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Lasers have come as a boon to treat many medical conditions very safely and effectively. They are absolutely indispensable for permanent hair removal, tattoo removal, freckle removal, skin rejuvenation, treatment of birthmarks and many other internal medical conditions. There is a common misconception that lasers are harmful for your skin and can cause skin cancers. This is far from the truth, since lasers are actually used to treat skin cancers and also help in keeping the skin youthful and rejuvenated.
- Lasers use non-ionising light (like red or green light) and not ionising radiation like x-rays or gamma rays. These spectrums of light do not induce cancer formation.
- Fair skinned races are at much greater risk than skin of color. Melanin in darker skin does not allow harmful UV light in sunlight to penetrate through and the risk of skin cancers in darker skin is therefore small with normal sun exposure. Also, common lasers do not use UV light.
- Laser treatments are administered not in prolonged durations but in pulses much less than a second and parameters in the range of milliseconds and microseconds are most commonly used. Prolonged sun exposure is the most common precipitating factor for skin cancers.
- Laser light does not reach any internal organ. In fact, it requires some expertise even to make laser light reach its target just 1-2 millimeters below the skin. This is because melanin pigment in skin blocks laser light from getting through. An expert dermatologist with sound knowledge of skin optics and laser physics is able to achieve this safely and effectively.
- Laser treatments work on the principle of ''selective photothermolysis'. This means that laser light very specifically destroys only the intended target. Thus, a hair removal laser will destroy only the hair roots while leaving surrounding skin structures unharmed. Similarly, blood vessels in birth marks, collagen in wrinkles or scars, abnormal growths and cancers and individual inks in tattoos can be targeted very specifically with lasers without affecting any other structure.
Many Indians are crazy about fair skin and go to extreme lengths to achieve and maintain a fair complexion. The media bombards you daily with very catchy advertisements of creams, lotions, sunscreens and other unscientific products that claim to make your skin fairer. Do you know that your skin colour is darker for very good evolutionary and biological reasons and that medically speaking, it is good that you do not have very fair skin?
Darker skin is adapted to sunlight and has increased quantity of a pigment called melanin. The more melanin you have, the darker your skin. And the safer you are! Melanin along with other factors, acts as a “natural umbrella” and prevents harmful radiation from entering your skin. These are just some of the reasons why black skin is safe and beautiful:
- You are less prone to sunburns: White skinned individuals often get painful, carrot-red or tomato-red inflamed sunburns on exposure to sunlight. Some individuals also get blistering sunburns requiring aggressive medical treatment to control the reaction. Your darker skin allows you to spend much longer time on the beach and you probably have never ever experienced any blister due to sunlight.
- You do not experience photo-ageing: Fine and deep wrinkles, broken blood vessels on the nose and cheeks, freckles, age spots and rough scaly spots called keratosis are commonly seen in white skinned individuals with long term sun exposure. These set of changes are called photo-aging. Because of natural sun protection, your Indian skin remains has less wrinkles and is smoother, even when exposed to the same amount of sunlight.
- You are less prone to skin cancers: Without melanin, you can imagine white skin as a transparent covering, which allows harmful UV light to penetrate through into the lower layers of the skin. This radiation causes damage to the DNA and a few cells may mutate to cause skin cancers, some of which are deadly. You are lucky that your “natural umbrella” blocks UV light effectively and cells in different layers of the skin suffer much less damage compared to white-skinned individuals. However, don’t forget to see a dermatologist in case you see any new bump, or in case you see any change in(a)symmetry, border, color, diameter or evolution (ABCDE) of any existing moleon your skin.
However, on the flip side, since your skin is effective in shielding you from sunlight, you are also prone to Vitamin D deficiency. Sunlight is required for the production of Vitamin D and darker skinned individuals are more prone to this deficiency. Talk to your dermatologist about this possibility.
Sunscreens were developed to protect against sunburns and skin cancers and you probably do not need them as a routine, unless you work outdoors, on beaches or on mountains. Stay away from skin brightening creams, since many of them contain compounds which permanently damage your skin and organs. Make it a point to consult a dermatologist before putting any medication on your skin. Be proud and be happy that you have dark Indian skin.
Acne or pimples is most commonly seen in teenagers and young adults, just around the time the body is undergoing hormonal adjustments. Thus, acne is not simply just a skin problem, but often an indication of internal bodily disturbances. Of course, there are other combination of aggravating factors at play, like genetics, active sebaceous glands and bacterial organisms that reside within the sebaceous glands.
An otherwise easily treatable condition, acne can result in permanent scars if left untreated, often resulting in low self-esteem, social isolation, depression and even suicidal ideation.
The skin acts as a window to internal disorders and many individuals with acne are found to have internal hormonal problems like polycystic ovary syndromes or insulin resistance syndromes. Females can have associated excessive hair on the chin, hair loss on the scalp, weight gain, menstrual abnormality and infertility.
- Diet does not have a major role in causing acne but cutting down on foods with high sugar content and milk may be useful.
- Certain medications and creams containing steroids can precipitate an outbreak of acne.
- Heavy and greasy cosmetics will aggravate acne.
