Chicago Vs Houston

Which City Treats Your Skin Better?

Chicago

Houston

Here we have compared the two cities on the basis of various Extrinsic Factors which affect our skin. We explain about the factors and then rate the two cities on the basis of their score. The best one will have the highest score. Let the comparison begin…

The Sun | Air Pollution | Temperatures | Stress Levels | Fitness

1. The Sun

5299930517_a03b624355_bAs necessary as the Sun is for life to sustain on earth, it can be very detrimental for our skin. From a tan to sun burn and from building vitamin D to destroying collagen (Leading to wrinkles), the Sun has profound effect on our skin. In this factor we consider the average sun time through out the year and compare the cities according to the sun time it experiences.

UV Index takes into account the prominance of ultra violet rays are in the sunlight that a place receives. As you know UV rays are the most damaging part of the sunlight. With Ozone layer becoming thinner and our waistlines becoming thicker these rays are causing very harmful effects on our skn. These are a known cause of Skin cancer as well.

Chicago experiences 54% Sunshine in a year. (Sunny Days: 84; Partly sunny days:105; Total sunny days:189)

Chicago’s UV index is 9

Houston experiences sunshine for around 55% of an year. (Sunny days:90; Partly sunny days:114; Total sunny days:204)

Houston’s UV index is 11

Chicago and Houston are comparable in the number of Sunny Days they experience. The UV index is also high for both Houston and Chicago, indicating the risks of developing various skin problems is higher. Taking both the factors into account, it seems Chicago fares better than Houston but not with a heavy margin.

CHICAGO: 1

HOUSTON: 0

2. Air Pollution:

3280739522_c1f8001000_qAs if the Sun wasn’t causing enough damage, we have created even more hazardous conditions for our skin. Air pollution is one major cause of increased health risks through out the world and it keeps growing each year. The specific type of air pollutant that is the most damaging is Particle Pollution. Particles include coarse dust particles to finer chemical particles that are emitted from the industries. Many industries near about Houston do make it risky but lets find out more.

Chicago is ranked as the 14th most polluted city in whole of USA

Taking a combines average of 2013 & 2014, Chicago had:

Total 9 Days when Air Quality Index Reached “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” to “Unhealthy” levels.

Houston ranked 30th for annual particle pollution out of 277 metropolitan area

Taking a combines average of 2013 & 2014, Chicago had:

Total 3 Days when Air Quality Index Reached “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups”.

Houston and Chicago both face problems of higher Air pollution (Ozone + particle). You can check the latest levels of pollution in your area here: http://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.local_city&cityid=50 (Set for Chicago, but you can select your area) From what we checked the levels of particle pollution levels generally remain in “Moderate” for Chicago while Houston generally has “Good” levels. So definitely Houston has an edge here.

Chicago: 0

Houston: 1

3. HOT n COLD

Source: www.livinglikeyou.com

Source: www.livinglikeyou.com

Extreme conditions are never favorable, neither for body nor specifically for skin. Skin looks best in humid + temperate conditions.

Cold climate conditions makes the skin to soak off the moisture from the top layer make our skin look dry and flaky. Where as the Hot weather makes our skin to perspire and secrete the oils, making it more susceptible to rashes, boils and other fungal infections.

Lets compare the climate of the two cities.

 

Annual high temperature: 59.3°F

Annual low temperature: 43.3°F

Average temperature: 51.3°F

Annual high temperature: 78.3°F

Annual low temperature: 59.8°F

Average temperature: 69.05°F

Houston fares well in this. Its not very hot there in summers while winters are comfortable. Whereas Chicago can be a bit chilly and year round it remains cold. Not a great edge for Houston though.

Chicago:0

Houston:1

4. Stress Levels

Source: www.westrii.com

Source: www.westrii.com

Be it of any type, work related or personal, stress takes a toll on your skin too. When in stress full situations, the hormone levels increase in our body leading to an increased secretion of oils in skin. These increased levels of oils enhances the chances of acne, rashes, boils etc.

Its difficult to weigh the stress levels due to personal factors. But here we have compared the two cities on the basis of stress due to external factors like work conditions, traffic, city conditions etc.

 

Chicago ranks 6th in the most Stressful cities in US.
Houston ranks 5th in the Most Stressful cities of US.
Its seems both the cities do put their people under stress. Though its a very minor advantage but still we give this round to Chicago.

Chicago: 1

Houston: 0

 

5. Fitness:

 

Source: activeinparks.org

Source: activeinparks.org

Personal Fitness affects your skin as well. When your body feels well it reflects on your skin. It is difficult to generalize personal fitness, because of it being personal.

But we tried to take in account some of the measurable factors like, percentage of people with healthy weight, green area in the city (generally associated with outdoor activity) and general eating habits.

 

Percentage of people with Healthy Weight:38.8%

Parkland per 1000 residents: 4.6

Percent of City Population with Walkable Park Access: 90.5%

Percentage of people with Healthy Weight:36.9%

Parkland per 1000 residents: 22.9

Percent of City Population with Walkable Park Access: 45.7%

No city seems to have a clear edge here. Though Houston has more open spaces per person.

Chicago:0

Houston:1

 

Conclusion

Chicago and Houston are among the largest cities and most populous cities in the US. As such they face all the health issues that big cities generally face. We have tried to compare which city has a better level among them, this in no way compares them to smaller cities.

Final Score:

CHICAGO: 2

HOUSTON: 3

References

1. http://www.usclimatedata.com/; http://www.nws.noaa.gov/view/national.php?prodtype=ultraviolet
2. http://www.stateoftheair.org/2014/city-rankings/most-polluted-cities.html
http://gispub.epa.gov/OAR_OAQPS/SeasonReview2014/index.html?appid=53ebf02c3d5f400c940fbc781a2b1052

3. http://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.national_summary#IL ; http://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.national_summary#TX
4. http://money.cnn.com/pf/stressed-cities/2014/full_list/
5. http://www.governing.com/gov-data/obesity-rates-by-state-metro-area-data.html ; https://www.tpl.org/sites/default/files/files_upload/2014_CityParkFacts.pdf
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Clair

Author
Clair has worked in Pharma industry for long. Here she is blogging about various beauty and skin care issues. When she is not blogging she is building sandcastles with her daughter or probably is just hanging out with friends.