Created on 31st July 2008
Dr Sach Mohan, one of the UK's leading expert on skin health, restoration and anti-ageing, advises readers on common skin complaints
I have suddenly developed dark circles around my eyes, which I think are becoming more and more obvious. I have been very stressed for the last six months but otherwise I am healthy and eat well. Could stress be the reason or could there be other factors? My mum had very dark rings under her eyes as she got older but I am only in my early thirties. What would you suggest to get rid of them?
This is a common complaint from those with an Asian or ethnic background. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly why this problem occurs but genetics do play a key part. The exact mechanism of why they appear is thought to be caused by the activation of melanosomes which are the product of the pigment melanin. As we age this production seems to increase accompanied by a decrease in blood supply to the ageing area. The treatment of this problem can be notoriously difficult but strategies that are employed by dermatologists are based on the use of retinoids, with pigment suppressors. There is anecdotal evidence that topical vitamin K also helps. However, one must be cautious in the use of many of the other lightening agents which contain bleaching agents that are notorious at inflaming the skin.
I suffer from blackheads on my nose and chin and also clusters of tiny whiteheads around the crevices of my nose. The blackheads on my nose are relentless and if I clear them in the morning then they are back by the afternoon! I think I have tried every skin care range going but with no real improvement. Am I wasting my time, is there no cure for blackheads?
The objective of cleansing is to remove makeup, rid the skin of dirt, wash away oil and other impurities such as bacteria for a fresher complexion. Combining a daily skin cleansing routine using active ingredients with a sunblock will help avoid the skin developing enlarged pores, blackheads, poor skin texture and firmness. If a patient has a thick and oily skin I will include in their homecare plan a product that will control excessive oil without relying on chemical astringents such as alcohol. Chemical astringents disrupt the natural moisture factor of the skin. Long-term use of a skincare product which contains alcohol will cause irritation and as a result the skin initially becomes dry in patches and then oilier all over especially in the T-zone. I advise my patients to use Benefit Balance made by Cosmedix which contains L-Gluthione a fantastic antioxidant from spinach which protects the cell membrane from free radical attack. This skin antioxidant can also be taken in a lozenge.
I'm only 24, but ever since my early teens I have had a horizontal line between my eyes because I used to frown a lot. Now I try not to use the muscles associated with creating that line, and I use anti-ageing creams and try to live a healthy lifestyle. People tell me it is not that noticeable but it really affects my self-confidence and it is all I see when I look in a mirror. I have read about Botox and fillers - am I too young for these procedures?
Vistabel, the only licenced form of Botulinum toxin for cosmetic treatment of frown lines is easily the cornerstone of non-surgical treatments today. Over the past four years, its popularity has extended significantly from your traditional baby boomers to the twenty something male and female professionals who are looking for guaranteed results. Regardless of your age, some individuals have extremely powerful facial muscles that crease the overlying skin, and over a few years can produce dynamic lines. If this affects your self confidence, then it would be completely appropriate to offer Vistabel as one of your treatment options.
Dr Sach Mohan is Clinical Director at Renew Medica; for more information call 0800 027 2029 or visit www.renewmedica.com