According to a report published in The Times Of India, the high levels of pollution in Mumbai are not only causing issues with the lungs but also impacting skin health. Both dermatologists and general physicians are noticing that the number of patients having different skin conditions has increased as well. After some basic observations, it has been found that all these conditions are not connected to possible allergens but are linked to pollution. Some patients even had serious effects on the skin and were referred for hospitalization.
Dr. Saurabh Shah, who happens to be a dermatologist at the Bhatia Hospital, has said that he has seen an increase in such cases comprising twelve to fifteen patients per week. They all had issues with a type of skin allergy called Urticaria. It happens because of weather changes and high pollution levels. In this skin condition, a patient experiences itchy, dry, hives, and sensitive skin. He said that various environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, and pollution play an active role in aggravating this skin issue. Most of the patients who get affected are young people.
From the hospital, it has been said that although the issues with a skin condition are not as high as people complaining about respiratory problems, it has indeed arisen by twenty-five to thirty percent.
Increase In Skin Allergies
Dr. Shah says that due to an increase in airborne pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and PM2.5, the outbreak of skin hives has gotten triggered in many patients. Dr. Neeraj Tulara of Hiranandani Hospital who happens to be an expert in infectious disease has said that in their OPD departments too there is a more number of patients having contact dermatitis and urticaria. He too holds a similar view that it is due to a rise in the pollution levels in Mumbai and these skin conditions are majorly detected in young patients.
Dr. Vandana Punjabi who happens to be a senior dermatologist working at the Nanavati Hospital has said that she has observed in many of her patients an increase in the levels of oily skin over the chest, face, skin, scalp, and back as well. This also has aggravated scalp folliculitis and acne. Furthermore, she has even seen patients complaining of dryness of skin and different worsened skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea.
Dr. Punjabi says that air pollution induces oxidative stress which leads to skin damage. It even exacerbates multiple skin conditions as well. Oxidative stress occurs when there are multiple harmful molecules also known as free radicals within the body and the antioxidant levels are not sufficient in neutralizing them. There are many factors that increase oxidative stress in the body such as poor diet, pollution, and smoking as well. Furthermore, people who remain outdoors majorly get exposed to higher pollution levels and so they develop wrinkles, suffer from premature aging, and have skin laxity too.