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How to get glowing skin and shiny hair

On June 18, 2022, Seniors Today hosted the weekly Health Live Webinar with Dr Shraddha Deshpande who spoke on Skin and Hair care for Senior Citizens. 

Dr Deshpande is Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mumbai Central.

Dr Deshpande completed her MBBS from Seth G. S. Medical (KEM Hospital), Mumbai. She then completed MS (Gen. Surgery) from Karad and further pursued super-specialisation in Plastic Surgery from Pune.To further her skills in Aesthetic Surgery, she underwent fellowship training at world renowned ‘Instituto de Benito, Spain’. She was then selected for a one-year international fellowship at the ‘Wellington Regional Plastic Surgery Centre, New Zealand’ where she enhanced her skills in skin cancer treatment, hand trauma and advanced micro-surgical techniques for head and neck cancer and breast reconstruction. Deshpande’s primary interest is in Aesthetics- both surgical and non-surgical, with more focus on breast surgeries and reconstructive procedures.

Skin is the largest and the most dynamic organ of the body.

It regenerates and ages with every passing day. 

Maintenance of skin is easier than treatment of skin conditions, since the changes in the skin are permanent and harder to cure, easier to prevent. 

With time, the blood vessels and sweat glands in the dermis decrease. Similarly, the collagen and elastin in the skin reduces. 

In Indian skin, we have seen an increase in localised over production of melanin. 

The skin becomes thinner, and vulnerable to irritable factors- environment, ingredients in process, etc. 

These changes are accentuated in women following menopause. 

7 signs of ageing: 

Fine lines and wrinkles 

Rough skin and texture 

Uneven skin tone 

Skin dullness 

Visible pores 

Blotches and age spots 

Skin dryness

 

A lot of our skin problems can be taken care of by following the correct order of skin care routine, which is different for day and night time. 

Day time: 

  1. Cleaner- chosen depending on the skin type. If you have a dry skin then hyaluronic acid based cleanser would work well for you. Oily or combination skin types should use an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) or a beta hydroxy acid- salicylic or glycolic acid based cleaners can be used.
  2. Toner- this is optional 
  3. Antioxidant serum- Vit C serum is the most commonly prescribed antioxidant serum in recent times. It has been seen that the Vit C serum along with the sunscreen add synergistically and can help in preventing hyperpigmentation. 
  4. Eye cream- this can be a caffeine based or a Vit E based cream to reduce under eye puffiness
  5. Acne spot treatment 
  6. Moisturiser 
  7. Sunscreen 

 

Night time skin care routine should include: 

  1. Cleanser 
  2. Toner 
  3. Eye cream 
  4. Treatment (patches, acne, spots, etc.) 
  5. Moisturiser or night cream- whenever you’re using a retinol based serum or cream it is advisable to use/ apply a moisturiser as well to prevent dryness of skin

 

Hyperpigmentation is one of the most commonly faced skin problems in the Indian population. This is because of excess melanin deposition in certain areas/ pockets of the skin. 

This can occur due to excessive exposure to the sun. 

It is also seen in some metabolic disorders such as Addison’s disease. 

Acanthosis Nigiricans is a special type of hyperpigmentation which is seen in diabetic patients/ patients suffering from PCOS/ obese patients. This type of hyperpigmentation is seen in the underarm area or on the nape of the neck. 

Trauma or burns can also cause hyperpigmentation. This kind of hyperpigmentation is called Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. 

 

Melasma is a common hypopigmentation/ discolouration. 

It is a symmetrical, patchy (butterfly) discolouration of the face. It is commonly seen over the cheeks, forehead, chin, and bridge of the nose. 

It is more commonly seen in women; especially pregnant women. This is called Mask of Pregnancy. It is also seen in women on OCPs. 

Melasma is also associated with hypothyroidism and Vit B12 deficiency. 

Treatment of melasma: It is important to know that Melasma cannot be treated completely, it can only be controlled. 

Stop use of hormonal pills. If it is due to a hormonal issue, the cause needs to be treated (for eg: diabetes, pcos, etc) 

Use sunscreens and avoid direct sun exposure. 

Skin lightening creams can be prescribed to prevent further progression, these creams contain- hydroquinone, retinoid cream, axelaic acid, kojic acid, etc. 

Vit C serum along with sunscreen 

Chemical peels, micro needling, tranexemic acid.

 

Photo ageing: This is ageing that is caused due to chronic exposure to sunlight of artificial sources of light. 

It is commonly seen on the visible parts of the body such as the face, neck, lips and back of the hand. 

Signs of photo ageing include: 

  • spider veins in nose, cheeks, neck. 
  • Pigmented spots such as freckles, solar lentigines, uneven ski
  • Red, rough, scaly spots called actinic keratosis (sun related) may appear

 

Treatment for photoaging includes: sun protection

Topical retinoids

Antioxidant supplementation- use of flax seeds and nuts can also help.

Chemical peels, LASER treatment, micro needling 

Filters and Botox, face lift 

Nano fat grafting 

 

Dark circles: this is usually seen due to lack of proper sleep or due to poor sleeping habits. It is also seen in individuals with iron deficiency anemia, smokers and patients with thyroid disorders. 

Dark circles are formed due to reduced levels of fatty tissue around the eyes.

Treatment primarily depends on the cause. 

Topical applications for Vit C serum, hydroquinone, retinoid cream, axelaic acid, kojic acid

Chemical peels, fillers

Surgery- lower lid blepharoplasty. 

 

Dry skin and Dermatitis: this is due to loss of collagen and elastin, which causes thinning of skin. 

Contact with an irritant can cause contact dermatitis which can cause red rash along with irritation and blisters. 

Folliculitis: it is an infection of the hair follicle which can cause bumps that look like an acne breakout. 

Treatment: identify and remove the irritant 

Ointments, creams, lotions, topical steroids

Protect the skin from extreme heat and cold. 

 

A few important skin care tips: 

  • drink lots of water and antioxidant rich foods that help restore and retain moisture (berries, oranges, fish, sweet potatoes) 
  • Use gentle skin care products
  • Avoid taking long showers, longer than 10 mins 
  • Apply moisturisers in the morning and at night. Try applying moisturiser after taking a bath to trap the moisture of the skin. 
  • Use a humidifier at night to add moisture back to your hair 
  • Use fabrics that are kinder to your skin such as cotton 
  • Apply sunscreen, all day, all year long 
  • Avoid smoking. Drink in moderation 

 

Dr Noor Gill
Dr Noor Gill, MBBS, deciphers the space between heartbeats, figuratively and literally. Powered by frequent long naps and caffeine, she believes that “knowledge without giving back to society is meaningless” and works to make caring cool again.

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