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Bangalore hospital to check taboos on skin diseases

Bangalore: CUTIS Academy of Cutaneous Sciences has set up a research facility with tele-dermatology in its specialty hospital here to fight taboos in the countryside on skin diseases like psoriasis, leprosy, vitiligo and pigmentation.

“As in case of tele-medicine, we are using a satellite-based communication network to link our tele-dermatology facility with district hospitals and primary health centres (PHCs) in rural areas of Karnataka for treating patients with skin diseases,” CUTIS chief dermatologist Dr B S Chandrashekar told IANS here on the inauguration late Sunday.

Under the project ‘Helping the Helpless through Tele-dermatology’ (HHTD), the hospital will educate people, especially in rural areas, that certain skin diseases like psoriasis and pigmentation are not contagious and they should not fear being affected from those who are.

“For instance, psoriasis is a dry skin disorder, which is genetic and is caused by the immune system being mistakenly triggered, resulting in skin cells being produced too quickly,” Dr Chandrashekar explained.

Admitting that lack of awareness and exposure causes misgivings in the people about various skin diseases, Dr Chandrashekar said the hospital would invest in advanced research in dermatology, venereology and leprology and cosmetic science to trace the root cause of disorders for better treatment.

“Our doctors will use the tele-dermatology facility to diagnose patients at district hospitals and prescribe correct treatment in consultation with their local doctors. The facility will be extended to PHCs across the state and other states subsequently,” the academy’s chief said.

The facility will also be involved in developing new drugs, immune technology and molecular research, besides framing safety guidelines for treatment to improve patient care.

The academy will collaborate with foreign institutions like the National Skin Centre in Singapore to exchange students, faculty and experts and partner with the Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists (IADVL) to promote dermatological sciences and get latest techniques and best practices in the domain.

The academy has experts to treat common ailments such as psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, pigmentary problems and alopecia, as also communicable diseases like leprosy.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah unveiled the tele-dermatology facility on late Sunday in presence of Health Minister U T Khader, Medical Education Minister S P Patil and Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences Vice Chancellor Dr K S Sriprakash and CUTIS officials.

“There is a need for a mass awareness programme on health and hygiene with respect to skin and hair care in schools and colleges across the state,” Khader said on the occasion. [IANS]

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