How to Protect your Skin Against Climate Change?

Skin problems due to climate change have been noticed for a long time. Today humanity faces great changes if the global temperature is not prevented from reaching 1.5 degrees before 2030. The adaptation and extra care that the population must have are urgent.

Woman applying sunscreen to a man on his back

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LatinAmerican Post | Brandon Martínez Salazar

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Leer en español: ¿Cómo proteger la piel ante el cambio climático?

During the last decades, the scientific community has been concerned about global warming and its influence on all aspects of life in the future. Although everyone already knows that climate change is causing natural disasters, rising sea levels, floods and droughts around the world, it is also negatively impacting the skin health of human beings. In this article we tell you how to protect your skin against climate change.

According to a study by the Solar Care Census of Garnier Ambre Solaire, which was carried out in different European countries and managed to survey 15,000 people, it was concluded that about 75% of the population in the old continent has suffered burns because of the sun in the last ten years. A significantly high percentage that makes experts think about the future of physical health.

Undoubtedly, the earth begins to suffer the effects of environmental pollution, which begins a future with many difficulties. So, if it is not possible to prevent the earth's temperature from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius, the circumstances will be unpleasant for survival.

Meanwhile, one of the concerns about climate change in dermatology is the consequences that the sun's rays could have on the skin as global warming increases. "I think with climate change and global warming, this (protecting ourselves from the sun) is going to start to become more of an issue for us, dermatologist," Dr. Justine Kluk told Euronews Green.

How is the skin damaged by the sun's rays?

The skin is the largest and most visible organ of the human being. Therefore, your exposure to the environment can make you vulnerable to multiple diseases . However, one of the most serious pathologies that can be suffered is skin cancer such as melanoma , which is responsible for more than seven thousand deaths each year.

In an article published in the Chilean Medical Journal on ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer, it points out that "with minor modifications of human behavior, which are not costly or require much effort, the expected risk of increased ultraviolet radiation, as a consequence from stratospheric ozone depletion, it can be greatly mitigated for man." Hence, adapting to the changes that global warming is producing is essential.

However, according to the English dermatologist Justine Kluk, nine out of ten cases of this type of cancer can be prevented with good sun protection. However, the specialist points out that it is also possible to develop other conditions if attention is not paid in time. "It also increases our risk of skin aging, of aggravating certain skin conditions. And, therefore, we have to make it part of our daily routine," explained the renowned English dermatologist in an interview with Euro News.

How to protect yourself from solar radiation?

One of the reasons why people do not protect themselves from the sun is because they believe that living in hot places makes them immune to developing serious skin diseases, something that is not tru . Also, these statements arise due to the lack of education about the dangers that the sun represents in health.

For this reason, these issues should already be raised in the academy so that the new generations are aware of the impact of the current climate crisis and how they must adapt to the changes for their own well-being.

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Meanwhile, experts say that sun protection creams are not enough to prevent skin conditions, especially with climate changes. For the same reason, they suggest that it is essential to wear a hat, dark glasses, long clothes and avoid sun exposure between noon and two in the afternoon.

In any case, it is recommended to use a sun protection factor greater than 30 to protect yourself from UVB rays that cause burns and serious pathologies; and UVA that cause premature aging of the skin. However, a single application a day is no longer enough to protect the skin against climate change, as was traditionally done. This recommendation is special if you are on vacation with greater exposure to sunlight. So, it is necessary to apply these protectors every two hours and thus avoid the damage to which it is exposed.