- Special soaps, face washes, lotions, and so-called unscientific blood purifiers are of little help.
- Acne scars are repaired with newer dermatological technologies and techniques.
Just like with any other medical condition, each individual is different and will require a unique investigation and treatment plan. This is based on many factors like other current medical conditions, climate, age, sex, skin type and variety of acne. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist.
Antibacterial, medicated soaps and washes are majorly advertised to be the best for maintaining a healthy, bug-free skin. You might think anti-bacterial washes and soaps kill harmful bacteria and germs lurking on your skin. However, antibacterial hand and body washes containing certain chemicals have recently been banned by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration). They may be causing more damage to your skin, body and the environment and are no better than ordinary non-medicated soaps and washes.
A few valid reasons why you shouldn't use antibacterial washes:
- Antibacterials may lead to the growth of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria: Bacteria cannot be killed by the very low doses of antibacterials present in these so-called antibacterial products. Moreover, these products are typically washed off in less than 30 seconds, not enough time to kill any microbe. Remember, to kill any germ effectively, your physician normally administers antibiotics round the clock for at least 5-7 days! Bugs are smart and with exposure to small doses and short durations, learn and quickly adapt to become resistant to these antibacterials. Later, during actual infections, even high doses of antibiotics are unable to kill these bugs.
- Antibacterial washes have the potential to perturb the environment: The common use of these products by millions of individuals causes a huge amount of antibacterial products to flush down the drains. These reach natural waterbodies in lakes, rivers and groundwater. This disrupts not only other natural microbes, algae and fish but many other natural aquatic organisms, resulting in damage to many natural systems.
- Antibacterial washes disrupt normal body functions: In animal studies, some of these antibacterial chemicals are found to cause disturbances in hormones, heart muscle, sperm, brain, and bone. Though these changes have not been thoroughly studied in humans yet, they may still result in minute changes which may have a larger impact over time.
- Risk of allergy increases: Your skin contains many kinds of good microbes which not only protect your skin from other harmful microbes but are also good for your overall health balance. By altering the normal flora of human skin, antibacterial washes may alter the immunity levels of our bodies. This may result in development of allergies.
- Antibacterial Washes are no better than normal, non-medicated, regular washes and soaps: Plain regular soaps and washes are as effective in washing of germs and for maintaining personal cleanliness as any other specially formulated and expensive antibacterial soap or wash. Also keep in mind that products labelled, organic, or 'natural' are not necessarily safe. Simply use ordinary, inexpensive, non-medicated soaps or washes of your own choice. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
1. Myth: lasers expose you to radiation.
Truth: lasers are safe since they use light and not harmful ionising radiation. In fact, normal sunlight contains more radiation that triggers cancer than most modern medical lasers.
2. Myth: lasers are harmful to health.
Truth: laser light penetrates only 1-4 mm into the skin. That is why during laser hair removal procedures only superficial hair roots are destroyed since light cannot reach even till the deeper hair roots. And therefore, certainly, cannot reach or affect any deeper organ in the body.
3. Myth: lasers can cause burns.
Truth: all modern lasers use the theory of selective photo-thermolysis formulated at the famous Harvard medical school. This basically means that laser light acts likes magic bullets and specifically searches and destroys only the intended target. Thus, for example, lasers using green light will be absorbed only by the red colour in blood vessels. Abnormal blood vessels in birth marks, in broken veins or even within the eyes in diabetics can thus be removed very safely. Just like with any other technology, side effects can happen but chances of burns are minimal with good machines in expert hands.
4. Myth: laser hair reduction hurts.
Truth: with proper use of scientific methods, during treatments, there is only a feeling of a bit of warmth or of a pin prick sensations. A very occasional patient, especially for sensitive areas like bikini or underarm areas, requires the use of topical anaesthetic cream before treatment,
5. Myth: lasers cause thinning of the skin.
Truth: lasers actually causes thickening of skin after treatments. Skin is living tissue and the controlled gentle heating in the dermis due to laser treatment induces new collagen and elastin formation, replacing the older damaged tissue. That is why lasers have a rejuvenating effect, reducing wrinkles and causing the skin to become plumper. Of course, your laser physician should have a thorough knowledge of laser physics to achieve the desired results.
6. Myth: lasers are expensive.
Truth: in the long run, it costs more to use razors, waxing, foams, etc. To keep your skin smoothing traditional hair removal methods. Moreover, these methods need to continue lifelong and are tedious and painful. In contrast, with just a few painless sessions over a few months, permanent hair reduction can be achieved with lasers.
7. Myth: lasers are unnecessary
Truth: there are many medical problems for which lasers are indispensable. There are no medications or creams which can permanently remove unwanted hair, remove scars, birthmarks, tattoos, varicose veins, port-wine stains. Laser technology is similarly indispensable for many other internal medical conditions.
8. Myth: lasers cause cancers.
Truth: lasers are actually used to remove skin and other cancers. Laser light does not contain wavelengths which trigger cancers.
