The skin is a large, complex organ, and it serves as the body’s primary interface with the environment, playing key roles in sensory, thermoregulatory, barrier, and immunological functioning.
The skin is a large, complex organ, and it serves as the body’s primary interface with the environment, playing key roles in sensory, thermoregulatory, barrier, and immunological functioning. As floods, wildfires, and extreme heat events increase in frequency and severity, they pose a significant threat to global dermatological health, as many skin diseases are climate sensitive. Investigators draw on an extensive review of published research to highlight the key dermatological manifestations initiated or exacerbated by these climatic events and also highlight the disproportionate impacts on marginalized and vulnerable populations. Their findings appear in The Journal of Climate Change and Health, published by Elsevier
“We wanted to provide dermatologists and other practitioners with a comprehensive overview of extreme weather-related skin disease as a foundation for patient education, implementation of early treatment interventions, and improved disease outcomes,” explained lead author Eva Rawlings Parker, MD, Department of Dermatology and the Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA. “We were astounded by the shear breadth of impacts that extreme weather events have on skin disease and how profoundly climate change exacerbates inequality.”
In their review, Dr. Parker and her colleagues cite nearly 200 articles documenting the myriad impacts of extreme weather events on skin. Marcalee Alexander, MD, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Climate Change and Health, noted, “This information is especially timely in light of traumatic events such as Hurricane Ian, which has led to increased infections due to flood and standing water exposures.”
Read more at: Elsevier
The research team drilling holes in the ice at the H-Sed site with the northern shore of Lake Hazen in the background. (Graham Colby / University of Ottawa)