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KARACHI: Speakers at a seminar on Saturday regretted society’s obsession with fair complexion and said that beauty was very much linked to inner mental and physical health that came from positive thinking, healthy eating and regular exercise.

They also underscored the need for creating awareness on health problems caused by vitamin D deficiencies, abnormal hormonal levels and underactive thyroid and urged women to get themselves tested for them.

Part of the Pakistan Women Festival 2017, the seminar on women health focusing on issues like oral hygiene, paediatric care and allopathic medicines versus alternative treatment, will continue till Aug 14.

The topics covered on the first day included skin problems and invasive treatment and improving quality of life through workout.

Sharing their opinion on what constitute beauty, Dr Seema Hijri, one of the panellists, said that while there could be no one definition of beauty as it depended on one’s perception, health of the skin mattered more than mere complexion.

“It’s a combination of things including positive thinking and attitude,” she said, adding that eating healthy, reducing stress and keeping oneself hydrated was important to have glowing skin.

On anti-aging creams, Dr Naqiba Munshi said that they had a big market and did make a difference if properly prescribed. “The skin needs proper care as there are free radicals in our body, which is also exposed to environmental pollutants. There is no harm if there are some chemicals in a cream but the doctor concerned should keep regular follow-ups.”

Talking about pigmentation disorder, Dr Uzma Tiwana said that while it could be anywhere on the body, parts exposed more to the sun were vulnerable. Reasons could be hormonal or the side effect of oral contraceptives.

“The best is to prevent them through a good quality sunblock, which prevents both pigmentation and tanning,” she said, adding that the sunblock should be applied every two hours.

To a question on hair fall, experts said that this could result from many factors including stress, vitamin D deficiencies, low haemoglobin level and hormonal imbalance.

Young girls, they said, were often asked to stop eating chicken meat as the bird was injected with anabolic steroids that increased male hormone level in the body.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2017

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