Acne is a medical condition that affects both teenagers and adults, and is best treated by a doctor. It can occur on the face, shoulders, chest, and back when the skin’s pores are clogged with sebum and dead skin cells. Acne can present as blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and/or cysts. If left untreated, this condition can cause scars and may lead to low self-esteem.
While causes may differ, a common trigger includes dead skin physically clogging pores. Excess oil and sebum production can be worsened by hormones, stress, poor skincare habits, and a poor diet. Effective treatments should address the cause of acne.
The colour of our skin is determined by melanin, a pigment produced by skin cells called melanocytes. Hyperpigmentation occurs when melanin is produced in excess, and can appear in small patches, such as freckles and sunspots. It can also cover larger areas after skin trauma or in cases of melasma and birthmarks.
Melasma is caused by hormonal changes or pregnancy, while sunspots are created by prolonged sun exposure. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs as the skin’s response to injuries, such as acne or burns. Skin pigmentation can also be present at birth or acquired in childhood. Overall pigmentation can be caused or worsened by excessive sun exposure.
Scars are a natural part of a body’s recovery. When the deep dermis is damaged, the body forms new collagen fibres to heal the damage. Depending on various factors, such as genetics, the new scar tissue’s appearance will differ from that of the surrounding tissues.
Skin depressions, or atrophic scars, are caused by the loss of tissue and commonly result from acne or trauma. The thickening of tissue, on the other hand, causes raised scars, or hypertrophic scars. Keloid scars, which are a common type of hypertrophic scar, can be caused by previous injuries.
DULL & TIRED SKIN
Regardless of skin tone, dull and tired skin will appear with an ashy tint. This could be due to slowing cell regeneration and dead skin buildup. As the skin sheds millions of cells daily in a polluted environment, there is a layer of dead cells and debris that could prevent the skin from reflecting light optimally.
Dull and tired skin is the result of various factors — from air pollution to stress. Unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as a lack of quality sleep and hydration, may also lead to dull skin. Smoking and alcohol, as well as the improper removal of cosmetics, are also notable triggers.
FACIAL VOLUME DEFICIENCY
As we age, our skin gradually loses essential structural components such as collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. We also lose significant amounts of bone and facial fat. The combined loss of these elements results in sagging facial features, wrinkles, and a gaunt, tired appearance.
Ageing is the main case of facial volume deficiency. Other factors that hasten the loss of facial volume are smoking, stress, and extreme dieting. Sun exposure and hormonal changes can also lead to the breakdown of collagen and quality of fat.
SAGGING SKIN (FACE & BODY)
Collagen and elastin are important connective tissues that ensure facial youthfulness. As we age, collagen and elastin begin to break down, resulting in a lack of structural support. Sagging skin can appear as jowls, sad lines, smile lines, wrinkles, and hollowness around the eyes and cheeks.
Apart from ageing, sagging skin can be caused by increased sun exposure, smoking, and a poor skincare regimen. Other factors such as stress and an unhealthy lifestyle are also responsible for the loss of collagen and elastin. Rapid weight gain and loss can result in sagging skin as well.
Body fat excess can be due to being overweight. However, we sometimes also have stubborn fat deposits that that are difficult to shift despite maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise. Stubborn fat tends to be hormonally influenced and accumulates in the belly, hips, and thighs.
Fat excess can be caused by physical factors, such as a diet in unhealthy fats and alcohol. Genetics and a lack of exercise can also play a part in a high body fat percentage. Medical reasons such as Hypothyroidsm, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome, and depression, may also result in an excess of fat.
Cellulite is a condition where lumps and dimples appear on the skin, often around the thighs and derriere. The telltale ‘orange-peel’ appearance of cellulite happens when the skin’s fat deposits are pushed against the connective tissues and protrudes.
Due to the way their connective tissues and fat cells are stored, women have higher chances of developing cellulite. Hormonal imbalances, high levels of insulin, and an unhealthy diet can also lead to cellulite. An inactive lifestyle and smoking will worsen the appearance of cellulite.
Hair excess occurs when there are unwanted amounts of hair that grow on the face and body. While this may be a natural occurrence (such as genetics), many women may experience hair excess due to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), hormonal imbalances, or menopause.
As being overweight may alter the way your body produces hormones, obesity can be the cause of hair excess. Pregnancy, certain medications, and thyroid issues can also result in an excess of unwanted hair. Additionally, this condition can also be caused by sensitive hair follicles.
DARK EYE CIRCLES
Dark eye circles refers to shadows under the eyes that make us look constantly tired and in need of sleep. As the skin gradually loses elasticity, the skin below the eyes becomes thinner. Dark eye circles occur when that thin layer of skin begins to show the body’s blood vessels more clearly.
Causes are often multifactorial, and is often a combination of different issues such as undereye hollowing, pigmentation, ageing, and poor lower eyelid skin texture. Medical conditions such as allergies, sinusitis, eczema and thyroid disorders can also cause dark eye circles. Other factors include poor lifestyle choices, such as excessive alcohol consumption, sleep deprivation, and dietary deficiencies. Treatments for dark eye circles will vary based on the cause.
Stretch marks are streaks that appear on the skin’s surface. They often begin as red or purple, and fade to a light white or beige. While stretch marks are most common where fat is stored, they can appear in areas where the skin has been stretched.
Stretch marks often occur during puberty when teenagers experience growth spurts. They are also common during pregnancies and after rapid weight gain. Genetics may also cause stretch marks, as well as underlying health conditions, such as Cushing’s syndrome.
The appearance of facial veins, or spider veins, is the result of broken capillaries beneath the skin’s surface. While facial veins are not harmful, they may be seen as a cosmetic issue. Women are most prone to facial veins during pregnancy or periods of hormonal shifts.
As ageing and sun exposure weaken the skin, the veins beneath the skin’s surface can become more conspicuous. Skin diseases such as eczema, rosacea, or other inflammatory conditions can also cause spider veins. Lifestyle choices may also affect the way veins function and repair themselves.