Every 25 of 100 patients in Calcutta suffer from skin diseases, mostly related to excessive use of cosmetics or poor hygiene. This observation was made by city-based dermatologists, who are organising a conference in the city, starting next Thursday.
“We are particularly concerned at the low level of awareness about skin diseases and the stigma and wrong notions associated with dermatological problems like leprosy, leucoderma and eczema, among others. Our conference will discuss ways to counter the problems,” said dermatologist Nitin Mukherjee, organising secretary of Dermacon 2003.
The mushrooming of beauty parlours, most claiming to be skin-care centres, has become a menace, several of them contributing to various types of skin diseases, according to another dermatologist and skin surgeon Koushik Lahiri.
Over 3,000 delegates from all over the world are expected to attend the seminars, to be held over four days in the city. Apart from experts from the US, the UK and Sweden, delegates from Egypt, Ghana and several other African countries will take part in the conference.
“This is the first time that direct question-and-answer sessions with eminent specialists from India and abroad will be organised in the city. We will try to answer every query posed by the audience,” says Lahiri. He, along with other dermatologists, is planning an extensive counselling programme for patients to dispel doubts and remove the stigma associated with diseases like vitiligo and leprosy. “We do a lot of counselling, but a lot more still needs to be done to reach out,” said another specialist.
The dermatologists have also emphasised on topical issues, like arsenic, and how it progresses to skin cancer.