Expert advises extra skin care in Ramazan

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By Myra Imran
Due to change in food and water intake patterns during Ramazan, the number of people visiting skin OPD with complaints of dry, itchy, rough and fissured skin has increased.

Health experts believe that since during Ramazan everyday routine changes and the body adapts itself to the change in normal routine, it leads to such problems. To tackle them, they advise little moderation in lifestyle and taking extra care of the skin.

Talking to ‘The News,’ Consultant Dermatologist at Ali Medical Centre Dr. Azeem Alam Khan said that during the holy month, they generally had patients complaining of problems such as skin feeling tight; lack of freshness and giving dehydrated looks. “There may be flaking or scaling, fine lines, cracks, redness or deep fissures, especially on palms and soles,” he explained.

He said that repeated rubbing or scratching brings further itch making skin even more rough and thick mostly on easily accessible parts of the body. “Sweating adds to the drying effect especially on lips that become more vulnerable to dryness, chapping and cracking,” he added.

Giving more tips, he said that during fasting one should keep the skin well moisturised with regular, frequent and liberal use of moisturisers. “These are available in the form of ointments like Vaseline, cold cream and lotions.”

Alam said that the best thing was to use an oily ointment-based moisturiser at night and a cream or lotion based moisturizer applied frequently during the day. “For dry skin one should use gentle and a mild oily soap,” he said adding that the general rule of the thumb in choosing a suitable soap, gel, body wash or face wash was that the skin should feel soft and smooth instead of getting dry, rough and tight after using it.

He said that the best soaps were those that were oily and chemical free like Dove and Oilatum. “Frequent bathing and showering causes dryness of skin so one should not use too warm or too cold water and not stay in water for longer than 15 minutes (preferably 5-10 minutes).”

Dr. Alam explained that cotton clothes were best for skin and silk was also acceptable whereas wool, Cashmere and Pashmina were likely to irritate the skin these days. “It is also advisable to avoid exposure to the sun during Ramazan as it causes dehydration and hyper pigmentation of skin.

Giving guidelines on dry lips, he said that it was advisable to use chap stick or vaseline. “Drinking plenty of water at ‘sehr’ and after ‘iftar’ improves skin hydration and texture,” he said adding that taking vitamin C & E in the correct amount often ensures a glowing, rosy complexion. “It’s also important to consult your physician before taking vitamins if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or if you take any medications regularly.”

Finally to keep your skin fresh, healthy and smooth during Ramazan you need a well-balanced and healthy diet, plenty of water, adequate sleep, exercise and no smoking at all!

Source: The News, Thursday, September 25, 2008

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