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Sunday, January 23, 2022

How to deal with the most common skin diseases this summer


If you or your children experience any of these symptoms contact your dermatologist immediately, Dr. Salloum warns.

During the sweltering summer season, people of different age groups are exposed to several diseases that could be contagious, especially with families going in and out more and interacting with others in public.

With extremely high humidity and temperatures in Qatar, doctors warn some common skin diseases can be easily transmittable.

In an interview with Doha News, Dr. Eliana Ghosson Salloum, a dermatologist based in Qatar, revealed the most reported skin diseases in the Gulf state.

Molluscum Contagiosum 

Molluscum Contagiosum is the most common disease in Qatar for the summer seasons, especially among kids aged 3 to 12.

This skin disease is usually asymptomatic, which means that infected individuals are less likely to experience serious symptoms like fever, nausea, or malaise.

However, “individual lesions may be tender or pruritic, but those infected should not scratch the infected skin to prevent the virus from spreading,” Dr Salloum said.

Once scratched, the substance is likely to seep through the infect any skin it comes into contact with, which makes it contagious. 

“It is most transmittable in children at swimming pools or after showering, since the skin at those times is wet and pores are open which makes the virus easy to infect individuals,” she explained.

However, this virus does not only infect minors, the doctor warned.

“It also occurs in patients who are sexually active and mostly common in those who report having multiple sexual partners or unprotected sex,” she said.

In this case, symptoms only occur in private areas and can still be treated by a specialist through removing the substance from the skin using treatments such as curettage or pulsed-dye lasers.

Nevertheless, Dr. Salloum pointed out that patients with skin conditions that disrupt the epidermal layer are the most vulnerable to catching Molluscum Contagiosum.

“This disease tends to spread more rapidly in sensitive or problematic skin,” she added. 

“Patients with atopic dermatitis, which frequently occurs in children, are more vulnerable and may have more extensive disease.”

The dermatologist urged parents to directly seek advice from a doctor if they recognise such symptoms emerge in their children.

“This disease is not dangerous, but it could look awful and disturbing,” she said.

Dr Saloum said the only way to avoid infection with Molluscum Contagiosum is through constantly moisturising the skin, properly cleaning the body while showering and going to swimming pools that follow cleanliness and safety measures.

Tinea versicolor

This disease is extremely common during the hot summer weather, Dr. Salloum said.

“Tinea versicolor is a fungal infection of the skin that occurs from sweating during the hot weather and can cause skin discolouration and mild itching that is triggered by high humidity and excessive sweating.”

Those who have Tinea versicolor are likely to witness brown or white patches on their skin. 

“The brown patches will make the skin look dirty and the white ones will look like the person has vitiligo,” she explained. 

When this fungal infection gets exposed to the sun it could lead to skin discolouration in different parts of the body, where those infected could see parts of the skin looking lighter than the rest of the body, the dermatologist noted. 

However, after receiving the necessary treatment these patches will gradually disappear. 

“We usually treat this infection with a medical shower gel and anti-fungal solutions that help restore the skin and protect it from getting infected again.”

The dermatologist recommended wearing cotton clothes that best absorb sweat, and staying in air-conditioned places. 

Tinea versicolor usually occurs on the upper chest, shoulders, neck and back. Reported cases are mostly in adults and teenagers who hit puberty because during this phase the skin is usually more oily. 

Kids usually have more dry skin which makes them less vulnerable to catch Tinea Versicolor and more likely to get Molluscum Contagiosum. 

Dr Salloum advises people who match the vulnerable category to shower once every 10 days with an antiseptic solution to prevent the growth of such fungal diseases. 

“The treatments could cure the skin in 15 days, however, the white patches may take longer to disappear.”

Pityriasis Alba

Pityriasis Alba is often confused with Tinea Versicolor since they are both fungal infections that could cause white patches on the skin.

This kind of infection mostly affects children during the summer season because it grows on dry or dehydrated skin which is the case for many kids, the dermatologist noted. 

“It mostly occurs on their faces as white patches, which worries parents who could think it’s vitiligo but it’s not.”

She highlighted that this kind of infection is not contagious and is normally found on skin but triggered by certain factors, especially hot weather and exposure to the sun. 

The only way to protect kids from Pityriasis Alba is through applying sunscreen before exposure to the sun while at the beach or playing outdoors, she advised.

The doctor also noted that frequently moisturising the skin is extremely important as a prevention method to any skin disease, especially diseases that infect dry skin.

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional.

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