I was recently involved in a road accident that left me with bruises, scratches and scars on the body. How do I get rid of them or make them less obvious? Is there a cream or treatment I should try? – Toni Fort
Firstly, keep any open wound or scar clean to prevent infection. Woundcare instructions have to be followed closely and this is especially important during the first few weeks of skin healing. Secondly, protect your wounds and scars from the sun. Whenever possible, avoid sun exposure – this can help prevent hyperpigmentation and scars from darkening. Be sure to apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 50, and use camouflage makeup that simultaneously helps with healing, such as products from Lycogel. These will help protect your skin from further damage. When the wounds are completely healed, apply an off -the-counter scar-lightening cream or gel on a daily basis. You can also consider laser treatments, which are effective in speeding up the scar-healing process, and preventing scar hypertrophy and keloid formation. If required, other topical medicines may be prescribed to treat the skin discoloration that follows an inflammatory wound.
Whenever I travel to colder climates, I get red blotches on my skin that become very dry and itchy. How can I prevent and treat this? – Yeo BL
Your condition is common and is likely a winter rash. A thick, cream-based moisturiser is often the first defence; apply it several times a day, especially if you’re heading outdoors. The rash could also be a reaction to the material of your clothes. If wool irritates your skin, try breathable natural fibres such as cotton, silk and hemp. Natural oils such as olive and coconut oils can help soothe irritated skin and replenish moisture. Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking at least two litres of water daily to replenish moisture from the inside out. In more severe cases, topical cortisone creams – available with or without a prescription – can help reduce the redness, itching and inflammation. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions or your doctor’s usage advice. Resist the urge to scratch – this may cause the skin to crack and bleed, increasing the risk of bacterial infection. Consult a doctor if you have a severe or bleeding rash that’s not responding to over-the-counter treatments.
I have very pronounced nasolabial lines whenever I talk or smile, and powder from my makeup tends to fall into the creases. Is there a way I can reduce their appearance? – Ying Jie
Injecting dermal fillers into the skin can reduce the depth of the creases so the nasolabial folds appear less obvious. Fillers injected into the cheeks to lift them can help too. If you’re not keen on filler injections, there are skin-lifting and skin-tightening treatments you can go for, such as the FDA-approved Ultherapy, Thermage and Exilis Elite. Ultherapy uses ultrasound energy to stimulate collagen production, thereby firming and lifting skin. Not only does it improve the look of deep folds, it also lifts the cheeks and jowls (heavy cheeks and jowls can add to the look of expression lines). Both Thermage and Exilis Elite utilise radio-frequency energy to tighten skin. Several sessions are needed to improve skin laxity around the nasolabial area.
This article was originally published in the March 2017 issue of Her World.
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