Q: I am an Indian teenager in the UAE suffering from redness on my cheeks. Recently, I noticed it’s becoming worse and I experienced a burning sensation.

A: To make a correct diagnosis based only on your description of the skin lesions will be an uphill task for a dermatologist. There could be a high degree of diagnostic complexity involved in certain cases. Your skin complaints are definitely of an inflammatory origin. Skin inflammatory disorders can be of a wide range but clinically presenting with a surprising similarity, therefore making the diagnosis much more difficult. It is unlikely to be rosacea because of your age, as this particular condition usually affects people in their mid-30s and above.

My suspected diagnosis of your skin problem is that it is likely to be an eczema. Eczemas or dermatitis could be of various types as well as with variable clinical manifestations.

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a relatively more common type of eczema seen in people of your age. However, photosensitive dermatitis, which includes irritant photo contact dermatitis, allergic photo contact dermatitis or photo chemical dermatitis, could be another differential diagnosis. Sebborheic dermatitis should also be considered as one of the probabilities. However, again this is not very common in children of your age, and is usually associated with a scaly scalp (dandruff) as well.

Allergic contact dermatitis to some of the toiletries or body creams or lotions including moisturizers and sunscreens will also need to be ruled out. Lastly, you should also be screened for any of the systemic autoimmune connective tissue disorders and some other skin involving rare ‘syndromes’ which can also be associated with a ‘red face’.

For now, you can try using 1 per cent hydrocortisone topical cream or ointment for one to two weeks. At the same time, I would strongly recommend an avoidance to sun exposure as well as to avoid using any of the skin care products that you have been using.

Consult an experienced dermatologist to establish a more definite diagnosis. This will surely make the treatment selection more accurate and more effective.

Dr Ikramullah Al Nasir is a specialist dermatologist and medical director at Dermacare Dubai. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.

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