Dr Taka Chinyoka
A number of studies have shown a direct relationship between looks and earnings, with some papers even claiming that “more beautiful” people earn up to 40 percent more. I will deal with the scientific concept of beauty in one of my future articles.
There is, thus a huge growth in cosmetic medicine industry across the globe especially in places where citizens are experiencing economic prosperity.
Skin problems are some of the common complaints by patients visiting GP rooms in Namibia and elsewhere.
In this article, I will deal with basics of how to take care or one’s skin, behavior that must be routine for one to achieve desired results and I will try to put it across in the simplest language. In future articles, I will deal with common cosmetic skin problems including an in depth look at the aging face, skin brightening or bleaching and some advanced aesthetic procedures available for a variety of cosmetic needs among other topics.
From around the age of 25, the skin begins to age with signs on the skin surface such as fine lines, wrinkles, loss of volume and elasticity becoming visible, and more pronounced overtime.
A variety of agents accelerate this intrinsic and extrinsic aging process. The speed and severity of the process tends to slightly vary across the human skin color scale (Fitzpatrick scale).
Agents that accelerate the aging process include UV light, nutrition, hormones etc. These agents cause extracellular matrix degradation, textural variances and dyschromias. While modern science has not yet reached a stage of stopping the aging process altogether and usher immortality to humans, the process can be slowed down allowing us to “age with grace”.
Patients and customers alike, mostly swim in a sea of skin care products available on the market mostly with no concrete knowledge of what they really need in order to achieve great skin without breaking the bank. Aesthetic physicians and Dermatologists involved in the cosmetic service often deal with some of the best products on the market, commonly referred to as cosmeceuticals. However a good consultation process will reveal issues that need to be addressed including the different treatment modalities that are available, some very expensive and fancy and highly effective.
The main aim of skin treatments is basically to prevent and correct visible facial aging, thus addressing extracellular matrix degradation, textural variances and dyschromias.
Matrix degradation presents as sagging, laxing rhytids, atrophy and enlarged skin pores. Effective therapies protect the skin with sunscreens, antioxidants and chemicals that inhibit the degradation process. Other treatments are used to build this skin matrix and these include Vitamin C, Retinoid etc.
Textural variances present as dryness, dehydration and coarsening of the skin and these can be reversed with Alpha Hydrolic acids (AHAs), mechanical exfoliators, humectants and occlusives.
Dyschromias, or simply uneven skin color and tone, are effectively addressed with inhibitors of melanin production, commonly referred to as brightening or bleaching treatments.
The question is how does one maintain their skin on a day to day routine without spending a fortune?
The first step is to know one’s skin type whether normal, dry, oily, combination or sensitive skin type.
Dry skin is flaky, scaly or rough.
Oily skin is shiny, greasy and may have big pores.
Combination skins is dry in some spots and oily in some mostly the A zone.
Sensitive skin stings, burns or itches after using some skin products.
Normal skin is balanced, cleared and not sensitive.
Important practical facts to remember is that the skin needs cleansing, moisturizing and sunscreen. Toning may also be needed to balance the PH of the skin.
Use a gentle cleanser or soap on normal and combination with no scrubbing. if normal skin gets itchy, use different cleanser.
Dry skin needs a gentle cleanser with no alcohol or fragrances as these can cause more drying. Use warm water (not hot) for more clearer and even skin, try exfoliating once a week.
Oily skin needs oil free foaming cleanser to remove extra oil. Toner and astringents can be used after with care to avoid irritating the skin.
When cleansing sensitive skin use gentle cleanser and gently pat it dry, avoiding products with alcohol, soap, acid or fragrance. Instead use of calming ingredients like aloe, chamomile, green tea polyphenols etc., are preferred, because the fewer ingredients the better. Cleansing is advisable twice a day.
All skin types need a moisturizer although acne prone skin needs oil free moisturizers to avoid blocking the pores.
Every skin type and color needs sunscreen of at least SPF30 everyday whether it is sunny or cold. This routine applies to all ages both male and female. Once there is visible deterioration or signs of no improvement, it is time to consult the doctor.
* Dr Taka Chinyoka is a GP and Aesthetic Physician based at the New Soweto Medical Centre in Katutura.
New Era Reporter
2018-10-01 09:21:10 9 months ago