Homebodies Beware: Your Skin and Hair Are at Risk

Everyone knows that outdoor air pollution wreaks havoc on people’s’ health, but many are unaware that indoor air quality has tremendous health implications as well. Poor indoor air quality can cause hair and skin issues, asthma, and other conditions. Understanding and controlling indoor air contaminants can improve your skin tone and hair health while contributing to your overall well-being.

air pollution

Image via Flickr by porschelinn

How Indoor Air Pollution Damages Skin and Hair Health

Skin and hair are the body’s first line of defense against indoor air pollutants; overexposure to various contaminants can damage hair and skin cells. This damage often presents itself cosmetically in the form of rashes and bumps, but it can also contribute to issues affecting long-term health, such as asthma and skin cancer.

Sensitive Scalp Syndrome, a condition that results in an oily scalp, dandruff, prickling in the scalp, and pain in the hair roots, is caused by exposure to intensifying levels of pollutants in the air. In severe cases, Sensitive Scalp Syndrome can result in hair loss. This syndrome is triggered by floating smoke, dust, nickel, arsenic, and lead particles that settle on the scalp. These particles sink into hair follicles, causing oxidative stress.

Along with damage to hair follicles, indoor air pollutants can cause dry skin, rashes, and premature aging. Airborne pollutants increase the number of free radicals in the air and deprive skin cells of oxygen. Combined, these two conditions make it hard for the body to produce collagen; causing the skin to lose elasticity, radiance, and firmness.

Dust in the Home

Dust is a common household allergen and causes itchy eyes, sneezing, and nasal congestion in those who are allergic to it. In those with severe allergies, dust can trigger asthma and eczema. If you have a hard time ridding your home of dust, change your heating and cooling system’s air filters. If you notice excess dust after changing your filters, have your air ducts professionally tested and cleaned. Clean filters and ductwork improve the air quality in your home, reducing your chances of developing the allergies and skin and hair issues associated with indoor air pollutants.

Importance of Duct Cleaning

Air ducts function as a home’s lungs. They take air in and push it out. Dust, dirt, and other debris naturally accumulate inside air ducts. If ducts become too clogged with debris, they work inefficiently, reducing the amount of debris pulled out of your home while allowing more to enter. Professional duct cleaning allows air ducts to pull more debris out and prevent it from reentering your home, decreasing your exposure to indoor air pollutants.

Contaminants in ductwork make heating and cooling systems work harder than they should, leading to higher utility bills. A clean system works more efficiently, prolonging the life of the appliance and lowering utility bills.

Indoor air pollution contributes to skin, hair, and other health problems, but maintaining your heating and cooling system can alleviate and sometimes prevent the damage that contaminants in the air can cause. Removing debris from the air and preventing it from returning is the best way to ensure that your home is crisp, clean, and fresh.


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  • Francesca

    Great article – I’ve always suffered from eczema and dry skin so try and keep my room as dust free as possible.

    April 16, 2018 at 5:13 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Maune

    You usually don’t consider the pollution that can be inside of your own home. Thanks for this!


    April 16, 2018 at 9:27 pm Reply
  • Adam

    Interesting article. I had no idea that air quality had such an impact on skin and hair!

    May 14, 2018 at 4:17 pm Reply
  • Sam The air purifier expert

    Exposure to indoor air pollution has been linked to the development of everything from infections to asthma to lung cancer. It can also cause less serious side effects such as headaches, nasal congestion, nausea, fatigue and dry eyes. Having a good air purifier at our home and office can definitely save us from many health hezards.

    July 14, 2019 at 1:48 pm Reply
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