'Nearly 80pc UAE adolescents suffer from acne'
Dubai, November 3, 2009
Nearly 80 per cent adolescents in the UAE suffer from acne, which is now considered a disease in medical circles, said experts at a recent medical symposium in Dubai.
Some of the adolescents even resort to wrong treatments based on cosmetics products and friends’ referrals, thus affecting the scientific treatment of acne, according to leading experts who discussed new developments in the treatment of acne at the event.
“Acne cannot be taken lightly, as quality of life can be affected because of this disease. In the Middle East, people are prone to acne because of their oily skin and humid weather. Cosmetic products should not be used for acne without medical advice,” stated Dr Didier Coustou, an internationally renowned dermatologist with a wealth of European experience.
“UAE is quite advanced in dermatology treatments. I have visited many countries for acne related studies and I am really impressed with the level of expertise of the UAE local dermatologists. Dermatology sector in the UAE is in par with France. Local doctors are quite good in what they are doing, but the important thing is to consult a dermatologist for acne treatment, and avoid using plain cosmetic products,” Dr Coustou added.
The symposium was organised jointly by Pierre Fabre Dermatologie, France’s second biggest independent Dermatological laboratory and their local partner Alphamed group.
At the symposium, Isotretinoin, which is the active ingredient of the drug for acne treatment, was highlighted as a basic and safe treatment for severe acne. This form of therapy has revolutionised the treatment of acne. It decreases the size and output of sebaceous glands and makes the cells that are sloughed off into the sebaceous glands less sticky, and thus decreases their ability to form white heads and black heads, said a spokesperson.
“The range of people in the 15-22 age group who have acne is 80 per cent in the UAE. Five per cent of them resort to wrong treatments based on cosmetics products and friends’ referrals. Food doesn’t affect acne but stress does. Thirty per cent of acne patients have study-related stress. Twelve per cent of them have fear of communicating with people,” said Dr Alissar Khoury, UAE dermatology and allergy specialist.
“We urge insurance companies to cover acne because it is a disease, and 5 per cent of the patients cannot afford the treatment because it involves blood tests and other tests. The average spend per treatment is Dh5000 and duration of treatment is around four years. The incidence of acne is split equally between locals and expatriates from adolescent ages,” Dr Khoury added.
Dr Khoury disclosed that 5 per cent of acne patients take wrong treatments at some point due to lack of education or ignorance of the severe side effects, and stressed the need to educate the public, especially the parents, on the importance of early treatment.
“We have jointly organised this symposium to enhance awareness on acne disease among the UAE population and medical community because of the serious effects that might result of neglecting this disease, from ugly scars to emotional setbacks,' said Dr Barham, general manager, Alphamed group.
Dr Sameer Al Ali, a dermatocosmotologist from Dr Ahmed Fikry Medical Center, revealed that 70 per cent of acne patients were girls and 30 per cent boys.-TradeArabia News Service