ADVERTORIAL: IN A PERFECT WORLD

Can you imagine an alien getting hold of the latest hot fashion magazine crammed with photographs of all those perfect specimens.

They’ll think we all look like models, not aware that even they have blemishes and skin conditions – they’re just photoshopped away and perfected on the computer.

How cool would that be? Ingrown hairs from shaving – out! A bit of rosacea or a keloid forming, no problem, take it out!

It’s not quite as easy as that in the real world – but there are a few skin conditions that can be effectively treated in a relatively short period.

Razor bumps or ingrown hairs

The medical term is Pseudofolliculitis Barbae (PFB), but it’s generally called razor burn or shaving bumps; those nasty little bumps that tend to form when you have shaved too closely or the blade was a bit blunt.

Pseudo means false; the bumps appear to be infections of the oil gland or hair follicle (folliculitis), but they aren’t. The skin does, however, become irritated at the point where the hair actually curls into the skin. They are unsightly and painful and can cause scarring, redness and swelling.

Shaving too closely is only one of the triggers and those who battle with ‘five-o’clock shadow’ may want to rather shave with an electric razor or find another shaving technique as the disappearance of ingrown hairs will make up for the slight stubble that appear at the end of the day.

Electric razors tend to help as the shave is not as close as that of a razor and the end of the hair shaft is not so sharp, which means that it’s more difficult for it to easily re-enter the hair follicle and become ‘ingrown’ and infected.

This problem also tends to occur more often in people with curly hair. It looks cute on a little boy but when he gets old enough to shave those same curls can become a curse; causing uncomfortable, unsightly ingrown hairs.

Curly-haired men, particularly African men, get curls on their cheeks and neck as well as on their head. The hair sometimes just curls right back on itself, causing ingrown hair.

Shaving tips include avoiding repeated razor strokes over the same area, and to shave only in the direction of hair growth. Ensure the razorblade is sharp and doesn’t ‘pull’ and only shave after a shower or bath when the beard is softer.

For those areas that are prone to ingrown hairs, and especially if they are resistant to topical treatment, laser hair removal with the Nd:Yag laser improves the problem within two to three treatments. It’s indicated for any skin type, and especially in men of colour who are more prone to this problem.

After laser treatments, there could be some post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and this can be treated with topical skin lighteners such as the Lumenesce brightening range and/or in-office Alpha hydroxy or Beta hydroxyl peels at Skin Renewal clinics.

Skin Tags

Skin tags always remind me of older people and are not a health concern. But, for cosmetic reasons, it is a good idea to have them removed.

They are a benign skin growth that looks like a small piece of hanging skin. They tend to be flesh coloured and can be found in the neck, underarms, eyelids and on the torso.

They start as small flattened pinpoint-sized bumps and then gradually grow. Skin tags may be as large as a big grape, but normally are quite small in size. They tend to be found more often in obese people and those with type 2 diabetes.

At Skin Renewal, skin tags are treated by excision, cryotherapy with Nitrous Oxide or with the Nd: YAG laser.

Warts

Warts are very common and can be found in people of any age but are more common in children and teenagers. They are not a health concern, but are unsightly and, for your own self-esteem and appearance, can be easily removed with the Nd: Yag laser treatment.

This is usually done in one or two treatments about a month apart. Thank goodness! We no longer have to attempt to “treat” those warts by planting a potato at new moon, or is it full moon?

For any skin issues, a visit to a Skin Renewal clinic will give you a good insight into the problem as well as a solution that is tailor-made to your personal needs and challenges.

Many skin conditions are not life-threatening or dangerous but we all feel much more attractive and healthy without them.

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