MEDICAL

Skin deep

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Most women develop some form of acne in their lives’; this is mostly true of women who live in western society. It is very important that skin which has been affected by acne be treated by a qualified person; beautician or a dermatologist, who will then determine the appropriate treatment. When it comes to skin care, skin is skin—no matter the color and can be damaged by the sun and everyone needs to have measures that protect their skin from being damaged.

One must remember that skin is the body’s largest organ which is why everyone’s skin needs the same ingredients to address acne, sun damage, uneven skin tone, oily skin, sensitive skin, and so on. All of these problems affect every color of skin. Research shows that the only real difference between African and Caucasian Skin is the amount, size, and distribution of melanin.

Having lots of melanin gives women of color an added advantage when it comes to how their skin handles sun exposure; melanin’s plays a pivotal role in scavenging free radicals, preventing the skin damage that they can cause. Essentially, the more melanin your skin has, the more natural defense your skin has against the sun; melanin has the ability to neutralize the potentially harmful effects of the sun.

Extra melanin is good news for those with darker skin tones, it doesn’t mean damage from unprotected sun exposure isn’t happening. Uneven skin tone wrinkles, and slower healing time (particularly for scars) is primarily a result of sun damage. it takes longer and more intense sun exposure for visible damage to occur on darker skin, sun damage is always greater on skin that’s chronically exposed to sun than skin that is not properly cared for.

Darker women have to be especially careful because their skin is prone to scarring. These scars and or marks can be further compounded by the fact that post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can occur; this is a situation were excess production of melanin in the area that has been stressed by a bruise or scar. Dealing with acne scars on darker skin for example can be a bit of a challenge, while there is numerous treatments available, exercise caution when using them as incorrect usage or abuse of products can lead to a mirage of problems; acne scars may lead to keloids, which are large and difficult to treat and remove.
It is recommended that darker women who suffer from scarring as a result of acne apply topical retinoid creams to any blemishes they may have. Retinoid performs a variety of functions which serves our skincare needs; UV protection; smoother, firmer skin; a more even tone; fewer breakouts; and tighter pores. Furthermore, by acting directly on the DNA in skin cells, retinoid increase cell turnover, so that the skin is continually sloughing off damaged cells and healthy skin is always what is seen on the surface. Regular facial treatments such as glykolic facials and peels are highly recommended by professionals for women of color who are regularly plagued by scarring from acne.

Glycolic facial peels are a natural form of acid that is derived from the sugar cane. The facials are effective peeling treatments that work actively on acne, scarring, pigmentation, lines and wrinkles. The peel works by removing the dead skin cells that occupy the upper layer of the skin thus revealing acne and scar free skin. For clients to see the best results they would need at least several treatments; we usually start the treatment with glycolic acid strength 10% and gradually increase the strength over a period of time to eventual 70% peel strength; this will give your skin an opportunity to adjust to the acidic strength of the peel. We usually combine these treatments with a form of technology to hasten up the healing process.

Examples of combination procedures include glycolic peels in combination with Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) guarantees the desired result. PDT allows the peel to deeply penetrate the skin so that it can regenerate were scars have formed. Furthermore PDT has antiseptic and healing properties which will promote blood circulation and this is in an important process in the skin rejuvenation process. This is the most important aspect as the over-arching aim is to regenerate the skin by stimulating the fibroblast to increase the production of collagen and elastin so that dilated pores are reduced.

The results

  • Achieves a clearer, smoother complexion with lasting results
  • Acne scars are visibly reduced
  • After 3rd treatment, skin is visibly healed and rejuvenated

After-procedure care is simultaneously important and this would include a healthy balanced diet which includes a lot of water to flush out toxins.  Depending on the rate at which the skin has been damaged the therapist would best be advised to use  the relevant PDT light to achieve the best results.

Women in general need to be aware that the aforementioned procedures and products can become a mute point if said patient is not taking care of their skin and leading a healthy lifestyle. A skin therapy professional can perform said procedures which is 40% of the work the other 60% is reliant on the patient.

I would suggest that women regardless of skin pigment establish and maintain a healthy eating plan which consists of the following;

  • Stock up in Zinc: Zinc-rich foods include fish, lean red meat, wholegrains, poultry, nuts, seeds and shellfish. Zinc is involved in the normal functioning of the sebaceous glands in the skin and helps to repair skin damage and keep skin soft and supple.
  • Exercising is king: Regular exercise boosts circulation. It nourishes your skin, bringing more blood flow and oxygen to the skin, and all the additional benefit of sweating means that the pores of congested skin are cleaned out.
  • Drink plenty of water: Drink six to eight glasses of water a day - all fluids count towards your daily allowance, but water is the best.

The overall results of a healthy eating plan, regular skin treatments and usage of products will ensure healthy skin.

Milena Popovic

 

More about the writer

Since Serbian born Milena Popovic founded Medinova, the company has grown from strength to strength. Popovic’s interest in the scientific art of Permanent Makeup and other medical cosmetic procedures was first peaked during her studies at the University of Belgrade, where she attained a PhD in Sports Science. Following her tenure at Belgrade, Popovic ensued to become a qualified Permanent Makeup Artist and obtained a MCA Dry Needling qualification with top honour from the American Institute of Intradermal Cosmetics. Popovic’s other majors included; Dry needling, per make up and paramedical procedures in the following disciplines:

  • Tattoo removal
  • Vitiligo restoration
  • Scar revision
  • Areole Re-pigmentation
  • Qualified Japanese eyebrow embroidery specialist

 

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