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Cleansing, toning and moisturizing are important for skin

Prof Azam Samdani, a dermatologist at Aga Khan University Hospital Karachi, talks about winter related skin issues and importance of cleansing, toning and moisturizing in skincare

SN: What are the most common skin problems in Pakistan, especially relating to winters?sni

Bacterial, viral and fungal infections are highly common in Pakistan. However, in winters, dry skin, allergies, eczema, psoriasis and sun related problems like photo-dermatitis are commonly seen here.sni

SN: Do people have enough awareness about their skin issues here?sni

Well, people living in the rural areas are mostly unaware about these problems. Ignorance, lack of education and economical factors being the reasons. Urban areas comparatively, have better awareness. Skin issues however, become lesser important when other serious diseases are prevalent.sni

SN: What are the common practices that tend to harm our skin?sni

We simply do not take care of our skin. We do not moisturize, prevent it from sun damage or make efforts to maintain skin tone. Moreover, substandard medicines and cosmetic products are playing havoc with the skin. Aggressive treatments are being done without license in parlors and other setups where beauticians and staff are mostly untrained. All these are affecting the skin.sni

Excessive use of cosmetic products or facials can be harmful. But you have to keep your skin toned up by moisturizing, toning and cleansing it

SN: Since which age should skin care begin?sni

It should start right from childhood and be taken care of at all ages. A child may have dry skin that needs to be kept moisturized. Then problems like acne, eczema, pigmentation, and freckling start with puberty. When you enter 30s, you experience age and job related issues that affect the skin. Old age brings other problems with it. There are different precautions for different age groups and should be taken care of accordingly.sni

SN: To keep the skin intact, one should prefer not using anything on the face. Your comment?sni

Excessive use of cosmetic products or facials can be harmful. But you have to keep your skin toned up by moisturizing, toning and cleansing it. Without the use of cleansers, skin pores can close hence promote acne. Your skin will remain dry if you do not keep it moisturized. And dryness promotes eczema. Moreover, working outdoors without using sunblock would damage the skin.sni

SN: Can sunblock make ones skin tone darker?sni

No, it is just a misconception. It depends on a sunblock’s SPF (Sun Protection Factor). If you use a low one, it will not be effective enough. Sunblock is essential as it protects the skin against sun damage. Buy a sunscreen with SPF 60 or above. Its types however, vary from skin to skin. An oily sunblock cannot work on an oily skin.sni

SN: Does dry skin occur in people with health problems?sni

Any person, healthy or unhealthy can have dry skin. You can also have dry skin if you have eczema or any other related disease. For instance, people living in Quetta have extremely dry skin due to the weather effects. Inherited eczema will also cause dryness. You need to keep the skin moisturized to prevent damage.sni

SN: Why do dry skin patches sometimes appear on the cheek areas?sni

That is again a type of eczema. Other than keeping the skin moisturized, the patient may need a short course of steroids as well.sni

SN: Do other health problems affect the skin?sni

Yes, definitely. Diabetes related skin problems are common. It can cause dryness. Uncontrolled sugar levels can make a patient more prone to skin diseases like bacterial and fungal infections. Kidney problems can also affect the skin. Moreover, rhinitis (sneezing), asthma, and migraine problems can also cause eczema or atopic eczema.sni

Acne problems in Pakistan are prevalent due to our diet. Junk, fatty and fried foods and chocolates etcetera aggravate acne

SN: Dark circles are also a common complaint. Are there any natural remedies to treat it?sni

There are multiple reasons for it like inheritance, lack of skincare, physical exertion, anemia, sleeplessness and hormonal issues. There are medications that can minimize the problem; but it cannot be cured completely. I personally, do not recommend using natural remedies. Formulations available in the market are usually substandard which can cause reactions. I recently had a patient who had used a cucumber for dark circles but it caused her redness in the eyes.sni

SN: How can one treat acne?sni

Acne is basically a problem of young age. First we should understand that geographically different countries and parts of the world have different types of diseases and their causes may vary. Culture and environment matters a lot. Acne problems in Pakistan are prevalent due to our diet. Junk, fatty and fried foods and chocolates etcetera aggravate acne. They do not produce it though. Hormonal changes in young age are the only cause. Acne in adulthood occurs due to certain other factors. And it may worsen because of life stresses relating to job, home, exams etcetera. Both emotional and physical factors combine to cause acne in adults.sni

SN: Red cheeks are thought to be a sign of good health. Is it always so?sni

Rosacea is a genetic or hormonal skin disease in which your face skin (especially the cheeks) turns red because of dilated blood vessels. It is common in northern areas (typically the Hazara tribe). You might have noticed children from places like Gilgit, Chitral and Hunza with red cheeks. People misunderstand it as sign of good health, although it is not so. There are different kinds of treatment available for the skin problem. Creams and laser treatments are available. Patients usually need sun protection therefore need to use a sunblock.sni

SN: Why are sometimes antidandruff shampoos not enough to treat dandruff?sni

Well, dandruff is not a simple problem. It can either be caused by fungus, eczema or psoriasis and is treated accordingly with the help of cream combinations. Unfortunately, majority dermatologists in Pakistan are unable to pick the root cause of dandruff. Psoriasis is usually misdiagnosed as eczema. And using shampoos is sometimes not enough. Certain other medications are needed to control the damage and hair fall.sni

SN: What are the other reasons for hair fall?sni

There are many physical and emotional reasons that cause hair fall. Delasinated water that comes through tankers and boring is hard water which is one of the major reasons of causing dandruff. Stress and other psychological and hormonal problems contribute to hair fall.sni

SN: How can women using headscarf take care of their hair?sni

Women who wear headscarf all the time experience a lot of hair fall. While practicing in Saudi Arabia, I observed women wearing scarf had a higher rate of hair fall. They should keep their hair open whenever at home. Oiling is good for dry hair.sni

SN: How often should conditioners is used?sni

Use them for dry and frizzy hair.sni

SN: Anything left that you would like to add at the end?sni

Well, avoid excess of facials. Also, stay away from hair rebonding, hot irons, extensos, straighteners etcetra as they contribute to damaging the hair.sni

skin issues in winters, hair fall causes, what causes red cheeks, what is Rosacea, skin health, skin problems, health, shifa news, skin issues in winters, dry skin, dandruff

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