On Acne Management
Q: What causes pimples?
Acne is caused by a type of oil, SEBUM, which normally lubricates skin and hair, but can clog the pores causing pimples. This is common during puberty when sebum production is on overdrive. The T-zone (forehead, nose, chin) is where they often appear.
Q: How can I avoid pimples?
- Wash face twice a day with warm water and mild acne soap. Use lotion with benzoyl peroxide.
- Never pop your pimples as it drives infected material deeper into the skin, which causes swelling and possible scarring.
- Avoid getting face into contact with things that collect sebum like the cellphone and glasses; clean them regularly.
- Wash hands before touching the face or applying creams or lotions.
- Remove makeup nightly
- Keep hair clean and away from the face.
- Protect skin from the sun.
- Consult a dermatologist for serious acne.
Q: Are there different kinds of acne?
Yes. There is mild acne, which refers to whiteheads or blackheads. There is moderate acne, which includes red inflamed pimples called papules, and red pimples with white enters called pustules. Finally there is severe acne, which causes nodules (painful, pus-filled cysts or lumps) to appear under the skin.
Q: What’s the difference between pubertal and hormonal acne?
8 out of 10 will experience acne at puberty,
Q: How do I treat acne scars?
Severe acne nodules are the usual culprits of acne scars. It’s best to avoid reaching severe acne stage by getting treatment early. Avoid picking or squeezing acne to prevent scarring. Acne needs to be under control before treatment can be done. Depending on the severity of the scar, a dermatologist may recommend chemical peel or dermabrasion.
- Laser resurfacing—involves using laser to remove the damaged top layer of skin and tighten the middle layer. Procedure can take a few minutes to an hour, may require local anaesthesia, and take 3-10 days for skin to heal completely.
- Dermabrasion—involves using a rotating wire brush or spinning diamond instrument to wear down the surface of the skin. The skin heals in 10 days to 3 weeks, a new smoother layer replacing the abraded skin.
- Fractional laser—involves a deeper level of treatment but doesn’t wound the top tissue layer so healing time is shorter, and may just look sunburned a few days.
On Common Skin Conditions
Q: What causes skin rashes/eczema?
Red, itchy, dry rashes characterize eczema. It is caused by harsh detergents, dyes, perfumes and perfumed products like lotions, creams, soaps and cosmetics.
Q: How do I treat skin rashes or eczema?
Moisturize dry skin with perfume-free lotions or creams. Wear gloves to avoid exposure to harsh detergents. avoid fabrics that have allergens like wool or spandex. Avoid eczema-triggering stress and develop calming activities or exercises to reduce stress levels. Visit a dermatologist if the condition persists.
Q: What is a wart?
Warts are infections caused by the human papilloma virus.
Q: How do I avoid them?
They are unavoidable if you come into contact with people who have them.
Q: How do I get rid of them?
Don’t scratch, pull or touch them to avoid spreading all over your body. There are over the counter products to treat them but best to see your dermatologist first.
Q: What is melanoma?
Melanoma is a cancer that develops when melanocytes, skin cells that produce melanin (pigment that gives skin color), malfunction. They cluster and grow out of control, forming lesions or tumors, crowding out healthy cells and damaging surrounding tissue. This is when it becomes cancer.
Q: What are the risk factors to make people predisposed to getting it?
1. Fair complexion, prone to freckling
2. Multiple moles (25 or more)
3. UV exposure, frequent or severe sunburns
4. Genetics; a family history of melanoma or irregular moles
Skin Care for Young Adults
Q: What are the different skin types?
1. Normal—Few imperfections, not highly sensitive, barely visible pores, radiant complexion
2. Dry—Almost invisible pores, dull rough complexion, red patches, less elasticity, more visible lines
3. Oily—Enlarged pores, dull or shiny, thick complexion, with blackheads, pimples and other blemishes
4. Combination—Can be dry or normal in some parts and oily in the T Zone; with overly dilated pores, blackheads, shiny skin
5 Sensitive—there is redness, itching, burning and dryness, usually in reaction to certain skin care products
Q: What are the basics for caring for my skin?
1. Protect with sunscreen.
2. Don’t smoke.
3. Moisturise your skin.
4. Cleanse thoroughly, removing all makeup before bed.
5. Stay hydrated.
Q: How do I care for oily skin?
1. Wash gently with mild soap or cleanser no more than twice daily.
2. Use products labeled “noncomedogenic”.
3. Don’t pop, pick or squeeze pimples.
Q: How do I care for dry skin?
1. Gently shower no more than once daily using mild soap or cleanser.
2. Moisturize generously after shower.
3. Humidify your home.
4. Wear gloves when handling household detergents.
All About Cellulite
Q: What causes cellulite?
Cellulite appears like uneven dimple marks, mostly in the thighs, bottoms, bellies and upper arms of women.
Q: How do I treat cellulite?
1. Exercise helps make lumpy areas look more even.
2. Eat more raw foods with fiber: whole grains, fruit and vegetables.
3. Lose weight.
4. Quit smoking as cigarettes constricts blood supply to the skin, making it thin and saggy.
5. Massage the dimpled areas; they improve blood flow and reduce excess fluid that cause dimpling.
6. Use firming creams with 0.3% Retinol at least 6 months to thicken skin’s outer layer.
7. Use support or compression stockings to prevent storing fluid.
8. Use a body spa wrap on cellulite areas for temporary smoothening.
Q: Are there more long-lasting procedures to reduce or remove cellulite?
1. Lipomassage—uses a rolling suction device to gather and massage skin. Must be done regularly however.
2. Lasers and Radio Frequency (RF) heat—involves heating skin from the outside, massage, and suction. May last 6 months or more but require several treatments.
3. Cellulaze uses surgery to zap cellulite by inserting laser under the skin to shrink fat cells. Results may last a year or longer. Requires surgeon to do the procedure.
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