Reduce skin damage caused by wildfire smoke pollution

Chicago skyline shrouded in smoke from Canadian wildfires

This summer’s Canadian wildfires brought more than just eerie colored skies and itchy eyes. The environmental pollutants that accompanied these wildfires and affected almost all the northern U.S. states can cause serious damage to your skin, the body’s first line of defense. 

Struggling with your skin? You’re not alone

Many patients have already exhibited skin issues caused by the pollutants in the smoke. We are seeing many patients with exacerbated skin conditions caused by the poor air quality. This is especially true for patients with psoriasis and eczema, but not limited to them. Atopic dermatitis and itching issues are on the rise! And patients who have never had problems are developing new skin conditions.

“Maskne” is back

Many Chicagoans went back to wearing masks to protect themselves from the smoke, and now they’re dealing with “maskne” again — acne caused by wearing masks. “Maskne” and clogged pores are the most common issues we’re seeing.

Just as during the early years of Covid, gentle cleanser can help remove excess oil, sweat, and bacteria. Avoid cleansers that contain alcohol or perfume. These ingredients can cause irritation.  If your maskne is more severe, try a medicated cleanser with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. And, if these fail to work, make an appointment to see us.

Help your skin

It’s always a good idea to follow the daily three-step skin care routine: 

  1. Wash your skin with hypoallergenic and fragrance-free cleanser or soap as soon as you can after exposure.
  2. Moisturize all over after cleansing. Use a fragrance-free lotion or cream.
  3. Apply a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen of at least 30 SPF during the day to all exposed skin to further reduce free radical skin damage from UV exposure.

We also recommend you schedule a customized skin care treatment, such as Microdermabrasion. This is a great way to rid your skin of impurities and remove the uneven outer layer.

Care for smoke-damaged skin

Now that the smoke is gone, it’s time to assess whether you have damage, and design a customized treatment plan for you. 

Long term effects

We predict accelerated skin aging, increased pigmentation, and collagen degradation caused by the pollutants in the smoke. So let’s treat and protect your skin now to minimize any long-term effects.Our goal is to help you have and keep your skin looking its best. Let’s get you on a great regimen now and adjust it as you age. Please feel free to contact us to make an appointment.