Pollution Doubles Skin Damage from Solar Ultraviolet Radiation


A 2011 study summary from the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (vol 64, no 2, p.AB23) detailing the combined effects of sunlight, air pollution, heat, wind and cold in skin inflammation and damage. The authors found these five elements work together to create more skin damage than any of these environmental irritants can create on its own.

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Solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation along with daily exposure to pollution and other external stressors, such as extreme temperature, present the skin with potentially damaging challenges.We sought to determine possible cumulative effects on skin by the five daily aggressors of pollution, sun, heat, wind, and cold as measured by effects on various inflammatory endpoints and markers.

Cumulative environmental aggression consisting of all five stressors in combination with UV resulted in a two-fold increase in skin damage relative to UValone. Although damaging effects to the skin is incurred by UV, exposure to the five daily aggressors synergistically increased skin damage. These results indicate that exposure to amounts of pollution which are found in urban environments, can double the skin damage caused by UV exposure.

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