In the pursuit of clear, smooth and youthful skin, sometimes what you don't slap on your face are exactly what you shouldn't do! #PHEW How can we know what we should never do to achieve the flawless unwavering supple face? Here are some treatments and tips Dr Michelle Lim, Medical Consultant at SW1 Clinic, will never do to keep her skin perky and youthful.
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1. Pimple Prodding and PickingAlmost everyone is guilty of picking and popping their pimples at some point in their lives, but Dr Michelle strongly advises resisting the urge to do so. Pimple picking can not only result in deep scarring, it can also exacerbate any local infection that might be brewing and cause a devastating skin infection, known as cellulitis. Cellulitis frequently requires inpatient treatment, as it can potentially affect deeper structures, such as the eyes, or the brain.
If a pimple is large, inflamed, cystic and painful, go to your trusted local doctor for a mild cortisone injection early. This reduces the inflammation of the acne effectively, and the pain, redness and swelling associated with it also improve dramatically, typically within 8 hours of the injection, and continue to improve over the next 48 hours. Acne cysts are prone to scarring, and cortisone injections work fast to prevent this.
"At SW1 Clinic, we offer Pimple ER, which is an innovative 3-step therapy consisting of firstly a very minute cortisone injection, followed by dermal infusion of an antibiotic, and transdermal delivery of healing ingredients via a calming skin patch," says Dr Michelle. "This helps one recover from acne within the shortest time possible."
Usually, acne-prone patients suffer from over-production of facial oil. In these cases, Dr Michelle suggested Vbeam Perfecta instead to reduce oil production and halt the appearance of acne once and for all.
2. Derma Roller or Fully Ablative Lasers
Patients of all ages suffer from the burden of acne and acne scarring. There are different types of acne scars treatment, such as chemical peels, micro needling, and resurfacing lasers. "Something that I wouldn’t explore on my own face would be derma-rolling, or trialling a fully ablative non-fractional laser for acne scarring," says Dr Michelle.
The downtime is simply too long, and risk of hyperpigmentation from fully ablative lasers is significant particularly in Asian skin types. "I would opt for a fractional laser that treats and yet gives me minimum downtime," says Dr Michelle. "These lasers create tiny zones of thermal injury within the skin, allowing for resurfacing and stimulation of collagen at the same time."
3. Non-HA filler injectionsThere is a trend of ‘lunchtime facelift’, a natural-looking facelift accomplished by using facial fillers. However, one should be careful about the type of filler which is injected into the face. "My preference for myself and my patients is always hyaluronic acid (HA) filler," says Dr Michelle, "These are easily dissolved by injecting hyaluronidase, an enzyme that effectively breaks down the filler, should there be any regret or accidents."
Non-HA fillers such as Radiesse (calcium hydroxylapatite) may be warranted for more effective sculpting, for example, for a very receded chin or a very deficient jawline. This is an example of a filler which is biodegradable but not dissolvable so one should have a discussion with the doctor first to work out the details and options before proceeding
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4. Shaving AnywhereShaving is passé because it is cumbersome, messy and difficult to administer yourself in the privy parts. Not only does hair regrow tougher and stronger soon after, people who shave are also at higher risks of ingrown hair, which is hair that regrows into the skin, instead of up through the surface. Ingrown hair is prone to pain, itch and developing pustules in the region (ouch!). I would opt for permanent laser hair removal. Choose a clinic with FDA-approved lasers for hair removal that focuses on the hair follicles for effective and long-lasting results for both fair and darker skin types.
5. Non-FDA approved devices for skin liftingEnergy devices that promise skin lifting without having to go under the knife are all the rage right now, but not all will live up to the hype. At best, some of these will not work, at worst they can cause irreversible scarring if delivered via the wrong hands. "For someone in her late-thirties such as myself, where I am fortunately neither requiring a surgical facelift nor thread face lift yet, Ultherapy would be my skin lifting treatment of choice," says Dr Michelle.
Ultherapy is the only FDA-cleared device approved for lifting and tightening the skin around the neck, chin, brow and décolletage. It uses ultrasound to image and treat the skin, which has been used in medical imaging for over half a century! The visualization enables the doctor to visualize the layers beneath the skin before treating, ensuring safety and better results. This gives one more confidence in the treatment and I know that every treatment shot will count towards something.