Risks involved in shortcut to get fair skin

SALALAH, May 7 – A dermatologist has cautioned young girls ahead of the marriage season in Dhofar. Some marriages are taking place while many more will take place during the monsoon season. Dr Faiza Alraaie (pictured), a Senior Dermatology Consultant, Ministry of Health, and a visiting consultant at Al Hakeem Medical Center, said in the race to become more fairer many young girls are using wrong medicines. This practice, according to the senior dermatologist, is really dangerous. She, however, is happy that due to some serious efforts launched by the Ministry of Health, things are under control and to some extent there has been awareness among people.
Still she finds some cases coming to her regularly and feels pity when she notices some girls spoiling their skin due to self-medication and wrong compositions.
Dr Faiza asked young women to consult a dermatologist before undergoing any skin-related treatment, particularly those involving toning and fairing of the skin.
She called for using safe cosmetics, keeping in mind that the skin which an individual gets
by birth is normal, natural and most beautiful. One should not mess with this natural thing unless there is some abnormality and treatment is required.
She raised the caution bar due to approaching Khareef (monsoon) season, which is season also for marriages in Salalah.
The drug in question is Topical Potent Corticosteroids (TPC), misuse of which, according to Dr Faiza, “is prevalent worldwide, and prevalent in Dhofar Governorate also. Misuse of TPC causes wide range of adverse drug reactions and even catastrophic consequences.”
She called for regular educational campaign about the harmful effects of medicative whitening preparations followed by a noticeable rise in public awareness about the nature, use and side effects of those agents.
She hailed a ministerial circular that limits public access and advertising of potent TCs that has been supporting the concept, drug use and safety among the population, and provided better pharmacy practice.
“The topical corticosteroids are perhaps the most widely used therapeutic agents in modern dermatologic therapy. They provide rapid symptomatic relief in almost all inflammatory dermatoses, especially in the short term. Even improper use, for instance in infectious dermatoses, produces an initial improvement in the symptoms. Apart from their anti-inflammatory effect, TCs also have potent anti-pruritic, atrophogenic, melanopenic, sex-hormone-like and immunosuppressive effects on the skin. All these can lead to significant local adverse effects if TCs are used indiscriminately,” she said.
Citing some important journals and scientific studies, she said that the risks associated with TCs paralleled the benefits of their therapeutic power. Their efficacy versus toxicity were related to their potency and percutaneous penetration. “All the TCs applied to a diseased skin are absorbed to some degree into the systemic circulation. When administration is chronic or when large areas of skin are involved, the absorption may be sufficient to cause systemic effects including adrenocortical suppression,” said Dr Faiza.

Kaushalendra Singh