Save your skin - advice from the experts
What’s On gets UAE expert advice on how to look after and treat skin conditions, like eczema, acne, rosacea, pigmentation and psoriasis.
With skin conditions becoming increasingly common, we look at the main problems and how to sort them…
What is it: Irritated or inflamed skin. An itchy rash, which forms dry, scaly patches.
What causes it: It’s thought eczema is linked to a response from the body’s immune system when it clashes with an irritant. Flare-ups can be the result of coming into contact with coarse materials or products such as soap or detergent. Stress can also contribute to it.
How to treat it: Lotions and creams are prescribed to rehydrate the skin. Antihistamines can help ease itching. Avoiding sweating and overheating is important.
What is it: Oil and dead skin blocks the pores leading to pimples, blemishes, and blackheads.
What causes it: The most common cause of acne is the overproduction of oil, which clogs up pores, encouraging bacteria to spread. Hormones can also have an impact on the level of oil production.
How to treat it: Avoid products with beads or granules in them as they can irritate skin, which is already sensitive. The bacteria can be killed by using a product with benzoyl peroxide. Prescription medication is needed to clear up a particularly bad case.
What is it: Pimples and redness across the nose, cheeks, forehead and chin.
What causes it: There are many factors that can trigger rosacea including drinking hot beverages and eating spicy food, saunas, extreme weather conditions, caffeine withdrawal and anxiety.
How to treat it: Substitute foods that trigger it with kinder alternatives such as an iced coffee instead of a hot one. Exercise can also be a trigger, so try replacing long workouts with several shorter ones, drinking plenty of water throughout.
What is it: Your skin gets its colour from melanin. If the cells that make this become unhealthy it affects melanin production and changes the colour of the skin.
What causes it: Pregnancy and sun exposure can both cause pigmentation. Freckles are also a form of hyperpigmentation.
How to treat it: Affected skin can be treated to lighten the affected area so it’s less noticeable. Wearing sun cream with an SPF of at least 15 is important, as is using skincare products with glycolic and lactic acid in them.
What is it: Flaking, sore, red patches of skin.
What causes it: It’s thought that psoriasis is the result of a poor immune system resulting in the skin cell turnover happening in days rather than weeks, which creates a build up of skin.
How to treat it: The bad news is psoriasis is incurable but the good news is it responds well to topical treatments. Regular doses of sunlight can also help, as can coal-tar ointments and shampoos.
ASK THE EXPERT: Rebecca Treston
What are the most common skin problems you see in the UAE? Sun damage is a big problem, as well as melasma, which is when light to dark brown or greyish pigmentation develops, mainly on the face and often as side effect of too much sun exposure.
How can they be treated? The best way is in-house clinical treatments such as chemical peels and laser treatments. Hormonal therapy can also help in some cases of melasma as this condition can be attributed to hormones. It is vital to use high-quality skincare range, preferably one that has been prescribed by an aesthetician.
What can we do to improve our skin? Schedule treatments with a reputable aesthetician who will provide you with a treatment programme to address your skin’s needs. Use good skin care and follow a healthy lifestyle, which means getting enough sleep, eating well and drinking water. Avoid sunbathing and use a high-quality SPF.