Acne ‘Should be’ Covered by Health Insurance

DUBAI - Doctors in the UAE have urged insurance companies to cover acne treatment since it is considered a disease.

By (Staff Reporter)

Published: Thu 3 Dec 2009, 10:51 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:26 AM

A majority of adolescents in the UAE suffer from acne and many of them resort to wrong treatments based on referrals on cosmetic products by friends, discussed health experts during a recently held symposium.

Dr Alissar Khoury, dermatologist and allergy specialist, urged people to stop using friends’ referrals to treat acne.

“An estimated 80 per cent of people in aged 15-22 suffer from acne in the country and at least five per cent of them resort to wrong treatments based on cosmetics products and friends’ referrals,” said the doctor.

“Food doesn’t affect acne but stress does since studies suggest that 30 per cent of acne patients are stressed. Out of these, 12 per cent shun normal interaction,” he added.

Among the factors that aggravate acne are: genetic factors, especially when family members have bad acne; hormonal factors, when one has higher levels of androgenic hormones; environmental factors such as high humidity causing swelling of the skin, cosmetics especially certain moisturisers, foundation and pomades and petroleum oils; certain medications can also aggravate cases of acne.

Dr Khoury urged insurance companies to cover acne treatment since many people could not afford treatment.

“We urge insurance companies to cover acne because it is a disease and a majority of patients cannot afford the treatment because it involves blood and other tests. The average spend per treatment is Dh5,000 and duration of treatment is around four years,” Dr Khoury added. “There is a need to educate the public, especially parents, on the importance of early treatment,” he said.

Dr Didier Coustou, a renowned dermatologist from France said that acne should not be taken lightly. “Acne affects quality of life. In the Middle East people are prone to acne because of their oily skin and humid weather. Besides, cosmetic products should not be used for acne without medical advice,” he said.

Dr Coustou said that expertise of the local UAE dermatologists was at par with the best in the world. “Local doctors are quite good in what they are doing, but the important thing is to consult a dermatologist for acne treatment, and avoid using plain cosmetic products,” Dr Coustou added.

Dr Sameer Al Ali, a dermatocosmotologist from Dr Ahmed Fikry Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi, while addressing the symposium said 70 per cent of acne patients were girls and 30 per cent boys.

Dr Ahmed Abou Sharia, consultant dermatocosmotologist and former director of dermatology department at Al Mafraq Hospital underlined the need for early treatment for acne sufferers in order to avoid serious after-effects.

Acne manifests itself on the face, chest, back and sometimes even more extensively.

Several types of acne spots occur, among these are: non inflammatory lesions such as blackheads and white-heads; and inflammatory lesions such as papules, which appear like small red bumps; pustules, which appear as white or yellow spots; and inflamed nodules, that appear as large red lumps.

More news from