At the time, wildfire caused difficulty in breathing the air and when the whole sky turned into orange in American West, and it also caused so many different health problems, including coughs, heart attacks, runny noses and other harmful strokes.
Study Finds That Wildfire Smoke Can Trigger Eczema
Later, researchers who studied it at the University of California, which is located in San Francisco that wildfires can cause the issue of eczema and other skin problems. Raj Fadadu, the co-author, said, “Our current research on health outcomes and air pollution has mainly focused on respiratory health and cardiac health which are caused by wildfire, but we have noticed a gap in the connection between skin issues and air pollution.”
Fadadu added, “In the human body, skin is one of the largest and important organs, and it constantly interacts with the external environment. It is totally possible that any changes in environment like increase/decrease in pollution can directly affect skin health and create certain kind of problem”.
Eczema is a kind of skin issue, and it shows the symptoms like general itching. The other name for eczema is atopic dermatitis, which most health clinics of San Francisco noticed during a couple of weeks when “Camp Fire” ruined havoc in 2018 November. The timing of these campfires was as same as they were in the years 2015 & 2016.
The researchers found that even short-term wildfire smoke, which creates hazardous air pollution, is harmful to the skin. The team also examined that more than eight thousand people visited dermatologists during the time of October to February in the year 2015, 2016 & 2018. In the period of Camp Fire, visits for general itch and atopic dermatitis constantly increased for adults as well as kids. It was also noticed that medications for skin problems like steroids were increased during air pollution caused by wildfire.
Doctor Maria Wei, senior study author and a dermatologist at San Francisco, said, “Around 89 percent of patients with itching problem during Camp Fire didn’t know the nature of eczema or atopic dermatitis. They were suggesting that people with normal skin experienced itching and also different kind of irritation for a very short time”.
Air pollution caused by wildfire includes tiny particles of matter, hydrocarbons with polycyclic aromatic and gases. The kind of pollutants can slide through barriers of the skin, penetrate cells which can cause skin inflammation, oxidative stress, which can affect so many different negative causes, researchers said. “In our body, skin is excellent and very important physical barriers which separate inner cells and protects from the various external atmosphere,” Wei said.
“Moreover, there are so many different kinds of skin problems like atopic dermatitis where skin barriers are not totally functional. It is fully abnormal in case you have no rash and itch on your skin, so we can say that air pollution can cause harmful effects on the human body, and any kind of wildfire will definitely affect the skin with these conditions”, Wei added.
So, to protect your skin from any kind of atopic dermatitis during the period of wildfire by staying indoors, try wearing full-length clothes which can cover most of your skin when you go outside. You can use emollients like petroleum jelly, moisturizers to make a strong barrier on your skin, researchers of the different studies suggested.