in cleaning products, paint, furniture, and even mattresses. These chemicals affect allergies as well.
The humidity and temperature of an environment also affect the health of the skin. Lower humidity leads to dry skin, as there is less moisture in the environment. Lower humidity is often found in cooler seasons or climates.
What Does An Air Purifier Do?
Air Purifiers are machines that remove particles in the air and sanitize it. These particles include allergens, toxins, and pollutants. These machines rid the air in your home of all the impurities that pollute the air we breathe and in turn, have negative effects on our quality of life.
To do this, they typically take in the air through a system of internal fans, filter the air through the machine and then release the clean air through another system of fans
Are air Purifiers good for our skin?
Since most eczema triggers are airborne, it is plausible that the use of an air purifier could benefit people with eczematous skin. In some cases, indoor air pollution being as much as five times worse than outdoor air pollution, it might even be imperative for a person with eczema to get an air purifier.
By cleansing the air of allergens, an air purifier removes the triggers for flare-ups. If it does nothing else, that alone is a great relief to one who has eczematous skin.
Effects of Air Purifier On The skin
1. Air Purifiers may prevent flareups and improve acne
Air purifiers trap particles that can trigger flare ups which are often identified by rashes, itching, and redness.
In the absence of these allergens, the skin is free to thrive without external pollutants in the air. Skincare products may also work better in the absence of these particles leading to healthier skin.
2. Air purifiers improve the skin tone
Some particulates are associated with skin hyperpigmentation. These particulates are known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These hydrocarbons break down vitamin E that is present in the skin, making the skin susceptible to free radical damage. Hydration, sunscreen, and the use of antioxidants help in reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation. However, taking the hydrocarbons out of the air is immensely helpful also. An air purifier with a HEPA filter- short for High Efficient Particulate Air can assist in this.
3. Air purifiers can slow down ageing
Excessive exposure to the sun’s rays carry harmful ultraviolet rays that harm the skin by creating free radicals that damage the skin, causing more wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Similarly, air pollutants can contain free radicals too.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are also implicated here. They break down proteins in the skin responsible for keeping the skin supple and youthful-looking such as collagen and elastin. The destruction of these proteins causes the skin to sag. Constant exposure to hydrocarbons causes the ageing process to accelerate
Can Air Purifiers Help Manage Topical Steroid Withdrawal?
During topical steroid withdrawal, the damaged barrier of the skin is open and vulnerable to air-borne particles. Allergens within the particles can aggravate the skin and may cause flare-ups, itching and other unwanted reactions. Many people within the topical steroid withdrawal community use an air purifier within their homes to assist in removing allergens pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and smoke from the air. As topical steroid withdrawal is a new medical phenomena, we will update this page once research emerges that air purifiers can assist in managing topical steroid withdrawal.