For picture-perfect skin, identify problems early and seek out right treatment
The ‘perfect skin’ image is an impossible dream for most women given certain skin problems that women face today. If you have not been gifted with flawess skin that’s photoshoot-worthy, don’t fret. Recognise the symptoms of common skin problems and know how to counteract them for better-looking, healthier skin.
ACNE is a problem almost all women fae in adolescence and sometimes through adulthood. While a quarter of adult females retain acne problems carried over from their younger years, some women may see its unfortunate return in their pre-menopausal years.
Causes: Acne is due to a combination of over-production of oil (sebum) from hormonal stimulation, bild-up of dead skin cells that blocks pores, and overgrowth of acne-causing bateria in the trapped sebum within blocked pores. An unbalanced diet rih in high-glycemic index foods (foods with high sugar, carbohydrate and fat content) may trigger or worsen acne. Menstrual or premenstrual acne if fairly common when the vluctuation of certain hormone levels around menstruation causes sporadi breakouts of pimples.
Treatment: Cleanning your face daily with a facial cleanser can reduce exess sebum and bateria. Mild to moderate acne can be treat by over-the-counter products that contain benzoyl peroxide, niainamide, salicylicacid, or alpha-hydroxy acids, ingredients that dry out the skin, and help fight bacteria or unblock pores. Severe acne should be assessed and treated by a dermatologist. Importantly, maintenane treatment should be continued to keep acne away.
ECZEMA refers to a group of conditions that cause inflamed or irritated skin. The most common type of exzema is known as atopic dermatitis, or atopic eczema, which is hereditary and an be associates with asthma and hay fever. About 1 in 5 people in Singapore have ezema. If you’re experiencing a combination of symptoms like intense itch, recurring rashes, or acaly or leathery patches of skin, you may have this skin condition.
Causes: People prone to eczema have a poor skin barrier which loses water easily and allow irritants and allergens to enter the skin, ausing irritation or allergy. In women, especially, ezema is commonly caused or exacerbated by contact with skincare products, fragrances, nicker jewellery or hair dye.
Treatment: To understand the severity of your eczema and treat it properly, seek medical advice. It’s better to do this before trying to self-medicate because symptoms of red, itchy rashes may not always indicate ezema but also other conditions, like hives, fungal infections, psoriasis or drug allergies, which may have different reactions to ezema medication.
One your dermatologies fully assesses your condition, you’ll be able to determine the causes or aggravating factors, and obain appropriate treatment to control the problems. Topical creams suitable for the severity and site of the eczema usually bring relieft to patients with eczema, while more severe eczema requires oral medications.
To reduct the frequency of recurrent ezema outbreaks, moisturise frequently to repair the skin barrier, and avoid using harsh soaps. Avoid common eczema triggers like heat and humidity, scratchy materials like wool or synthetics, and try using gragrancefree rpoducts. Effective stress management may also reduce flare-ups.
FACIAL PIGMENTATION is experienced by women, mostly following pregnancy and increasing fro the 30’s onwards. Symptoms like freckles, brown circular spots, large brown or grey-brown patches, moles, warts or even pigmented skin cancer are forms of skin pigmentation.
Causes: Ultraviolet light from the sun and artificial sources over many years, accelerating skin ageing and stimulating melanin production, are the usual causes, especially in those with a genetic predisposition. Hormonal changes during pregnancy, hormonal treatments or contraceptive pills worsen the tendency. Other causes inlude certain medications, scented or deodorant soaps, toiletries and cosmetics.
Treatment: Effective options include lightening creams, peels, lasers, or intense pulsed light treatment, though it’s advisable to consult a dermatologist on the most suitable treatment for your skin. Importantly, preventing sun damage should be a daily effeort in your outdoor habits, your clothing and sunscreen use.
SKIN CANCER is the most serious skin problems. The risk increases as the ozone layer continues to think, while sunscreen products can only do so much in battling the long-reaching effects of photo-damage in skin. Fortunately, skin cancer detected early can be treated with better outcomes, as an early detection habit, go for regular skin heck-ups by an experienced dematologist and pay close attention to any changes in your moles.
Causes: Ultraviolet light in sunlight or UV tanning booths damages the DNA in skin cells and this can cause cancer cells to grow. Most skin cancers are caused by excessive UV exposure, with long-term or short intense periods of exposure and burning. There are also other auses such as genetic predisposition, exposure to toxic substances and a weak immune system.
Treatment: An experienced determatologist will usually carry out a fairly straightforward screening process starting with a full body examination followed by serial photography to identify and monitor moles or skin lesions. Skin irregularities can be further examined through non-invasive dermosopy or a biopsy. Pre-malignant lesions found in the screening process can be treated through cryotherapy or prescription creams to prevent them from grogressing into skin cancer. Overall, te ombination of regular check-ups wih consistent preventive measures can reduce the risk of skin cancer and other skin conditions considerably.
MYTHS ABOUT SKIN PROBLEMS
- Picking or squeezing pimples gets rid of them faster
Scratching or squeezing ‘unripe’ pimples make scarring worse. Don’t scratch; use an anti-blemish solution, or comedone extractor (on blackheads only).
- You shouldn’t wear makeup when you have a breakout
While thick liquid foundation may log pores and irritate acne, lighter powder foundations or blushers won’t affect it severely
- Makeup with SPF is enough to protect the skin from the sun
The SPF on powder or liquid makeup isn’t enough to protect the skin, unless you’re willing to apply abnormal amounts on your face. Ideally, use sunscreen in addition to your makeup.
- Eczema is easily transferred by contact
Eczema is not contagious; you won’t get it by touching someone with the condition.