Australian Bushfires – Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Pores, Too

by | Apr 15, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic is, understandably, front page news in Australia. Another story that has been pushed to the inner pages as a result, is an important one, however. It’s about the long-term effects of the deadly bushfires that ravaged the countryside earlier this year. Chief among them is inflamed skin, a topic near and dear to all of us at Austin Clinic.

Here’s what you should know…

Particulate Matter: Small & Deadly to Skin Health

Any type of smoke can be detrimental to your health, be it smoke from a fire pit or a cigarette. The smoke generated by bushfires is especially bad news for your health. It is filled with

  • Hydrocarbons
  • Nitrogen oxide
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Particulate matter – rich in black, organic, and brown carbon

It’s the last entry on the list that is especially worrisome to skin professionals. Particulate matter is a combination of airborne liquid droplets and solid particles of varying sizes. When the particles are small, as they frequently are in bushfire smoke, they travel along hair follicles to the root, deep within the skin.

What happens next isn’t pretty.

Skin Health & Beauty: Why Particulate Matter Matters

“Particulates are unstable molecules,” explains Dr Austin. “They increase free radical production which leads to oxidative stress throughout the body.” That stress can cause or aggravate:

  • Wrinkles
  • Pigmentation problems
  • Psoriasis
  • Atopic dermatitis

“Particulate matter may even elevate an individual’s risk for skin cancer,” says Dr Austin. “If you haven’t had a professional skin cancer check since the fires, I really recommend you do so soon.”

4 Evergreen Suggestions for Better Skin Beauty & Health

Bushfire smoke isn’t the only threat to your skin. Sun rays and toxic, man-made pollution wage war against your skin every day, stripping it of its radiance and ageing your youthful face. “Beautiful skin is something you have to work at,” says Dr Austin realistically, “but the work isn’t hard and the benefits are well worth the efforts.” She recommends all Australians:

  • Eat the Rainbow – Colourful fruits and veg have heaps of vitamins, minerals and carotenoids like lutein which help protect your skin from oxidative damage. The secret to success is to enjoy them au naturel, without a lot of added sugar or fats.
  • Drink Up – Smoke and pollution parch your skin. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. You get some hydration from beverages like lemonade or coffee, but pure water is more effective.
  • Supplement If You Need, Too – In a perfect world, your diet would provide you with all the nutrition your skin needs to look its best. In the real world, you may not be getting everything you need. Talk with your doctor about the value of supplements and whether they’re right for you.
  • Become a Clean Machine – Properly cleansing your skin should be a twice-daily ritual. The trick is to ensure you’re using professional skincare products. Prescription-only products contain medical-grade ingredients and formulations custom-tailored to an individual’s unique skincare requirements.

Are you concerned about the health of your skin? Has a mole or dark spot been giving you some worry? Would you like your skin to have more glow? No one understands your skin better than Austin Clinic, and we invite you to contact us today for help and guidance.