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SKIN

Oily skin with breakouts

Oily skin occurs when sebaceous glands in the skin produce too much sebum, which is the waxy substance that seals in moisture. Oil is essential for keeping the skin healthy, but too much sebum can sometimes lead to clogged, congested pores and acne breakouts which can be very distressing.  Many factors may contribute to oily skin. Some are things a person can change, while others are not. For example, some people may have oily skin due to genetics.

Causes include:

The symptoms of oily skin can include:

  • a shiny appearance

  • very large or obvious pores on the skin

  • clogged pores and blackheads

  • occasional or persistent pimples

Treatments include: regular skincare with specialist products which reduce sebum production, decongest pores and prevent and diminish acne scarring. There are many topical and oral prescription preparations including antibiotics and retinoids which are used in more severe cases.  

In addition, oily, acne prone skin can be improved with regular skin peels, LED light therapy, GlycoALA photodynamic therapy, Nd:YAG laser facials (AcneLase) or microneedling radiofrequency SylFirm X Ultimate

Sensitive rosacea prone skin with facial redness & broken veins

Skin sensitivity is a very serious skin concern affecting 60-70% of women and 50-60% of men in the world who claim to have sensitive skin.   Tingling, itching, stinging, a burning sensation, and temporary or permanent redness are some of the signs and symptoms of sensitive skin responding to its exposure to external and internal stimuli (UV radiation, pollution, temperature changes, hormonal changes, and so on).  Rosacea is a chronic condition that typically causes facial skin, especially around the cheeks, to blush or flush more easily.  Along with discoloration, rosacea can also cause visible blood vessels, as well as swelling, skin thickening, and textural changes to your skin.  Facial redness is often considered the classic symptom of rosacea, so this condition often goes undiagnosed in people with darker skin who don’t develop red patches.  If you have darker skin, you might instead notice brown patches and yellowish or brownish hard bumps, along with other rosacea symptoms like warmth, dryness, and tingling.  People living with rosacea may have a hard time building an effective skin care routine because this condition can make your skin more sensitive to many common ingredients.  Ultimately, the best way to manage and improve rosacea involves working with a skin specialist who can offer support with:

  • identifying your triggers

  • devising a customized skin care regimen based on your specific symptoms and skin type

  • prescription skincare or medication if necessary

Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition, characterised by flushing redness (often spread over the nose and cheeks) as well as bumps, breakouts and visible blood vessels. Rosacea primarily affects adults, particularly women over 30 with fair skin who blush easily.  Rosacea sufferers will usually experience a few of the symptoms below, but perhaps not all of them. As with all medical conditions, it is best to consult your doctor or dermatologist if you suspect that you have rosacea.  Rosacea often starts as a mild issue, with some redness here and there on the cheeks and nose. But if you don’t treat it, it will almost always get worse.

Most common symptoms:

  • Persistent redness

  • Bumps and breakouts

  • Visible blood vessels

  • Enlarged pores

  • The skin reacts quickly to stimuli such as weather, heavily seasoned food or red wine

Secondary symptoms:

  • Eye irritation/inflammation

  • Dry skin with flaking

  • Thickened, rough and red skin

  • Swelling and large inflammation

  • There is no clear cause of rosacea. Anyone can develop it, but women with fair skin who blush easily seem to be at the greatest risk. However, there are rosacea triggers.

Rosacea triggers:

  • Alcohol

  • Hot food and drinks

  • Strongly spiced food

  • Hormones

  • Irritating ingredients in skincare

  • Stress

  • Vasodilating drugs and medicines with corticosteroid

  • Hot showers

  • Sunlight

Best skincare for rosacea

The following tips can also help reduce wrinkles, blackheads, pimples and oily skin.

  1. Use a gentle, non-drying cleanser

  2. Use a skin soothing leave-on BHA exfoliant once or twice a day. 

  3. During the daytime, use sunscreen with mineral SPF 30+ or over that contains titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide. These two mineral sunscreen agents are exceptionally gentle and effective which is best for rosacea prone skin.

  4. Use lightweight moisturiser or a light retinol serum and antioxidants as your night cream. Retinol also helps reduce the inflammations that are typical of skin that is prone to rosacea.

  5. Discuss with your GP skin specialist if you should use a prescription medication.

Skincare products for rosacea

Always avoid products that contain alcohol, essential oils and/or witch hazel. Cinnamon, rosemary, lavender and rose to name a few are typical natural fragrances that can severely irritate skin. Avoid these, as well as synthetic fragrances. Don’t buy skin care products that contain lemon, lime, menthol/peppermint, pine or cedar.  Avoid rough face cloths, face brushes or abrasive scrubs with a coarse grain.

