Solutions to SA women’s top 10 skin concerns – Part 2

In partnership with SA’s top medical aesthetic companies

We covered adult acne, pigmentation, spider veins, sun damage and scarring here, so let's get started on the rest of our top 10.

6. Stretch marks

Stretch marks are the red or purple lines/marks that develop on skin when it has been stretched beyond its capacity (usually on thighs, hips, breasts and upper arms). These usually crop up during pregnancy, weight gain, growth spurts or muscle growth due to exercise when the skin is stretched rapidly and intensively.

Stretch marks occur in the deeper layer of the skin, the dermis, which is involved in retaining skin tone. When the dermis is overstretched, the fibres within it tear, resulting in the scar tissue formation we see as a stretch mark on the skin’s surface.

Although no treatment, except surgery, is fully effective, various treatments can help to improve the healing process and appearance of the marks:

  • Laser Genesis has been clinically proven to produce collagen.
  • Dermapen Skin Needling and Carboxytherapy cause collagen stimulation and remodelling of the area, resulting in the marks being less visible.

TIP: For best results it is important, as with all scarring, to take action while the scar is still "active" – while it looks red or purple rather than silvery, when the scar has already healed. Older stretch marks that have already turned white or silvery take much longer to treat.

7. Rosacea

Rosacea is an inflammatory skin disease that causes facial redness, flushing and sensitivity, with small, red, pus-filled bumps or pustules cropping up on the cheeks and nose. Fortunately it can be treated, and we advise you to take action as soon as possible, as this is a progressive disease which can worsen over time.

If left untreated, a severe case can result in a lumpy so-called "drinker’s nose".

Rosacea mostly affects adults between ages 30 and 60, appearing more commonly in women and fair-skinned people, and can have a devastating effect your self-esteem and self-confidence.

It tends to occur in cycles, and flares up every couple of weeks or months, then reduces again. The cause of rosacea is unknown, but is probably a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. You may notice that heat, spicy foods, drinking alcohol, strenuous exercise etc. can make it flare up.

Treatment options:

  • Laser Genesis procedure: A five-in-one treatment reduces the size of the sebaceous gland, reduces inflammation in the pustules, reduces pore size, and improves acne scarring and pigmentation.
  • For deep nodules, the Titan is a deep infrared laser/light procedure that reduces inflammation and kills the bacteria in the deep painful nodule(s) and helps prevent scarring.
  • Skin care treatments can also help. The medical team at Skin Renewal may suggest a medical cream, while the skin-care therapists may recommend complementary dermatological skin care that will help keep redness and flare-ups to a minimum.

8. Ingrown hairs

Ingrown hairs are painful and unsightly, and are especially common among people with darker complexions. Ingrown hairs curl back in on themselves and can leave scarring and pigmentation.  

These can be addressed with a course of laser hair removal, which uses an infrared light to target the germ cell in the hair follicle. The hair must be present in the follicle for the laser to work as it is attracted to the dark pigments, so no waxing or plucking may be done before the treatment. Unwanted hair can be shaved or cut between laser sessions.

The treatment course depends on your personal hair growth patterns and the area being treated, but generally, four to six treatments may be needed on an area, and six-weekly treatments will catch each hair cycle in its growing phase.

In cases where the hair growth is triggered by hormonal activity, it may be necessary to have more treatments sessions, accompanied by hormone therapy, to address the trigger.

Research has shown that between 30–90% of hair does not grow back after the end of the treatment cycle. 100% removal can’t be guaranteed, and you may need occasional maintenance or touch-up yearly treatments.

Body Renewal is committed to the latest technological innovations in this field and offers a laser/light treatment for any skin type and hair colour, excluding grey or white hair, for which electrolysis remains the best solution.

9. Moles

A mole can be your favourite beauty spot, an irritation or a medical problem. Moles can therefore be removed for aesthetic or medical reasons, especially if there is a possibility of skin cancer, in particular malignant melanoma.

For this reason, you should have moles checked every year to see if there are any changes in size, shape or colour, or if they start bleeding.

Moles can be removed via a shave excision – cut off with a sharp scalpel blade, or punch excision – where the mole is twisted out with a small instrument; for larger moles, surgical excision is recommended.

10. Wrinkles and 'crepey' skin

When you see the lines and change in texture in your skin, the damage has already been done. There are however treatments that can and do change the appearance of lines and wrinkles, such as Fraxel Dual Laser and Pearl Rejuvenation.

Skin Renewal’s approach is to prevent rather than repair damage wherever possible, and they believe your focus should be on regular skin maintenance in order to keep your skin in a healthy condition so it maintains a youthful appearance – see it as an insurance policy, if you like.

These treatments encourage the skin into the habit of faster cell turnover, removing dull, lacklustre skin and stimulating collagen formation:

Superficial chemical peels, skin needling, Carboxytherapy, laser treatments and, most recently, the Vampire Facial.

Find out more about the conditions that mostly affect women and the recommended treatments, as well as the four pillars to addressing ageing skin on Skin Renewal, or read more on their blog

Take the quick Beyond Beauty Survey and you could win a R2 000 Skin Renewal voucher to spend in our online store, with free delivery within South Africa. T&Cs apply.

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