Prof. Adebola Ogunbiyi, a Professor of Medicine and a dermatologist at the University of Ibadan, has tasked the Federal Government on specific interventions to reduce the burden of skin diseases in the country.
Ogunbiyi stated this at the inaugural lecture she delivered at the University of Ibadan on Thursday on behalf of the Faculty of Clinical Sciences.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the lecture was titled ‘External Protector and Revealer of Internal Maladies: Organs of Beauty and Shame’.
She attributed the prevalence of some non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes to excessive use of topical steroids.
“Topical steroids get absorbed in the body. The same way oral steroids can cause diabetes, they can cause diabetes too.
“So, you can develop hypertension, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease from the things you apply on your skin, when it is absorbed.
“But, a lot of people think that because I apply it on my skin it stays on the skin. Things like soap is made for you to use to wash your body, but people leather it and leave it on the body for 24 hours.
“So, all those habits, where people do not realise that soaps are absorbed into the body, are the causes of some of these diseases.
“Indiscriminate use of skin cleansers, some dangerous herbal therapy and use of recycled engine oil, precipitate systemic diseases,” Ogunbiyi said.
The dermatologist also advised the public to own their personal shaving instruments to prevent blood bone diseases.
She urged the government to provide quality health care for patients with skin disorders, through provision of intensive equipment, such as laser machines and phototherapy chambers.
She said that this would reduce medical tourism for dermatological disorders and facilitate training of medical personnel.
She noted that there were about 100 trained dermatologists in the country and that they could not meet the needs of a growing population of people with skin problems, at 150 million.
She, therefore, called on the government to encourage the training of more dermatologists in the country.
Ogunbiyi called for the education of hairdressers and barbers on the dangers of using unsterilised instruments.
“They need to be encouraged to refer clients with skin problems, especially scalp and hair disorders, promptly to the hospital for treatment, “she said.