When it comes to male grooming, investing in the right products to use at home is the first step to enjoying a healthy-looking skin, but maintaining it isn’t always that simple.
If you’ve been hit by the odd ‘curve ball’ condition, be it a spate of razor bumps or a bout of acne, never fear. We’ve made a list of just a few of the frustrating conditions that can affect men and give you practical solutions. With the right specialised treatments, be they topical or in-office, there’s nothing stopping you from reclaiming a clear-complexion.
‘Razor bumps’… ‘shaving rash’… ‘razor burn’… There are lots of terms to describe it, but those little red bumps that crop up anywhere you shave are really just ingrown hairs. Or, if you want to get fancy, ‘pseudofolliculitis barbae’, a condition in which hair remains trapped in the hair follicle and becomes inflamed. Those with a curly hair-type are most at risk because, after their hair is cut and begins to grow again, it literally doesn’t come ‘straight’ out of the follicle, it curls back in on itself.
One way to prevent it from happening is to simply not cut your hair and grow a beard. After a while, the existing inflamed follicles will heal. If you’d prefer a smooth look, however, you’ve got options and one of them is to consider permanent hair removal using a laser.
At Renewal Institute we use a long-pulsed Nd: YAG laser that can be used on any skin type and colour, requiring two to three treatments to make a visible difference. For more permanent hair removal a longer course of treatments will be required, based on how the individual’s skin responds.
You can also take a few preventative measures to help reduce the likelihood of developing bumps. These include always shaving in one direction and in the direction of the hair growth, not against it and using a moisturiser to essentially ‘condition’ your hair, keeping it soft and smooth.
Another topical option is to regularly apply a lotion containing a high concentration of alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA). This helps to exfoliate the surface of your skin to keep your follicles free and clear without resorting to a mechanical scrub that’ll only serve to irritate. We like NeoStrata Ultra Smoothing lotion as it contains 10% AHA.
They’re associated with frogs and wicked witches but warts (those that affect your skin, not your genitals) are incredibly common, especially since they’re caused by a highly contagious virus.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) family has several strains and the one that causes the common wart usually invade the upper layers of your skin by entering via a tiny scratch. This causes your skin cells to rapidly multiply and the result is a bumpy-looking wart. As any nicks or scrapes from shaving can provide an entry point for the virus, this explains why many men end up getting warts in their beard area.
Fortunately, treating warts is usually a simple affair and, at Skin Renewal, we do it with lasers like long-pulsed Nd: YAG as well as cryotherapy (in which the wart is frozen off using liquid nitrogen). Our doctor can assess your situation and recommend the best approach but you could literally undergo any treatment on your lunch break.
For those who’ve never heard the term, a skin tag is a small, soft, usually flesh-coloured but sometimes darker-looking growth that can occur on any part of your body as well as your face. Essentially, a tiny ‘flap’ of skin, you can often hold them between your fingers and pull them away from your body.
Unlike warts, which typically don’t have a smooth surface and are caused by a virus, skin tags are caused by constant friction. This could be due to the rubbing of ‘skin on skin’, which is why they often appear in folds like your armpit or groin, or something else like clothing.
While skin tags are perfectly harmless, many people prefer to remove them for cosmetics reasons and there are multiple ways to do it, be it long-pulsed Nd: YAG (for darker skin tags with pigment in it), cauterisation, ligation (cutting off the blood supply), excision (simply cutting it off) and cryotherapy (freezing).
At Skin Renewal, our highly-skilled doctors perform the latter two procedures under sterile conditions using a topical anaesthetic. Much like with the treatment of warts, skin tag removal is a real in-and-out lunch-time procedure.
Acne and scarring
It’s often the bane of many a teenager’s life but acne doesn’t always clear when we get older. In fact, you can have clear skin throughout all of high school and suddenly develop it as an adult. For the most part, it’s caused by hormones, but other factors like gut health and diet can come into play.
Instead of treating the symptom, which is acne, we like to get to its root cause which is a far more effective solution in terms of results. For this reason, we suggest you chat to one of our doctors who can perform the tests needed to find out where your body’s out of balance. As far as treatment goes, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution so you’ll be given an action plan that takes your situation into account as well as a multi-pronged approach. This usually means you’ll be prescribed a combination of lifestyle changes, topical treatments, supplements and in-office treatments.
As far as in-office treatments go, these could range from deep cleansing facials, microdermabrasion, carboxytherapy (the injection of collagen-stimulating CO2 gas under the surface of the skin) and chemical peels to Laser Genesis Rejuvenation. We can also treat acne with Photo Dynamic Therapy (PDT) which uses invisible blue light that destroys bacteria and red light that reduces inflammation. The benefit of the latter is that it’s completely painless and there’s zero downtime, it an also be added to any other more intensive treatment for enhanced results.
If you’re not dealing with active acne, but more concerned about the marks they leave behind, consider microdermabrasion, skin needling, subcision, peels, laser and light treatments, i.e. Fraxel DUAL, as they can minimise the look of scarring.
After a consultation with one of our doctors or therapist, they’ll be able to point you in the direction from which you’d benefit most. With the right care at home and the best treatments in-office, you can enjoy clear, healthy-looking skin.