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How pollution from Canada's wildfires is damaging our skin

After the fires, dermatologist Shadi Kourosh noticed a sharp increase in the number of skin conditions she and her colleagues were treating. (Getty Images)
After the fires, dermatologist Shadi Kourosh noticed a sharp increase in the number of skin conditions she and her colleagues were treating. (Getty Images)

For many parts of the country, devastating forest fires are an annual event. But last summer, for the first time in memory, daylight was obscured in the northeast for days, as unprecedented fires burned in Quebec and Nova Scotia.

We all remember the photos from New York — essentially turned to night as pollutants blocked out the sunshine and the medical community sent out warnings against breathing in particulate matter.

Dermatologist Shadi Kourosh, director of the Dermatology Division of Community Health at Massachusetts General Hospital noticed something else: a sharp increase in the number of skin conditions she and her colleagues were treating.

Those observations inspired Kourosh to dig deeper. Her study was published in the online journal “Dermatology and Therapy.” She joins host Robin Young to discuss the impact of acute pollution on skin and health.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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