Saudi Arabia is one of the hottest territories in the world. Because of its weather throughout the whole year, dermatitis (skin diseases) increase among the pilgrims for several reasons:

– Extra excretion of sweat due to burning sun beams and high humidity.

– Overcrowding at Hajj, where people from all over the world gather together to perform such a sanctified act of worship. With lots of people gathering at the same time in a specific place, diseases can easily spread by infection. Among the most common skin diseases during Hajj are the following:

1- Acne Vulgaris:

There happens obstruction in man’s sweat glands causing the emergence of small red pimples known as Acne Vulgaris. This disease infects people, especially the very white, at different stages of life. Such red pimples appear mainly in the areas of the body that come in direct contact with clothes, which are made from artificial fibers in particular. The patient in this case suffers from severe prurigo, and this makes him worried and uncomfortable. Such pimples usually around the waist, buttocks, thighs, shoulders, forearms and forehead. If the case is recurrent the patient may be inflicted with dehydration in the skin, and this along with hot damp weather may cause sunburn.

Ways of Protection and Treatment:

– Giving the house good ventilation.

– Airing the bedroom at the night.

– Not using any cover during sleep.

– Keeping a way from being directly exposed to sun beams as possible.

– Wearing light clothes.

– Wearing soft white clothes made of cotton that help evaporate sweat.

– Abstaining from scratching the skin with soup and bath sponge, because this causes new pimples to appear.

– Taking a daily cold shower to get rid of sweat and dust, using mild soup without bath sponge; this is the best way of protection from Acne Vulgaris.

– It is preferable for patients to use mild moisturizers to remove the obstruction on the mouth of the sweat glands.

Following these steps leads to soon recovery. But beware the patients in this case should not use any kind of moisturizing powders, because the atoms of the powder block the openings of the sweat glands causing more infection. So it is preferable to grease the body with olive oil, coconut oil or any kind of plant-extracted oils; to rub the body very well and then leave it to dry. Then the extra amount of oil can be removed from the body with water and soup.

2- Extra sweat excretion:

During Hajj times, people excrete abundant sweat due to high temperature and humidity of the weather. People’s custom of Ihram becomes wet night and day due to extra excretion of sweat, and this causes them to urinate very little and be always thirsty.

Ways of Protection and Treatment:

As for people who usually have hydrosis during summer and winter times they should keep themselves a way from hard work, especially in the hot periods of the day. They may also take some medication, which lessens the quantity of sweat, but this must be according to medical prescription. However, cleanness is the main factor in treating such a case.

3- Sweat Abscess and Pyodermatosis:

This disease happens due to infection with staphylococcus. This disease appears as a lot of bubbles, ulcer or big painful pimples. This disease usually infects children (5-7 years old) and people who are exposed to the heat of the sun. Extra excretion of sweat and flies are among the main reasons for the spread of this disease. Moreover, lice causes severe prurigo, and this may cause different forms of abscess in the scalp of the children as well as the adults. In some cases the disease appears as sweat furuncle and red pimples.

Cases of severe pyoderma usually causes hypertrophy in the lymph nodes near the neck and raises temperature of the body. Taking the necessary measures of treatment, the patient’s skin gets completely cured.

Ways of Protection and Treatment:

– Caring for personal hygiene, especially for the hair to be clear of any lice and other similar things

– In severe cases in which the patient has high temperature and hypertrophy in the glands or in which he suffers from sweat furuncles due to infection with diabetes or from red pimples it is better for the patient to consult the doctor who would check him up to know the direct cause for such cases and consequently prescribe the right medication.

4- Abscess in Curves of the Body:

Such type of abscess usually happens to obese people. It appears under the arm-bits, under the breasts for women and in the curves of the thighs. In such cases, the skin becomes inflamed and red. In severe cases the inflamed skin excretes some kind of transparent substance and the patient suffers from painful prurigo.

Ways of Protection and Treatment:

Caring for personal hygiene, and avoiding being directly exposed to sun beams as possible as one can, and sitting in an open place (i.e. with good ventilation)

5 – Parasitic Infections:

Parasitic infections are a group of infectious skin diseases that are capable of causing different diseases. Such parasitic infections are widely spread in areas with hot weather conditions. They include:

A- Thigh Tinea:

It is an infectious disease that happens due to some parasitic infection. Patient suffering from this disease has severe itching between his thighs. The disease spreads through using the clothes or towels of an infected person. Also, great overcrowding in hot weather at the time of Hajj causes this disease to widespread among the pilgrims.

Ways of Protection and Treatment:

– Refraining from using the clothes and towels of others.

– Washing all one’s clothes in a boiling water and then ironing them to kill all parasites therein.

– Refraining from scratching the infected area with the bath sponge.

– Consulting the doctor to take necessary procedures.

B- Colorful Tinea:

This disease infects the pilgrims due to hot weather and extra sweat excretion. It takes the form of round rash whose color becomes light on taking a bath and then it darkens and becomes brown after some days. It spreads in the same way like thigh tinea.

Ways of Protection and Treatment:

– Taking a hot shower every evening for a long period that may amount to two months.

– Smearing the infected areas with anti-parasitic ointment upon the doctor’s prescription.

C- Herpes:

It happens due to infection with a certain kind of parasites. It appears in the form of groups of small bubbles around the mouth and the genitals. This is usually accompanied with hypertrophy and inflammation of the lymph nodes, and in most cases it is accompanied with prurigo. It is an infectious disease, which spreads through touch and use of a patient’s personal things. Jam overcrowding at the time of Hajj causes wide spread of the disease.

There is another form of this disease, which infects the nerves and appears as bubbles, which spread in one side of the body, especially in the face and trunk.

Ways of Protection and Treatment:

– Caring for personal hygiene.

– Abstaining from using others’ personal things.

– Seeking the doctors’ consult once the disease, especially the last type, appears in order to take the prescribed suitable medicine.

6 – Mange:

This is one of the commonest infectious dermatitis, which the pilgrims contract. It happens due to some parasitic infection. The symptoms of this disease are severe itching at night and the emergence of some scabies in the area that have been itched and in the areas between the fingers, in the heels, the palms and the abdomen. There may also be some red rash on the abdomen where the female parasite makes her course through the body. This disease is really infectious, so that it may spread among a whole group at once.

Treatment of this disease is nothing than washing the body, scratching it with warm water and soup; then smearing the whole body except the face and the head with the Bezanil cream or sulfur ointment or anything the doctor prescribes. This is to be repeated for two successive nights.

The same treatment is to be applied in cases of infection with lice etc..

7 – Eczema:

It is a kind of inflammation in the skin, accompanied by severe itching. This disease causes the appearance of groups of little pimples, full of transparent liquid. This liquid may get out of the pimples, or it may harden forming gluey scabs. The rims of such grouping pimples are not apparent.

There are different kinds of eczema such as severe, semi-severe and chronic eczema; scabies eczema; pimple eczema; scabbing eczema … etc.

Ways of Protection and Treatment:

The skin infected with eczema is a good environment for microbes, which cause skin inflammation. Therefore, it is necessary to follow these instructions:

– Taking excessive care for cleanness so as to avoid unnecessary complications.

– Protecting the skin from materials that cause irritation, such as wool, artificial fibers, fur and soup.

– Using moisturizing oils moderately, so that it may not obstruct the mouth of the sweat glands and cause more irritation.

– Avoiding any foods or smells that cause allergy as well as anything that may increase the severity of eczema.

– Consulting the specialist who would prescribe the suitable medicine for your case.

8 – Urtecaria:

The symptoms of this disease are itching and hypertrophy of the skin. It may last no more than some hours, and it may last some days up to two weeks. It usually happens due to allergy to some food or medicine. Chocolate, egg and fish are the most likely to cause urtecaria, whereas Penicillin is the commonest medicine that causes urtecaria. Urtecaria may also happen due to allergy to artificial substances that are added to food to give it some color or taste or to some toothpaste.

Doctors advise such patients to write a diary through which they can discover the main reason for urtecaria. Sometimes food is not the cause for it, but rather infection with intestinal worms or due to hot weather or even cold weather, or due to hyper-tension.

Urtecaria patients may have severe itching in their hands when they hold driving wheel for a long time. Urtecaria which happens due to cold weather is usually the result of sudden change from hot weather into cold weather, such as the case when one takes a hot shower and comes out in a cold room, or when one remains without clothes till he dries. Hence gradual change protects one from infection with urtecaria. Urtecaria may also happen due to allergy to sun rays. But such disappears after a short period after sunset. Some medicines may cause allergy if the person who takes them stays in the sun. In such case the disease appears in the form of skin eruption on the face and any other part of the body that is exposed to the sun. This may happen with medicines like salfa compounds, oral diabetic and diuretic medicines. Also some kinds of food may cause the same effect if one eats them and then go out in the sun, such as eating some lemons or carrot and getting out in the sun.

The main point of cure in this case is to protect the patient from direct contact with sun rays, then to seek the doctors’ consult if necessary.

9 – Freckles:

When one exposes oneself to the sun gradually and with care, one’s skin may not be much irritated. But sometimes the skin, especially soft white skin, takes some internal measures to protect itself against the dangerous effect of violet, forming some dissimilar yellow and brown rash without any eruption outside the skin. Such rash is known as freckles. If the skin naturally has a big amount of the coloring substance (Melanin), such small freckles may turn into large dark freckles.

If the pilgrims have large dark freckles, they should not worry, because such kind of freckles disappears gradually within some months, and the skin returns to its normal condition so long as they do not excessively expose themselves to sun rays. On the other hand, small yellow freckles are not easily cured. Rather it may need scaling off some the external layer of the skin by the specialist doctor.

10 – The Effects of Heat on the skin of the face:

After the pilgrims return back from Hajj, some people, especially women, notice that their faces have greatly changed and that its color has become dark in some places. Moreover, the effect of the sun rays may reach the extent that causes noticeable irritation and wrinkles. However, such changes are natural, and they would take some time and the skin would return to its normal state. So one should not worry concerning that.