World Obesity Day: Being overweight can lead to these skin problems!

There are many health risks associated with obesity. So, on World Obesity Day, you should know that it's not just health issues like diabetes and heart disease that obese people should be worried about. Obesity and skin problems also share a link.
Obesity can lead to skin problems too
Yes, obesity can lead to skin problems too! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Updated: 17 Oct 2023, 18:36 pm IST
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A look at social media or TV or radio or newspaper and you will find a lot of information on obesity. After all, it’s World Obesity Day, a much-needed awareness campaign in today’s time. Going by statistics, the World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that in 2016, 39 percent of adults who were aged 18 and over (39 percent of men and 40 percent of women) were overweight. It also shared that about 13 percent of the world’s adult population (15 percent of women and 11 percent of men) were obese in that year. While many people are already aware that obesity increases the chances of getting affected by diabetes or a heart disease, you should know obesity can also cause skin problems.

To know about the link between obesity and skin, HealthShots connected with Dr Jaishree Sharad, a popular cosmetic dermatologist, author, TEDx speaker and founder of Skinfiniti Aesthetic Skin and Laser Clinic in Mumbai.

obesity and skin
Obesity can lead to many skin problems. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What is obesity?

When you have excessive amount of body fat, it is known as obesity. Dr Sharad says that when the body mass index goes beyond 30, it indicates that you have obesity.

Obesity and skin

According to the expert, obesity alters epidermal barrier skin and increases trans epidermal water loss, making your skin dry. Obesity is associated with many more skin problems such as:

• Acanthosis nigricans, which leaves dark and velvety patches in body folds
• Stretch marks that are indented and reddened streaks on skin
• Cellulite, which is fat deposit beneath the skin.
Varicose veins, which are the enlarged veins that mostly appear in the legs and feet.

There is also an increased risk of bacterial and fungal infections if you are obese.

Obesity can cause dark skin

When obesity targets the skin, nape of the neck and groin tend to get dark. Even the problem of dark inner thighs is linked with obesity. The expert explains that in obese people, constant friction between inner thighs causes darkening of inner thighs.

Obesity and rashes

If you thought that the friction can only cause dark inner thighs, you are wrong! Women can even have rashes due to obesity. Dr Sharad explains that because of constant friction between the skin surface, and moisture retention as well as warmth, chances of bacterial and fungal growth increase in the body folds of obese people. Yeast, especially candida infection below the breasts, is seen commonly in obese women.

obesity and skin
Follow these skin care tips for great skin. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Skin care routine for obese women

It’s best to try to lose weight to avoid health complications. You can even practice portion control to battle obesity. But losing a lot of weight can’t happen in a week or two. Till then, you can follow these skin care tips!

• Obese or not, always keep your skin clean, as hygiene is very important.
• Completely dry your skin and use an anti-fungal dusting powder in all the body folds to avoid any skin infection.
• Hair happens to be a breeding ground for bacteria. Hair on the head looks good, but it is better to shave the hair that grows in your armpit and pubic areas.
• After a good bath, wear clean and dry clothes. Damp clothes can again mean inviting infection. Loose-fitting and cotton clothes are way better than synthetic fabric. After all, you need your skin to breathe.
• For the face, you can follow the regular cleansing, moisturising and sun protecting routine.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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