Rhinophyma – useful information

  • Rhinophyma is a swelling of the nose. As it progresses, the nose becomes red, swollen at the tip and develops a ‘bumpy’ appearance that changes its shape.  The swelling develops because scar tissue is formed and sebaceous glands (sweat glands) become enlarged.
  • Rhinophyma is mostly seen in association with Rosacea-a red rash that affects the skin of the cheeks and front of face. Rhinophyma typically develops in people who have had rosacea for many years but although Rosacea affects more women than men, Rhinophyma affects more men than women.
  • There is no clear link between Rhinophyma and excessive alcohol consumption, although alcohol can be a trigger for Rosacea.

There is no cure for Rhinophyma but there are treatments for it that can offer effective control.

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Melasma: What is it and what can I do about it?

Melasma is a common skin condition in adults in which light to dark brown or greyish patches of pigmentation develop mainly on facial skin.  It is most common in women, especially during pregnancy.  However, it can affect men (up to 10% of people with melisma are male).  It usually becomes more noticeable during Summer months (due to sunlight) and improves during Winter months.  It is not an allergy.  It is not caused by a particular food type.  It is not contagious and it does not develop into cancer.

The exact cause of melisma is not known, but it is thought that it is related to hormones, including the contraceptive pill and pregnancy hormones.  Sunlight worsens it.  It is not hereditary although it tends to be worse in family members.

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Don’t Forget Your Hands!

Many of us put a lot of time and effort into protecting the skin on our faces from the signs of aging.  Its important, however, not to forget the skin on our hands. For most people, the skin on our hands is exposed to just as much sunlight as the skin on our faces causing it to age just as much as the face.

However, in addition, the skin in our hands comes into to contact with soap detergents, shampoos and other household chemicals much more frequently, causing the skin to appear thin and dry and older than it should.

Any good skin care regime should involve the hands as well as the face. Otherwise, while the skin on the face may look pristine, the skin on your hands can give you away.

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Things to try when acne wont clear

  1. Stop touching your face: Popping a pimple may feel like you’re helping acne to go away more quickly but in fact it can make things worse.  Every time you touch your face, pick at or ‘pop’ a pimple you could be making your acne worse.
  2. Be patient: Acne treatments, every the very best ones, take time to work.  Give your treatment at least 4-5 weeks to work and usually best results are seen by about 12 weeks.  For this reason, if you have a special event coming up eg wedding/debs, don’t wait until the last minute to treat your acne.  Talk to your doctor and plan it well in advance.
  3. Don’t scrub your face: Acne has nothing to do with personal hygiene and scrubbing your face hard wont help, it may actually make things worse as scrubbing can irritate acne-prone skin.  Instead, use a gentle cleanser, wash with warm (not hot) water, and after wshing, tone your skin with cold water.  Wash at least twice a day, especially if you’ve been wearing make-up.
  4. Take a look at the products you use: Some skin care products can clog up pores making acne worse.  Always check the packaging and look for labels that say non-comedogenic, oil-free and non-acnegenic.
  5. Get good advice: Sometimes getting rid of acne requires professional help.  Some of the most effective acne treatment products are only available on prescription and must be prescribed by a doctor.  Your doctor can formulate a treatment plan tailored specifically for you.  Follow the treatment plan carefully.  Missing out on one part of a treatment plan may make the entire plan ineffective.
  6. Stay out of the sun and away from tanning beds: While tanning damages your skin all by itself, in addition, some acne medication can make the skin very sensitive to UV light, causing redness and discomfort.  Also, never forget that regular use of sunbeds can increase your risk of melanoma by up to 70%.  Just keep away from sunbeds.
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Taking care of Mens Skin

Although all skin is basically the same there are some differences between men and womens skin.

  1. Texture: Higher levels of testosterone cause mens skin to be about 25% thicker than womens.
  2. Collagen: Men naturally have more collagen than women.  Loss of collagen over time can give rise to the appearance of aging, so in theory at least, mens skin shouldn’t age as quickly as womens.
  3. Acne: Men produce more sebum (a naturally occurring skin oil) than women.  This can clog up pores and may explain why boys suffer from acne more than girls and why boys acne tends to last longer than girls.

There are some extra tips men can take to keep their skin in good condition.

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Aging skin

Aging is inevitable but there are things you can do to protect your skin as you grow older.   Aging skin typically will have more wrinkles and sunspots (lentigines).  Sun spots are flat brown marks seen on the skin, most often on the face and hands.

How early and quickly you develop wrinkles and sun spots depends on a number of factors:  your genetics and family history, your skin type, your lifestlyle and your lifetime exposure to sun and indoor tanning beds.

You cant change your genetics or your skin type but there is a lot you can do to minimise the effects of aging on your skin.

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What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a very common, long-term skin condition that mostly affects fair-skinned people aged 40-60 years old.  It affects men more than women.  It varies in severity over time-some days rosacea may be worse than others.

Rosacea can be seen as a rash that affects the central face.  People with Rosacea may find that they blush easily and frequently, the face can be red, there may be tiny broken veins present on the skin.  The skin may also be dry, flaky and sensitive and in some cases, there are red pustules and papules present.  When these are present, it is sometimes referred to as Acne Rosacea.

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