Dr Ikramullah Al Nasir – Interview
Dr Ikramullah Al Nasir is the man who established the specialized skin care facility, Dermacare fifteen years ago, with the aim of providing solutions for all skin related concerns.
The Skinny on Deep Skin Beauty Care…
Skin, the most significant and aesthetically prominent organ of our body, reveals as much as it hides. As a tissue, it protects the body and as such the first part of the body to come into contact with the environment. Dr Ikramullah Al Nasir is the man who established the specialized skin care facility, Dermacare fifteen years ago, with the aim of providing solutions for all skin related concerns. Dermacare is a Multi-Disciplinary Specialized Dermatology Centre in the Middle East, offering its services with the unique 7 star branded concept and a clientele that includes Royal Family Members from GCC, dignitaries, diplomats, business leaders as well as movie stars. I spoke to Dr.Ikramullah about skin related issue, Dermacare and his vision.
What are the common skin issues faced by people in this region?
Skin issues are very similar in most regions of the world. The difference lies in three concepts about skin issues: Skin Diseases, Skin disorder, Skin Reaction/Sensitivities. Skin diseases are more or less similar in all regions except for tropical areas which are more prone to diseases than others due to climate changes. The colour of skin is also one of the determinant factors in few skin disorders or problems like light skinned people are more prone to certain things than dark skinned people and genetic background is also very important in skin issues. The climate of an area can influence certain diseases or problems rather than become the cause like we are in a very sunny environment in this region so there many sun-induced or sun-sensitive skin disorders. There are two different categories, sun-induced and sun-sensitive. Sun-induced primarily are sun-related skin issues and sun-stimulated are the ones which pre-exist but get worse through sun exposure or sweating like some fungal infections get worse in the heat or sweat-stimulating environments. Conditions like some eczema which get worse with dry skin or dirt or dust; agitation they can get worse here in this region. The concept I’m trying to clear is that in dermatology, it’s not really the region which makes a big difference, but the environment of a particular region which can have an influence on the skin diseases. Doctors and physicians should be aware of those influencing factors and same goes for the people moving from one country to another country.
Do you think that allergies are the main cause for all skin related issues?
The word main is relative here. In one way, I can answer yes, in many situations, immune system intolerance, which can be called an allergy can be responsible but whether the typical skin allergy is the main dermatology, then the answer is no. Dermatology has 2,700 skin issues and diseases. Allergy is one of the very main problems of dermatological presentations and we believe that the attendance of dermatology clinics, in general, 15% plus of common skin clinics is attended by allergy related things. In that case, of course, the word allergy is a description it is not a diagnosis. Because diagnosis is, what type of allergy it is, what is the cause of this allergy and then comes treatment.Every rash, to a common man, looks like an allergic rash. Not all rashes are allergic but allergy comes in the shape of rashes. Allergy in itself is a very vast subject and Dermacare perhaps is one of the pioneer institutes to create an allergy care centre in Dermacare with dedicated staff and doctors, consultants, with a full range of allergy testing facilities and for all the procedures.
What advice do you give your patients when it comes to skin care?
There is no such thing as universal skin care; it varies from one person to another. If some people are in showbiz and use a lot of makeup and have to go for film and photo shoots so advice for that person’s skin care will be different. Child skincare will be different, infant skin care will be different. Geriatric skin care, once people turn 50 plus, their skincare guidelines change. In teenagers, care guidelines are different. I believe every individual needs an individual skincare protocol.
With such a busy schedule, you are also involved in a lot of associations and societies, what is the motivation and inspiration behind them?
There was an incident when I was in high school, in grade 9 and there was a school inspection. When the inspection officers came to our class, they gave all 25 of us a small piece of paper. He asked us do you know what a mission statement is, we went blank because we had never heard of mission statements, and then our teacher came forward and explained to us in simple terms the meaning of mission statement. He then gave us 30 seconds and told us that it should not be more than one line. I wrote something, I folded the paper and gave it back to them. He collected all 25 and once he opened them, only 5 people were able to write something and the rest 20 slips were blank. So from the 5 slips he chose one slip at random and asked who has written this line, by chance somehow it was my line, he read it out to the class and he suddenly started interviewing me. The line was Not to die with the regrets of underutilisation. This was my innermost desire that I could connect the mission statement with. That I should die with the feeling that I know my talent can create opportunities rather than complaining about not getting opportunities. So that one line has been keeping me busy and I never say no to anything which I believe I can contribute in. I don’t contribute for the sake of prominence, it is for my self-satisfaction. And to gratify that core nucleus somewhere in my brain and heart that doesn’t want to die with the sense of underutilisation.
Tell us about Dermacare, and what exactly is the 7-star practice concept?
I have always been a very imaginative person since childhood and a creative thinker, believing in distinction and creating a difference. Living life by creating a difference, to me is an above average life. Living an above average life asks for more effort and dedication, more commitment and compassion, more passion, more emotional investment and to stay away from typical materialistic greed and to have a purposeful life, fixed goals and objectives. Based on this reasoning, the 7-star practice concept was developed, we do not want to sound arrogant with the 7-star label, but it is more a reflection of our commitment that we are trying to show perfection by calling it 7-star practice. Every day we work towards this objective, this aim and we do our best and nobody in the staff can survive this job if they don’t believe in this philosophy.
Being a multi-disciplinary Dermatology Centre, what are the exclusive services that cannot be availed anywhere else?
We have divided Dermacare into 2 major departments; cosmetic dermatology and the other is clinical dermatology. In both these areas, we have created 6 centres of excellence. In the cosmetic dermatology angle what we picked is something which is more on trend and in demand and an area where we believe we have extraordinary skills to create a difference. In my personal perception and vision, when you create a superlative degree of care, you become unique. That is also an innovation because that is one thing which does not exist, so if you can create that, in my broader concept that is also innovation. Our objective is to be innovative in taking dermatological care to that degree which does not exist. I created Dermacare based on a professional statement, that I adopted 15 years ago; it is the blue ocean strategy statement to create an uncontested marketplace and to make the competition irrelevant. We only focus on the in-house expansion of work, in-house elevation of quality care. Every day, every meeting is only focussed on one agenda, and that is how to improve patient care.