MOH News

Dermatologist's Tips for Prevention of Sunburns during Hajj
08 November 2011
   Dr. Saleh Mesfer Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, a dermatologist at the Outpatient Clinics Section of Mina Emergency Hospital, has advised pilgrims to avert sunburns caused by exposure to direct sunlight. To avoid surface burns, which are usually first-degree burns, he pointed out, pilgrims have to use sunscreens when walking during daytime, given they exert exhaustive efforts in walking long distances to perform the various Hajj rites; either circumambulating the Ka'ba (Tawaf), stoning (Rajm), walking between Safa and Marwa (Sa'i). During the performance of these rites, pilgrims are exposed to direct sunlight for long periods.
Such sunburns, Dr. Al-Ghamdi explained, may result in skin-rash (rashes) or skin redness, and could evolve to minor wounds. Also, he continued, sunburns can be averted by using umbrellas etc., as well as avoiding barefoot walking (or using improper shoes). Some pilgrims hold the wrong belief that walking in such a way grants them greater heavenly recompense. Such an unhealthy manner of walking might result in the onset of blebs and blood clots (hematomas), causing pains and doubling the pilgrim's suffering.
It did not escape Dr. Al-Ghamdi's notice, besides, to advise pilgrims to follow the hygiene tips. Granted following such tips is always recommended, they acquire even greater importance during Hajj. It is necessary to use anti-bacteria once a day at least due to overcrowding, Al-Ghamdi said. To those pilgrims who shave in improper places or at the barber shops which do not comply with the health requirements, he added, he has given an advice to the effect that they should not endanger themselves with bacterial or viral inflammations (such as hepatitis) by avoiding shaving in such places, and, rather, frequenting those adhering to the health requirements.
According to Dr. Al-Ghamdi, there are a number of tips to be followed by pilgrims, especially the elderly suffering from chronic diseases, such as the diabetics unaware or unconcerned with the means of foot care, like using comfortable shoes and providing good ventilation for the feet every now and then, as well as not leaving moist in between tows, as this might cause fungal inflammation, and could evolve to acute inflammation. This in mind, diabetics, especially the elderly, should examine their feet to ensure that they are free from any injuries or wounds, and endeavoring to treat them immediately, before the occurrence of any complications.
Dr. Al-Ghamdi went on to say that, some pilgrims may be obliged to alter the diet they are familiar with, owing to their adherence to the foods available in Hajj camps or the unavailability of the foods they are accustomed to. This may cause the onset allergy, such as urticaria, the symptoms of which include severe skin itching. It is for this very reason that pilgrims vulnerable to such cases should be cautious, and avoid keep as much as possible away from these symptoms, lest they should evolve to severe allergy requiring emergency treatment.
Concluding his tips, Dr. Al-Ghamdi revealed that the incidence of skin inflammation has been remarkably increased, especially blebs and exfoliation, owing to walking long distances in hot weather. However, he added, skin exfoliation, especially in the area between the thighs, can be treated (or averted) by drying the affected area and applying talcum powder to it prior to walking. This keeps skin dry, and prevents the friction causing exfoliation.

Last Update : 07 December 2011 02:11 PM
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