9. Myth: stopping laser treatment can cause skin to deteriorate:
Truth: lasers actually cause skin rejuvenation. By aligning and tightening tissue they make the skin appear younger. Of course, the ageing process will continue each year. That is why even after a few sessions, some persons opt for long-term regular maintenance treatment to keep the skin youthful
10. Myth: all laser treatments are the same:
Truth: no two lasers machines are exactly the same. Also, no two lasers experts are exactly the same. For optimal results, the laser machines have to be reliable. More importantly, your dermatologist should not only have in-depth knowledge of human skin but also needs to have special expertise and sound knowledge of lasers physics.
I think I have allergy problem 4 days in a week I am suffering from cold specially sneezing a lot I showed drs they told me its an allergy so there is no any treatment for allergy, it happens mostly when I am in front of fan or if I am in ac room. So please is there any suggestion for me? Is it real there is no treatment for allergy? Thanks for your reply.
I have acne on my shoulder which is there for more then 8 months. From the beginning the size of it is not increased or decreased I ll be pressing it so that it ll increase n break but it's not happening. So what is the solution for this?
Is QRA underarm lightning cream good for dark underarms? I have tried lemon, baking powder but couldn't find any result. Please suggest me.
Most research on skin care is focussed on white, Caucasian skin types who live in cold temperate environments. Our Indian skin types are darker and in mostly hot, humid climates. Our skin reacts and adapts differently to the environment. Here are some unusual, interesting, skin care myth busters, specifically for Indian skin.
1. Myth: Exfoliation is an essential part of skin care regime.
Fact: Exfoliation is not an essential part of skin care regime.
Your skin is living tissue, which begins growing from the lower layer and is gradually pushed and shed automatically over a period of a few weeks from the skin surface. Simple gentle soap water bath is normally enough for most individuals and there is simply no need for you to try and exfoliate your skin. Let your dermatologist decide whether you need any exfoliation procedures.
2. Myth: It is important to check the type of wash you use.
Fact: It does not matter too much as to which wash you use.
A bewildering variety of soaps, syndet bars, lotions, body washes are available to clean your skin. You don't need to be very choosy. Simply use any one that suits your skin. People with dry and allergic skin need to be more careful and require non irritating, milder products. Avoid using 'antibacterial' or so called 'medicated soaps', since all these 'medications' are going to be washed off anyway along with the rinsing action. Don't expect to kill any bugs in this fashion.
3. Myth: Oily skin needs to be moisturized every day.
Fact: Oily skin may not need moisturizing.
You may have active sebaceous glands on the central part of your face causing oiliness. However, the rest of your skin may be dry. Apply moisturizers after baths on the dry areas. On the oily parts of your skin, you can skip the moisturizer and simply wash gently to keep the oil away.
4. Myth: Natural medicines are safer because they do not contain chemicals.
Fact: Most natural medicines contain many unknown chemicals of unknown significance.
More than $1 billion and over 12.5 years of painstaking work by scores of scientists are typically required to evaluate just one potential new chemical for medicinal use. Only a few chemicals pass through these very stringent series of scientific tests before they are carefully released for human use. It is a common practice in India to use many other unscientific medications. These purportedly safe, harmless and natural medicines are often concoctions of unknown chemicals (yes, chemicals!) that do not pass through any such rigorous testing, leaving serious doubts about their efficacy and safety.
5. Myth: Acne is just skin deep.
Fact: Acne is often driven by hormones.
Obtaining a flawless skin over a few months is actually quite easy under the supervision of any good dermatologist. However, acne is driven by hormones and that is why seen mostly in teenagers and young adults. Some patients may have associated oily skin, weight gain, menstrual irregularities, hair loss and excessive hair on the chin. All this may point to internal hormonal issues which your dermatologist may detect and investigate.
6. Myth: Drinking lots of water results in beautiful skin.
Fact: Drinking excess water does not help.
Inadequate water consumption can severely affect the proper functioning of your internal organs and your body as a whole. It is extremely essential to drink sufficient water to facilitate the proper functioning of your body and to ensure a healthy glow in your skin. However, you should also remember that drinking excess water does nothing extra for your skin.
7. Myth: Skin Brightening Creams Give Fairer Skin.
Fact:Skin brightening creams can be harmful.
Fairness creams have long been accused of being discriminatory and racist, but what is a lesser known fact about the billion dollar industry is that they can land you with far more serious problems. Many of these creams contain harmful compounds, which can permanently damage your skin and also your internal organs.Prescription creams from your pharmacy are meant to be used only under medical supervision and misuse by self medication can land you in serious trouble. Don't use medicines on your own, even if you are a doctor!
8. Myth: Sunscreens are essential for everybody.
Fact: Sunscreens are recommended to prevent skin cancers.
Sunscreens were developed and are recommended internationally to prevent skin cancers. Chances are that you use your sunscreen for another less serious reason: you want to prevent a tan and want your skin to remain fairer. If this is the case, use a broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen, which protects against both UVA and UVB radiation and also probably against sweat. You need to apply at least an ounce (30 ml) every 2 hours on exposed areas of your skin. Applying this entire amount so frequently in a hot, muggy, climate may not be very comfortable and it will most likely pinch your pocket. You could consider using hats, umbrellas and sun-protective clothing instead.