The epitome of health in fairy tales is always rosy cheeks. Remember when Snow-white was sleeping, she was very pale, but as she was waking up a rosy flush came into her cheeks……Yeah right! But not in real life, darling! There are many other possible causes of red cheeks or a flushed appearance and I cannot really think of a good reason why I would like any of them.
Caucasians with fair skins already have their (un)fair share of skin difficulties, and then there are some more. Fortunately, help is at hand with the skin problem called Rosacea (red skin) which is an inflammatory skin disease that causes facial redness. The appearance is small, red, pus-filled bumps or pustules. It has been called adult acne or acne rosacea but it has little to do with the pimples and blackheads that commonly afflict teenagers. It is also not caused by drinking alcohol!
It affects mostly adults between the ages of 30-60, appears to be more common in women and usually occurs in fair-skinned people. The main problem with rosacea being that it affects one’s appearance and as a result can lower your self-esteem and self-confidence in yourself.
The problem with rosacea is that it’s not going to go away by itself, but is a progressive disease and will get worse over time. Fortunately, in most people, it tends to occur in cycles so it will flare up every couple of weeks or months and then reduce down again. Rosacea can also be mistaken for a skin allergy or eczema, but it you know it occurs in cycles, you will know that it is unlikely to be either of those.
The cause of rosacea is unknown but is probably a combination of hereditary and environmental factors.
Things that can aggravate rosacea or make it worse by increasing blood flow to the surface of your skin:
- Hot foods or beverages
- Spicy foods
- Temperature extremes
- Avoid sitting in front of fires
- Stress, anger or embarrassment
- Strenuous exercise
- Hot baths, saunas, steam rooms
- Sensitivity to chlorine in swimming pools,
- Drugs that dilate blood vessels, including some blood pressure medications.
For treatment, there is prescription medications to treat Rosacea.
In addition, there are light and laser therapies such as Limelight, Laser genesis and Photodynamic therapy/LED to improve redness. Each treatment program will be tailored specifically to your needs and our highly professional team will assess and prescribe the best treatment available. Dermatosis papulosa nigra (DPN) Then on a different note there is Dermatosis papulosa nigra which is also a chronic skin condition that is commonly found in people with dark skin such as African and some Asian people. It manifests as warty, hyperpigmented papules on the face, neck and upper trunk. Again, these lesions are more common in women and older patients, and although benign, treatment is often sought for cosmetic reasons and to improve one’s self-esteem. As with rosacea, the cause is unknown but thought to be hereditary as about half of the people that are affected can trace it back to somebody in the family that had the same problem. Because it is so visible on the face, it affects one’s self-image and why should we suffer the consequences of something that can be treated quite safely. Call your Skin Renewal clinic for an appointment today. Skin treatment during winter is always recommended as sun exposure is so much less in winter.
Another irritating little skin growth is a skin tag that looks like a small piece of hanging skin and typically occur in the neck, underarms, eyelids and under breasts (exactly where the underwire bra goes) and vary in appearance, but are mostly skin coloured. Once again, there is no health concern, but they are so easy to get rid of and do nothing for our appearance (except to remind us about time marching on), so at Skin Renewal, you can have these treated with excision, Nitrous Oxide cryotherapy or with the ND: Yag laser.
And like butterflies, we will emerge from our winter hibernation looking gorgeous and ready to tackle another wonderful South African summer! Watch the weight, girls, we are always doing some comfort eating during the chilly winter evenings.
Another problem many of us have and are sometimes not aware of the fact that it is a problem is onychomycosis. Most commonly, toenails are affected, but fingernails may be involved as well. It affects all skin types and all races, so there is no discrimination of colour or gender here! Fortunately the Nd: Yag laser targets the fungus and leaves the surrounding nail and tissue undamaged. It passes tiny pulses of light from the laser through the toenail to the fungus underneath which irradiates it. Clear nail growth can be expected after about two treatments. The second treatment is normally done about three months after the initial treatment. However, toenails grow slowly, so allow a few months to observe the healthy nail growing out!