“Haze Irritates Your Skin & Respiratory System”
News about the haze in Singapore and the region, its effect on our daily lives and wellbeing (or lack of) is the hottest topic at the time of this writing. The wildfire hotspots may be thousands of kilometres away, but the air pollution is still keenly felt in Singapore because the haze has been transported by air patterns, wind cycles and rain.
Particulate Matter (PM) & Toxic Gases
The specific composition of the haze varies according to the type of wood or plants burning. When wood and vegetation is the fuel, it produces thousands of chemical compounds, including cellulose, oils, waxes and starches.
Scientists call this wildfire induced haze “particulate matter.”
WHY N95 MASK?
Particulate matter (PM) is a generic term for particles suspended in air as a mixture of liquid droplets and microscopic solid particles. PM2.5 are fine inhalable particles 2.5 micrometers in diameter and smaller. The average diameter of a human hair is about 30 times larger than the largest fine particle. Inhalable particulate matter is a big public health concern because it can be inhaled into the deep recesses of the lungs.
Inhaling particulate matter can cause
- Breathing difficulties
- Asthma attacks
- Persistent cough
- Build up of phlegm
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Elevated heartbeat
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Skin and eye irritation
Serious health effects of smoke and particle inhalation include:
- Reduced lung function and lung disease
- Lung inflammation
- Reduced immunity
- Aggravation of pre-existing respiratory and cardiovascular disease
- Premature death
THE IMPACT OF HAZE ON OUR SKIN
The haze does have an impact on the skin. In essence, the haze can increase the ambient ultraviolet radiation in our environment. Ultraviolet radiation can cause skin related problems particularly those who are sensitive to ultraviolet. This may increase the risk of sunburn, cumulative skin damage and eventually skin cancer.
The haze contains a lot of particulate matter as well as noxious (toxic) gases, which also harbor free radicals. These free radicals can cause photo aging or premature aging brought about by repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Particulate matter as well as noxious gases can cause dryness to the skin. The particulate matter in the air are by themselves irritative and can cause irritation to the skin. Even those with normal skin barrier function can develop some irritations to the skin due to exposure.
HAZE CLOGS PORES
The combination of particulate matter and noxious gases can clog pores. Those who have acne prone skin may experience acne flare ups. Taking care to suppress or prevent acne early helps to reduce scarring. Bio-active Emu Oil is a natural anti-inflammatory that helps combat inflammation caused by these irritants. When applied often throughout the day, emu oil nourishes skin while acting as a protective barrier.
FIGHT SKIN INFLAMMATION CAUSED BY HAZE
For those with underlying skin problems like eczema, there might be an aggravation of the eczema rash, with some becoming oozy, crusted or even infected. If the eczema does become severe, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist or general practitioner for the need to intervene with a treatment to bring about calm to the skin. Early treatment can minimize scarring and bring about better quality of life.
Avoid harsh, drying cleansers by switching to a mild, natural wash like Emu Tracks Liquid Hand & Body Wash or Shampoo & Wash for Infants that is specially formulated for sensitive and vulnerable skin. Together with the topical application of Bio-active Emu Oil, eczema flare ups can be minimized and even prevented.
Oral supplementation of Emu Oil Capsules can fight inflammation in the body caused by fine particle inhalation.
PROTECT OUR SKIN FROM HAZE
How to protect yourself from the haze
- Individuals who are exposed to the hazy environment should use skin screen, moisturizers with anti-oxidants because it helps to remove the free radicals from causing damage to the skin. Bio-active emu oil is a potent, natural moisturizer without the harmful side effects of steroids.
- Improve the skin barrier with creams and moisturizers that helps to protect and nourish the skin to reduce damage caused by the environmental agents. On top of that, be sure to wear clothes that cover more exposed skin.
- Those with eczema skin should minimize flare ups by using gentle cleansers and moisturizing more frequently. This helps to act as a barrier to minimize the damage caused by irritation from fine particles or noxious gases in the environment.
- Try to minimize outdoor activities by staying in an insulated, enclosed or airconditioned environment so there is lesser exposure and risk to the skin.
- Use an air filter or purifier in an enclosed, airconditioned room.
- Drink lots of water and maintain good hydration.
- Pay attention to public advisories so as to be aware of the environmental conditions when planning your outdoor activities. A great handy resource is https://www.haze.gov.sg/