Dubai: Biological injections tailored to suit individual needs, latest facial fillers and new laser treatments for conditions such as eczema and alopecia have revolutionised skin care treatment in the region, and in the world. International derma care experts gathered in Dubai to address all afflictions linked to the human skin at Derma Care 2015, the 15th Dubai World Dermatology and Laser Conference and Exhibition.
Dr Anwar Al Hammadi, head of dermatology at the Dubai Health Authority, said. “Skin problems are a big concern for every individual. While internal (hidden) body problems tend to be neglected, with skin conditions, people don’t wait as it is your appearance that [you are dealing with].”
UAE’s multi-ethnic population and the strong sunny weather lead to specific skin afflictions directly related to sun damage such as skin cancer, sun burn and pigmentation, while other auto-immune conditions like psoriasis, urticaria and eczema are quite active as well.
In addition to this, Al Hammadi said: “There are also many genetic disorders, which are heightened in the cases of inter-family marriages, where both sides have skin conditions. This results in the child having a much higher risk of developing genetic diseases.”
However, skin specialists feel that the expertise and availability of treatment for skin disorders is of a very advanced quality in the UAE prompting patients from outside the country to come here for consultations. The methods applied in the UAE - diagnostics or therapeutic - are comparable to the best in the world, he said.
Listing some of the new treatments, Dr Al Hammadi said the medical community was especially excited by the new biological injections being used to treat an autoimmune disorder like psoriasis.
“The new biological therapies that treat psoriasis, an autoimmune skin condition which is a genetic/hereditary disease, can completely clear the skin for as long as you continue to take your medication and have semi-regular check-ups. In the past, the success rate for psoriasis treatment was 75 per cent or less.”
He said that by 2018, 10 new biological therapies - which could be tailored to suit individuals according to their gender, age and type of psoriasis - would be available to treat this condition.
Another advancement in the field was for treatment of urticaria (allergic hives). “This condition adversely affects the patient’s quality of life. In the past, we were limited with options of anti-allergic (antihistamines) pills. However, nowadays, there is a safe injection that can be given once a month which helps clear up this condition,” said Dr Al Hammadi.
The derma care research has also yielded positive advances in the treatment of common conditions such as eczema, acne, rosacea and hair problems (alopecia) which are now available here in the UAE. In addition to these treatments, there are also new laser therapies, said Dr Al Hammadi, but he cautioned that it was important for patients to get their condition correctly diagnosed before commencing treatment.
“One of the concerns here is also that it is an ‘open-market. Products and treatments should be evidence-based and not on hearsay,” he said.
Minimally invasive cosmetic procedures in demand
Talking about the importance of healthy skin and the multi-million dollar beauty industry around it, Dr Hassan Galadari, chairman of the scientific community at Dubai Derma, commented on the new treatments now available: “There is always something new coming up in this industry. I believe that the field of minimally invasive cosmetic procedures shall continue to break ground with newer and better fillers for a more natural look.
“In the world of fillers, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved Radiesse with lidocaine, which will make the procedure relatively painless. The filler is one of the most consistent volumisers that have been around for over a decade.
In the world of neuromodulators, such as Botox and Xeomin, there will be newer concepts emerging, including topical administrations where the product will be administered as a cream at the doctor’s office rather than as an injection.”
Consult a specialised dermatologist for any skin condition you may have instead of resorting to self-medication.
Use adequate sun protection to suit your skin type to avoid cancer and pigmentation.
Do not trust home remedies. Assess the risk versus the benefit when using them.
Do not trust celebrity endorsements and make sure you are not using a particular cream or emollient due to any kind of social pressure.