What your skin says about your health
Noticed dark circles under your eye this morning and rushed to buy the latest concealer? You are not alone. Most women reach for the makeup vanity case at the first sign of trouble on their face. Others resort to facials that promise glowing skin or other treatments that promise to get rid of excessive facial hair. Ahead of International Women’s Day, doctors at Medeor 24×7 Hospital, Dubai outline how your skin can reveal tell-tale signs about your health.
“In the days leading up to your periods if you suffer breakouts on your chin it is usually an indication of a hormonal imbalance as that area is sensitive to an increase in the levels of progesterone and testosterone,” said Dr. Shiva Harikrishnan, Consultant Obstetrician and Laparoscopic Gynecologist & Head of Obs. & Gyn. at Medeor 24×7 Hospital, Dubai. “If the acne breakout is deep, cystic and painful, it is sign of untreated polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Untreated, the condition can increase the risk of diabetes and infertility.”
A diet of excessive sugar intake leads to extra insulin released in the blood stream which stimulates the hormone that is responsible for acne. “Limiting sugar in your diet can help reduce the risk of PCOS and reduce breakouts. Make sure to consume a balanced diet and get ample exercise,” Dr. Shiva continued.
Excessive Hair Growth
“Polycystic ovarian syndrome also results in excessive hair growth on the jaw line, chin and upper lip because the condition results in the elevation of male hormone levels,” said Dr. Shiva XX. “If ignored, over a period of time the PCOS will result in insulin resistance, increased hair growth or hirsutism, increases the risk of heart disease and in serious cases uterine cancer.”
If you’ve noticed that you are going to the salon frequently to have your upper lip threaded or sideburns waxed, it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
Dark Under-Eye Circles and Puffiness
“Persistent allergies cause blood vessels around the eyes to dilate and leak which results in the puffiness and the dark purple hue under the eye. Allergies also cause the release of the chemical histamine which causes itchy and runny eyes. People tend to rub their eyes which worsen the puffiness and discolouration,” said Dr. Suresh Babu Rengasamy, Specialist Dermatologist at Medeor 24×7 Hospital, Dubai. “Consult a Doctor who will be able to determine the exact cause of the allergy and prescribe suitable medication.”
A diet high in salt results in water retention in the body including the under eye area. Dr. Suresh added that massaging around the eye will help remove the excess fluid around the eyes.
Redness and Blotchiness
“Red blotches that flare up on the face and neck are usually related to stress particularly instabilities in the levels of stress hormones,” the Doctor said. “Rosacea or the tiny clusters of red bumps are an indication of a problem with the digestive system. Consult a specialist who will be able to determine if you are suffering from problems in your digestive tract.”
If you are suffering from a butterfly shaped patch of redness on both your cheeks it is an indication of a more serious health problem. “This is one of the main symptoms of lupus, a disease that attacks the immune system. If you notice the rash along with other symptoms such as feeling unusually tired, bruising easily or unexplained weight gain or loss, make sure to consult a Doctor immediately,” Dr. Suresh advised.
“Our skin acts as a mirror to the inner workings of our body. A poor digestive system or even a simple allergic reaction can show on your skin. It is important to raise awareness on how the skin can reveal certain medical conditions in the hope of an early diagnosis which improves a treatment plan greatly,” said Dr. Mohammed Berer, the Medical Director at Medeor 24×7 Hospital, Dubai. “It is part of our commitment to the overall wellbeing of UAE’s residents.”