I came back from a trip lately and had very bad skin eruption which has never happened to me before. I believe the drastic change of weather is the cause. Is that true that weather affects our skin?
Yes. It is true.
Skin is the most superficial organ and hence it is one organ that is most exposed to the external environment and most susceptible to the change in weather.
We, Malaysian are used to hot and humid weather. If you travel to temperate countries during winter, dry skin and cracked lips are among the most common skin problems. People with eczema may suffer a severe flare if they don't moisturise their skin diligently enough.
Heat trapping clothing?
Traveling in winter, most people will wear heat trapping clothes. Wearing tight fitting or heat trapping clothing can lead to folliculitis due to irritated hair follicles.
Soaking comfortably in hot water bath?
A contaminated bathtub, or even whirlpool, swimming pool and water slides can give one pseudomonas folliculitis. There is even reports of infection from contaminated diving suits.
Many people gets sunburn while traveling. We hide in shades and in air-conditioned room back in our hometown. When we go traveling, we go outdoor much more frequently. During winter in particular, we love to stand under direct sunlight, not to forget that beautiful snow reflects ultraviolet rays to our faces that are often not covered by the winter coat. The results? The flare-ups of acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, blistering diseases and lupus erythematosus (For people with all this conditions).
More exposure to ultraviolet rays also means higher skin cancer rate apart from lower the immunity and higher chance of cataracts.
Apart from the change of weather, don't forget that stress, diet etc. can affect our skin. Not all trips are nice and relaxing. If you are under stress, acne, rosacea and psoriasis can crop up. If you take a lot of comfort food with high glycemic index during the trip, acne can crop up; or spicy food, and rosacea can crop up.
Do you share blankets, pillow cases or even towels and clothing while traveling? Many skin infections can spread via contacts.
Last but not least, don't forget that bed mites, ticks and scabies can be rampant in certain accommodation with suboptimal hygiene.
I love good skin but I love traveling too. What can I do to avoid skin problem?
- Sun protection - hats, scarfs, sunglasses, sunscreen, shades
- Stay moisturised and hydrated
- Stay warm
- Keep to your usual skin care routine
- Avoid sharing of personal items
- Steer away from contaminated / parasites infested places as far as possible