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AAD: Adult Acne Clinic Visits Increase With Exposure to Wildfire-Related Air Pollution

Rate of adult acne clinic visits 1.2-fold higher during 2018 California Camp Fire compared with nonfire weeks in 2015 and 2016

By Tina Brown (HealthDay News) | March 15, 2024

FRIDAY, March 15, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Short-term exposure to wildfire-related air pollution is associated with an increase in clinic visits for acne vulgaris among adults, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, held from March 8 to 12 in San Diego.

Alex Ha, from the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study to determine environmental triggers and factors for acne vulgaris. Dermatology clinic visits for acne vulgaris at an academic tertiary care center in San Francisco before, during, and after the 2018 California Camp Fire were compared to patient visits during the same period in 2015 and 2016 when there were no wildfires. A total of 2,054 visits for 1,549 patients were analyzed. Three metrics of wildfire-associated air pollution were assessed: PM2.5 concentration, fire status, and satellite-based smoke plume density scores.

The researchers found that an increase in weekly PM2.5 concentration of 10 µg/m3 was associated with a 2.3 percent increase in adult acne clinic visits at lag week 0 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.17 to 4.6 percent). When adjusting for temperature, humidity, age, and clinic volume, the rate of adult acne clinic visits during the California Camp Fire was 1.2-fold higher (95 percent confidence interval, 1.02 to 1.42) than the rate of visits during nonfire weeks at lag 0. For smoke plume density, the adjusted rate ratio was 1.14 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.01 to 1.28) at lag 0. No significant associations were observed for pediatric patients across the exposure metrics.

"With the worldwide increasing frequency and intensity of wildfires, these findings can inform patient counseling and management," the authors write.


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