A survey made between 2009 to 2010 identified the perceptions of the lay public in relation to dermatology and has detected their habits and attitudes against various pathologies in this area of medicine that cosmeticos br publishes here to inform our readers, professionals from the cosmetics industry, some data in relation to these perceptions.

Did not exist until then many studies assessing epidemiological or demographic data or information about habits and attitudes of the Brazilian population regarding skin care and/or skin diseases.

It was implemented an epidemiological survey, using descriptive method of research, with quantitative focus, and data collection through personal interviews. The sampling method was the probabilistic one, for the collection of data it had been used standardized and structuralized questionnaires and it had been enrolled 1500 interviewed, in 11 Brazilian cities, of the regions Southeastern, South, Northeast and Center-West.

The sample was composed for 55% of women and in terms of age, the average was of 35 years old, with relatively equitable distribution throughout the age groups. In general, the interviewed public classifies the medical dermatologist as the professional who deals with the skin problems (89%), but has also who associates this specialty to the care of hair and/or scalp (10%).

As far as the types of skin was concerned it had clear predominance of oily type within men, and in the feminine group the distribution was relatively balanced. The results indicate to be the pigmentation disturbance the main isolated cause for consulting a doctor, representing more
than one fourth of consultations. Others 40% are divided between allergies, mycoses and acne – with discrete predominance of mycoses, between the masculine sub-group, and of the allergies, between the women.

Among men, superficial infections (furunculosis), warts and scars are predominant.

Within women, cellulite and wrinkles almost complement the totality of the consultations.

Noteworthy, 80.3% of the interviewed already had used some type of topical treatment for skin, with clear predominance of corporal hydrating creams (60.7%), hydrating creams for the face (42.7%), solar protectors (38.4%) and solutions for skin cleanness (26.2%).

But 6.6% of the interviewed had declared already to have used some specific treatment for acne, and only 13.9%, some anti aging cream for the face.

Amongst the products for skin evaluated in this study, it was noticed a bigger tack to the hydrating creams for body and face, mainly between women. It is possible to observe, also, concern with the solar protection in the interviewed population.

However, treatments largely publicized such as the anti-aging creams and skin whitening, had shown low penetration in this searched public.

The evaluated areas disclose to important hiatus and chances, in terms of preventive, diagnostic and therapeutical clarification, guiding action on the part of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology, separately or in conjunction with public agents and of the media, since a well clarified population is less subjects to the self-medication, preventing unnecessary complications, adversities and costs, being mandatory to lead actions that minimize such risks and support such groups.

This study was written and evaluated by dermatologists Omar Lupi, Samanta Nunes, Antonio Claudio Gomes Neto and Pericles. The survey was sponsored by Theraskin, which also offered scientific sponsorship.

Complementing this research, a study by the Avene Dermatological Laboratories (Pierre Fabre) has found that there is a significant number of people with sensitive skin in Brazil.

The study was ordered and performed by renowned independent institute CSA Santé, with a nationally representative sample – 1,022 men and women over 20 years old selected by the quota method – and found that about 34% of the population – just under 66 million Brazilians – have sensitive skin or very sensitive. We searched a rate of 50.1% women and 49.9% of men, being 37.96% in the region of São Paulo, 14.68% in Rio de Janeiro, 7.93% at Belo Horizonte , 7.83 % in Porto Alegre, 8.12% in Curitiba , 7.83% in Recife, 7.83% on Salvador  and 7.83% in Goiânia.

The sensitive skins are defined as the occurrence of burning sensation, warmth, tingling coetaneous (eventually with pain or prurience), as consequence on multiple factors, including physical (ultraviolet radiation, heat, cold, wind), chemical (cosmetics, soaps or soaps, water, pollution), psychological (stress) or hormonal (menstrual cycle).

The pathogenic causes or physiological of sensitive skin are still poorly understood, but it is known that there is a decreased of the limit of skin tolerance, not directly related to any immune or allergic mechanism. It has been reported a deficiency in the coetaneous barrier, associated with an increased transepidermal water loss, which, consequently, would favor the greatest exposure to irritants factors.

Diverse epidemiological studies conducted in the United Kingdom, the United States and France showed that sensitive skin is a common syndrome. These studies showed that about half the population is affected in these countries (approximately 50% of women and 37% of men) and that sensitive skin and very sensitive skin is more frequent in summer than in the winter. This relation probable  between the prevalence of sensitive skin and sun exposure suggests the possibility of differences between countries with greater or lesser incidence of sunlight.

“Our goal with the research is to alert people who have no knowledge of what is sensitive skin, to help them find out whether or not they have the syndrome, and what the appropriate care to be taken in these cases,” says dermatologist Sérgio Talarico Filho, Coordinator of the Cosmiatry, Surgery and Oncology of the  Department of Dermatology in the Escola Paulista de Medicina – Federal University of São Paulo, who analyzed the study.

                                                               * photo Getty Images