Skin is the largest organ of the human body and any problems related to it can vary greatly. Skin issues can be temporary or permanent, painful or painless, or severe or mild. Some can be minor, and some can be life threatening. Skin related issues that worry us in our day-to-day life and are reason behind frequent dermatologist appointments include acnes, fungal infections, pigmentation, dark circles, hairfall and more. According to Dr Fiona Cowie, Specialist Family Medicine, Aesthetica Clinic Dubai, the three most common skin issues are:
- Dull, environmentally damaged skin which leads to premature ageing
- Acne prone skin
- Pigmented skin
“The most common issues for which patients visit a dermatologist now-a-days are acne and various fungal skin infections. Acne vulgaris, commonly called as pimples, affects approximately 85% of teenagers, but can occur in most age groups and can persist into adulthood”, says Dr Varsha Arun, Specialist Dermatologist at Aster Clinic, Karama.
“There are so many skin issues and one of the most common ones is acne. It primarily affects young people, however it can affect people in their forties and fifties”, says
Dr Ashraf Reda. Consultant Dermatologist, Mediclinic Welcare Hospital.
How Can We Treat These Common Skin Issues?
According to skin experts, the choice of therapy is influenced by the age of the patient, extent of involvement, the site of the probelm, severity of the disease and the patient's preference. Treatments always vary from one person to another based on skin condition, sometimes the ethnicity and also taking into consideration genetic reasons as well as multiple other factors. Identifying all of these would help in setting the proper treatment and skin care program to achieve the ultimate results.
Dr Fiona Cowie, of Aesthetica Clinic Dubai says, “To treat dull, prematurely ageing skin you need a good skin care regime that helps exfoliate the skin to expose the younger looking skin underneath. AHA’s like Glycolic Acid are excellent for this. A regular medical facial is a good idea too. At Aesthetica we advise our signature AFT Facials that combine a deep skin cleaning including exfoliating, moisturising and skin boosting treatments followed by a session of AFT laser or Super Clear Lift to boost your collagen. Another great idea to give your skin a lovely glow is an Aqua Gold microneedling treatment. The gold tip pushes a combination of skin boosting and brightening mesotherapy into the skin for an immediate glow.”
“To treat pigmented skin we have a range of depigmenting masks and peels. Hormonal changes and sun exposure cause more pigment to form in our skin and this process can be very hard to reverse. It is often an on-going problem. Depending on the severity of the pigmentation, which areas of the face and body it is on and what ethnic background you are from will all influence which peel you will be advised is the best for you. The treatment will stop pigment production temporarily and reduce the pigmentation appreciably but you will always need to use a maintenance home care product to assist with long term pigment control. None of these treatments will work however if you forget your sun factor which should be SPF 50 if you live in the UAE”, adds Dr Fiona Cowie.
“Chemical peeling is considered as an adjunctive treatment for active acne lesions, as well as for the post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and scars. Newer methods like microdermabrasion, microneedling with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), mesotherapy, fractional lasers are all tools in the armamentarium of a dermatologist, to deal with the post-acne damages. High glycemic index diets may be associated with acne. Limited data suggests that dairy, particularly skimmed milk, may worsen acne”, suggests Dr Varsha Arun of Aster Clinic in Karama.
Dr Nelly Mohamed Hussein, Expert Dermatologist of Kaya Skin Clinic says, “When acne develops acne scars, we tend to prescribe micro-needling, or RF, or subsection or PRP which can also help in rejuvenating the skin and toning it. Treating pigmentation would require more than just creams as many people mistakenly think. These creams do not treat deep pigmentation. Laser treatments are very effective for reducing pigmentation. We have many solutions for pigmentation at Kaya which can be combination of peelings or treatment by laser like the Q-switch and a range of products formulated by our dermatologists. The dermatologist will advise on which solution suits the skin best.”
“As for dark circles, it can be because of lack of vitamins, fatigue, certain lifestyle habits or genetics and can be treated via range of peels and meso-therapy. Sometimes the hollowness under the eye also gives the effect of having dark circles. This hollowness in fact can be treated with simply filler injections to restore the volume to this area, hence diminishing the darkness beneath the eyes”, adds Dr Nelly Mohamed Hussein.
Dr Ashraf Reda. Consultant Dermatologist, Mediclinic Welcare Hospital says, “To avoid the development of scars, it is advisable not to squeeze acne spots. If scars develop, they can be treated with a variety of procedures such as chemical peeling or laser.”
Things To Do Before You Visit A Doctor
Here are a couple of things, you should do before you make an appointment with a dermatologist:
Review your current skin care and makeup. Throw out old creams past their expiry date and invest in a medical grade new skin care regime. This may resolve the issue without needing further treatments.
See the GP to establish if there are any hormonal issues causing acne. This can be assessed by simple blood tests and the GP may suggest antibiotic therapy. You should always have active acne treated before undergoing any aesthetic procedures.
Check your skin to make sure the pigment is cosmetic and not a mole or skin cancer. If in doubt see your GP or dermatologist.
Dr Varsha Arun of Aster Clinic in Karama says, “Any person with acne should meet a dermatologist and should proceed according to the advice.”
Dr Nelly Mohammed Hussein of Kaya Skin Clinic says, “Dark circles could result from genetic reason, stress or unhealthy diets, sinusitis, long hours in front of digital electronics and sleeping with makeup on and harsh eye cleaning so these are the factors people should look for, similarly is the hair fall along with anemia and the harsh treatments for hair e.g. colouring.”
Home Remedies To Treat Skin Issues
Here are some simple home routines you can follow to have a healthy rejuvenating skin to ditch those common skin issues:
Dull Skin Home Remedies: Home remedies for dull skin include lemon, honey and milk. These help by exfoliating and brightening the skin, but a reliable medical grade skin care regime is a far better long term way to maintain healthy skin.
Acne: Home remedies for acne include applying cider vinegar, tea tree oil and witch hazel to name but a few. These may help with mild outbreaks but more serious ones always need medical assessment and treatment.
General Skin Care Routine: Follow a healthy diet, exercise and have a balanced lifestyle. Avoid excessive drinking of caffeine, excessive sun exposure. Drink sufficient water (8 glasses or 2 litres of water) to keep the body hydrated and to flush out all the toxins from the body. It’s important to consider enough antioxidants, vitamins and protein in your daily diet these can come in different forms of nuts, vegetables, fruits and dairy.
However, Dr Ashraf Reda of Mediclinic Welcare Hospital says, “The internet is filled with home remedies for acne such as apple cider vinegar, honey and cinnamon mask, green tea etc. None of these products has been proven to improve acne. It is recommended to use medications which are studied and approved for treatment of acne.”
Now that you know how to look after your skin to avoid some of the basic and most common skin problems, start your journey from here and look after your skin well and visit your dermatologist armed with the knowledge.