When the skin’s moisture is not replaced its defense is to produce more oil, which can lead to clogged pores and acne flare-ups. As the body’s largest and most visible organ, one of the skin’s main functions is to protect us from harmful substances.
These bumps are not true acne but a medical condition called militia, which is especially common on the torso during the hot, humid summer months. Not only will 95 degrees make you sweat a ton, but it will also dry out your skin and that’s definitely not a good thing.
It’s not practical, which means that sweat and bacteria are sitting deep in your pores, just waiting to cause your next breakout. The dryness zaps away any moisture your body has to offer, which means you need to artificially put it back in.
Not only can dry weather cause irritation and dead skin cells, but it can also lead to your body overcompensating the dryness and producing too much oil. Where am I supposed to go?” Valid point, but the humidity is likely going to make your body sweat an unnatural amount, which will clog your pores and enhance the probability of breakouts.
The moisture in the air is also going to trick your body into thinking that it needs to produce more oil than normal, which can be a nightmare for people with already oily skin. However, more research is needed to evaluate each of these possible issues in order to draw any conclusions on whether or how humidity may affect acne.
Regardless of whether humidity tends to worsen acne, proper topical treatment should work to keep you clear. Scientists have not performed any research that directly investigates the effect of humidity on acne severity.
Therefore, to determine whether it may play a role, we must rely on studies that investigate the effect of: However, even when we look at these studies, due to a variety of conflicting conclusions, we can't definitively say whether humidity affects acne.
Therefore, if there is a link between humid times of the year and acne, it is likely to be fairly weak. The researchers found that the majority of participants reported acne worsening during summer.
Further, many of the participants believed that the acne exacerbation was due to increased sweating and humidity. A 2009 study published in the International Journal of Dermatology interviewed Nigerian high school students regarding their beliefs about what causes acne.
A 2019 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology tracked seasonal variation in acne in 171 Indian patients. Among patients who noticed changes in their acne with the season, 40.4% reported worsening in summer.
5 However, we should note that according to their findings, the humidity in India is almost the same year-round, while the temperature increases significantly in the summer. Another group of researchers looked at data collected between 2002 and 2016 that analyzed hospital records in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Yemen.
They found that many patients reported acne during winter, when humidity normally decreases. Similarly, another team of researchers examined data from 10,999 patients in Spain who saw a doctor for their skin conditions in 2016.
The researchers found that a diagnosis of acne was more common during the cold period of the year. Scientists have performed only two studies, both in 2013, investigating the effect of altitudes on acne.
Again we see conflicting results, with one study finding that high altitudes might lead to more acne and the other study finding the opposite, that high altitudes might lead to less acne. The researchers found that “low humidity, high velocity wind, UV exposure, and cold temperatures” are the main causes of skin diseases, including acne, in higher altitudes.
They therefore predicted that lower humidity probably increases acne and other skin diseases in higher altitudes. A separate 2013 study published in the European Journal of Pediatrics examined the effect of altitude on acne in 6200 boys.
However, the researchers did not identify if humidity or other factors--including temperature, UV exposure, or wind--contributed to less acne in the boys who lived in higher altitudes. Researchers have performed several studies to identify if acne prevalence changes depending on where people live.
They have also performed studies to see if acne symptoms change during temporary travel to a new area. Overall, researchers have not yet identified if living in certain climates may cause people to be more or less prone to acne.
This study found that pityrosporum folliculitis occurred more often in men but not in women who lived in hot and humid climates. However, it is unclear if the results from studying this condition directly correlate with acne.
A 2016 study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology investigated the prevalence of skin diseases in people from a variety of ethnic groups living on a small group of islands east of the Indian mainland. The researchers found that the prevalence of acne and other skin diseases on these islands was similar to that of other hot, humid areas of India.
A 1983 study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology investigated whether military personnel were more likely to develop acne when traveling in hot and humid areas. The researchers found that only one solider developed acne after traveling to the new, more humid area.
A 1997 study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Genealogy, and Neurology found that short-term travel to more humid areas did not affect the acne severity of Iranian high school students. A 2013 study published in The Nigerian Postgraduate Medical Journal examined the incidence of skin diseases in prison inmates living in a tropical part of Southwest Nigeria that is high in humidity.
The researchers found that the tropical environment, stress, and overcrowding of the prison all contributed to the development of skin diseases, including acne. However, the study failed to note if humidity was an important factor in acne development.
When humidity increases, the excess moisture can promote microbial growth and cause an unhealthy imbalance of microbes in the skin, which may exacerbate acne. One 2009 study found that a skin disease called Demodex could worsen in humid environments, so it is hypothesized that the same is true of acne.
While this has not been shown to cause acne, a 2012 study discovered that skin oiliness increases in hot and humid environments. However, this is hypothetical, and there is no evidence that the resulting increased skin oil excretion from hot and humid weather helps reduce acne.
The skin acts as an important barrier protecting the body from harm. Researchers have proposed that higher humidity may decrease the skin's barrier function.
Either way, many researchers believe that higher humidity may make the skin more permeable. Researchers must perform more reliable, carefully controlled studies investigating this association.
& Happy, D. M. Profile of acne vulgarism hospital-based study from South India. The 'hold' dermatitis: annual spate of skin diseases following the spring festival in India.