Coming from a colder environment to a hot, baking Dubai can have its health consequences - and on your skin, in particular
2 September 2018| Last updated on 4 September 2018
Heat, sun exposure, and even air condition can cause imbalances in your skin, making it dry, oily, or causing rashes or other unwanted issues.
You can, of course, avoid many skin-related problems in Dubai by following a healthy diet, and using the right moisturizing products and sunscreen protection.
In this article, Pacific Prime Dubai will examine the five most common skin problems in Dubai, and share whether they can be fixed at home, or if you might need to see a specialist.
The most common Dubai Skin Problems
Sunburn is a widespread skin condition that may easily affect anyone who is not careful enough while being exposed to direct sunlight.
Home aid: The moment you notice redness and inflammation on your skin due to sunburn, seek shade, and take a cold shower. Apply aloe vera or other intensely moisturizing creams, drink plenty of water to keep yourself and your skin hydrated, and wear loose clothes for the next few days, until the skin has healed.
Sunburn complications: You might have heard of the connection between sun exposure’s UVA rays and skin cancer. Having sunburns, or even sunbathing frequently, contributes to your likelihood of developing moles that might transform into melanoma, a dangerous type of cancer, later on down the line.
If the sunburn is severe, other symptoms can include skin blistering, dehydration, and general electrolyte imbalance. Untreated sun poisoning can cause shock in the body, and in rare cases, even death.
When to see a doctor: If you notice any new, irregular dark moles on your skin, see a dermatologist for a skin cancer screening as soon as possible.
Dry skin is a common problem in places like Dubai that have a dry climate. The symptoms of dry skin are an overall feeling of dryness of the skin, and itching. Scratching your skin is thus very hard to resist, and can lead to painful skin cracks.
Home aid: The most apparent and recommended help for dry skin is to moisturize it regularly. Also, avoid taking long showers, especially hot ones, as water actually dries the skin.
Dry skin complications: Dry skin on its own isn’t dangerous to one’s health, but if left untreated it can lead to cracks, rashes, bacterial infection, or atopic dermatitis, also called eczema.
When to see a doctor: Since it’s always better to prevent rather than curing, if you have dry skin symptoms for a prolonged period of time, visit a dermatologist. They can prescribe you specialty lubricative creams. Usually, elderly people are more prone to developing dry skin than children or younger adults.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether your dry skin is “just” dry skin, or if it’s Eczema. Classic eczema symptoms, such as dryness, rashes, and itchiness, are very intense, and even when using moisturizing creams, the issue may not go away.
Home aid: Make sure to get moisturizers and soaps that are free of any chemicals that might potentially irritate your skin further, such as alcohol, scents, dyes, and more. You may also consider getting a humidifier for your home and/or office to moisten the air around you.
Eczema complications: Mild eczema can quickly transform into a secondary bacterial infection, which manifests as increased redness, warmth, a more severe rash, pain, or any type of discharge from the area. In such a situation, an oral antibiotic may be prescribed.
When to see a doctor: After using over the counter remedies, if your skin is still not looking any better, it’s time to see a specialist. Usually therapy consists of the application of anti-inflammatory medications, prescribed steroid cream, and antihistamine medications to relieve any itching.
Acne in adults is more common in women than in men, as women face multiple hormonal changes during their lives, and even between menstruation cycles. Other causes of adult acne are poor diet, high-stress levels, and smoking.
Home aid: People suffering from adult acne should choose non-comedogenic cosmetics and creams. Since smoking and stress are causes, quitting tobacco products and finding a way to de-stress (like meditation) could help.
Adult acne complications: Acne scars are a scary proposition to many. If a person tries to fix their acne by themselves, for example by picking at pimples, or even takes no action, deep scars can occur. Such scars are most likely to stay with a person for the rest of their life, since modern medicine can only help to soothe, but not eradicate, them. Worse looks can be a cause of depression and anxiety for many, since they may feel good in their own skin due to extensive acne or acne scarring.
When to see a doctor: If acne spreads to other parts of the body, and over-the-counter medicine and changes in diet and lifestyle make no significant difference to your condition, it is time to see a specialist who will analyze your skin condition and prescribe medication that will target your specific type of acne.
Skin fungal infection
Fungal infections are also quite common, and usually occur in people with weakened immune systems. Candida is the most common type fungus, and it likes to spread in people’s toes and feet area the most. Some of the types of fungal skin infection are athlete's foot, ringworm, nail infections, jock itch, and yeast infections.
Home aid: Since there are several different types of fungal skin infections, we will present general preventive rules for this type of ailment:
Wear sandals when in public showers and locker rooms, and avoid sharing items such as towels. Keep your skin clean and dry. In the hot Dubai weather that means wearing sandals, rather than tight-fitting shoes, so that skin can breathe. There is a wide range of over the counter medications for fungal skin infections that you can try before deciding to visit a doctor.
Skin fungal complications: It is unlikely that a fungal infection will go away on its own, and if not treated correctly it can keep coming back, making your life miserable. Be wary, as some fungal infections can be hazardous if not diagnosed and treated in time.
When to see a doctor: We recommend seeing a doctor each time you suspect you have a fungal skin infection, as the earlier you start the treatment, the less pain you are exposing yourself to, and treatment will likely be shorter. After examination, the doctor will prescribe either topical and/or oral antifungal medications, which will ease unpleasant symptoms, and also prevent relapse.
Choose the insurance that covers you in any situation
Skin-related conditions can take a long time to heal and treat, and when we self-diagnose, we may be wrong about the correct course of action. Being able to access a network of professional and English-speaking specialists can be crucial for your overall wellbeing, both in Dubai and throughout the rest of the world.
That’s why choosing a comprehensive international health insurance policy is so useful. Not only will you get cover for all the major medical expenses worldwide, but with such a plan you can also access an extensive network of clinics and specialist for outpatient visits, such as the dermatologist, anywhere in the world.
Pacific Prime Dubai has been advising expat families and individuals for many years, and our insurance experts are at your service. Not only can you feel free to come to us with insurance questions, but we will also be able to advise you on the best plan and network provider for your specific needs. Don’t wait any longer. Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation!