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Saudi Pharm J. 2014 Jul;22(3):171-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jsps.2013.02.005. Epub 2013 Mar 14.

Skin care: Historical and contemporary views.

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Dermatology Department, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia ; Vitiligo Research Chair, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Deanship of Academic Research, Imam University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia ; Princess Noura bint Abdulrahman University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Vitiligo Research Chair, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


Primary prevention, specifically skin care, is an important principle in Islamic theology just as it is emphasized in contemporary medicine. Many skin diseases can be prevented by a proactive approach to skin care, such as proper hygiene and routine inspections, principles that are constantly highlighted in the Islamic literature. Islam promotes primary prevention of disease, including recommendations for skin care practices. The recommendations for skin care practices in Islamic teachings are analogous to current medical guidelines. Sun avoidance, which is recommended by Islam, is mandatory for diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, melasma and skin cancers. Skin care and hygiene practices are recommended in Islam and it is considered an important mechanism for reducing the transmission of infections in modern medicine. The body creases and hair are ideal sites for malicious infestations to grow. The practice of "Wudu" includes washing the hands, feet, and hair with clean water. It is an indispensible part of daily prayers which is mandatory for every Muslim. Oral hygiene is also an integral part of both preventive medicine and Islamic teachings. Genital hygiene, particularly after urination and defecation, is recommended in Islamic teachings and is known to prevent urinary and vaginal infections in contemporary medicine. Male circumcision is an Islamic practice. Recently, it was proven that circumcised men are less likely to have sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. This paper reviews skin care from an Islamic perspective and its relevance to contemporary medicine by translating the simple self care principles into practical guidelines in everyday use.


Health; Islam; Skin care; Skin hygiene

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