AN expert in skin, Professor Bola Ogunbiyi says indiscriminate use of skin cleanser as creams and rubbing of engine oil on the skin by Nigerians can precipitate diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and chronic kidney disease.
Professor Ogunbiyi, in an inaugural lecture entitled ‘External Protector and Revealer of Internal Maladies: Organ of Beauty and Shame’ at the University of Ibadan, said although some of these things when applied to the skin may work, they get absorbed into the skin and end up causing internal organ malfunction.
Ogunbiyi, a past president, Nigerian Society of Dermatologists, declared that “individuals who apply topical medications for prolonged period, such as potent topical steroids as body creams, end up with systemic side effects, including cataract, osteoporosis, menstrual irregularities, diabetes and hypertension.”
The expert said unprescribed medications should be avoided because intake of some medicines in some individuals can cause drug eruptions, adding, “in some instance, some women whose husbands were on some antibiotics and had passed some through semen during intercourse to their spouses end up with drug eruption.”
She said that skin diseases are among the most common health problems globally and accounts for a significant number of consultations at the hospital, pharmacy shops and herbal markets, being a significant cause of morbidity and stigmatisation, impacting negatively on the quality of life of those affected and their families.
Professor Ogunbiyi said acne in children is a disease that requires medical attention because if it is not properly treated, some end up with scars while others develop keloids on the face, which subsequently affects their quality of life
She declared that anecdotal reports on ingestion of oily foods precipitating or worsen acne has not been scientifically proven although foods with a high sugar content such as sweets, chocolates and sodas have been shown to precipitate or worsen acne.
The skin expert stated that the skin is the mirror of the body and it is able to reveal the presence of many systemic diseases such as HIV, iron-deficiency anaemia, infections of the heart valves, psoriasis, and kidney failure.
Professor Ogunbiyi said wetting the skin of the face is a pre-shave care that can help prevent the onset of razor bumps that occur due to increase in androgens levels in men affected.
She urged women to desist from hairstyling methods that cause excessive pulling force on the hair and traumatizing the hair follicle to prevent hair loss.
Professor Ogunbiyi said that repeated cycles of this “part and pull” end up with irreversible destruction and permanent hair loss, urging mothers to desist from subjecting children to excessive hair styling, especially with hair extensions.
She added that painful hairdos should bit be tolerated because although the pain from a traumatic hairdo reduces gradually over a few days, the damage to the follicles starts as soon as the traction is in place, it may eventually lead to permanent damage of hair follicles.
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