Mature, dry skin with sun and age spots

Every time you go outdoors without sun protection or use a tanning bed, ultraviolet (UV) light damages your skin. With time, this damage builds up and you see changes to your skin, which can make you look years older than you naturally would.

These changes include:

  • Wrinkles

  • Age spots

  • Loose skin

  • Spider veins

  • Blotchy or ruddy complexion

If you use tanning beds, you’ll notice these changes quickly — often in a few years. Some people who use tanning beds see signs within a year or even sooner.

The medical term for these changes is “photoaging.” You may also hear the terms “premature aging” or “sun-damaged skin.”

As the damage builds, you may see deep lines or dry, scaly patches called actinic keratoses (AKs). An AK is a pre-cancerous skin growth. Sun damage can also lead to skin cancer.

Treatments that can give you younger-looking skin

While much of the damage is permanent, treatment can reduce some signs of sun damage that are making you look older.

The following lists the different types of treatments that dermatologists use to reduce signs of sun-damaged skin.

Treatments include: moisturizer, retinoid you apply to your skin, injectible fillers and botox, chemical peel, microdermabrasion, laser resurfacing, LED light therapy, cryosurgery, ultrasound, radiofrequency,  phototherapy using IPL or laser.

Pigmentation, Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation - PIH / Melasma

If you have dark spots on your skin, it can be hard to tell if it’s hyperpigmentation or melasma, as both are extremely common.

Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is a term used to cover any number of conditions where one patch of skin becomes noticeably darker than the surrounding skin of the same area. This term covers a number of more specific conditions such as liver spots, freckles and melasma.

Different types of hyperpigmentation can be caused by factors such as acne scarring, medications or inflammation from other conditions, the main cause of hyperpigmentation is sun exposure. When we leave our skin untreated, harmful UV rays from the sun cause damage. This damage manifests itself in many ways, from harmless freckles to more severe conditions like skin cancer. Many of these conditions fall under the category of hyperpigmentation.  Most hyperpigmentations are harmless, and many forms are readily treatable through a mixture of options such as topical creams, Vitamin C and cosmetic treatments.

Melasma

Melasma is caused partly by hormonal changes within the body and because of it it is more common in women – pregnant or not.  It is usually localised symmetrically on the face resulting in dark patches of skin on a chin, cheeks, nose, upper lip or other cranial areas. Melasma can sometimes be found in other parts of the body, typically those prone to more sun exposure, such as the shoulders. While not dangerous, the location of these dark patches can lead to discomfort in public.

Melasma treatment

In addition to its causes, another distinguishing feature of melasma is its difficulty in treatment. Whereas some types of hyperpigmentation can be treated with topical creams, melasma is not treated so easily due to the hormones that contribute to its cause in the first place. 

Even though most treatment options are the same as other forms of hyperpigmentation, the success rate is typically much lower. Because hormones are a personalized set of chemicals, each person’s melasma responds differently to treatment, making it notoriously difficult to treat.Recommend treatments, include strong sunblocks, vitamins and brightening agents such as hydroquinone or cysteamine. In some cases, the melasma can clear up quickly. In other cases, it might take a while longer. For some people, treatments must be repeated i  ndefinitely, or the melasma returns. Just as each individual’s hormones are different, each person’s response to treatment is different, making it almost impossible to predict who will respond well and who will take more time and effort.  The most significant commonality between hyperpigmentation in general or melasma specifically is sun exposure. The harmful effects of solar radiation are well-known today, and yet people still take risks by venturing outside without proper protection.  The various types of hyperpigmentation, including melasma, are all triggered in part by prolonged exposure to the sun. To make matters worse, it is impossible to know how much sun exposure is too much until it’s too late and the damage has already been done.  The importance of wearing proper clothing and applying sunscreen cannot be overstated if you wish to avoid these unsightly conditions at some point in.

Benign skin lesions

Benign skin lesions are non-cancerous lumps or bumps such as moles, cysts, warts or skin tags,  seborrhoeic keratoses, spider naevi, thread veins, benign pigmented nevi (moles), dermatofibromas (skin growths), skin tags, sebaceous cysts (pilar & epidermoid cysts), lipomata (fat deposits underneath the skin), xanthelasmas (cholesterol deposits underneath the skin) and port wine stains.  

They can be removed from the skin using laser, and surgical procedures as well as cryotherapy. 

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