Dermatology series: anti-ageing
While it's pretty clear than conditions like skin cancer and acne will be treated in the same way no matter who your dermatologist is, there are other areas where diagnosis is more bespoke. The one we're looking at this week is hotly debated among women: anti-ageing.
There is a lot of pressure on ladies to maintain smooth, tight skin even as they get older, which can cause a few different outcomes. Some choose to embrace their changing appearance wholeheartedly, while others dive headfirst into the myriad treatments available. And there really are a lot. This week we've spoken to several dermatologists to see what anti-ageing options are out there.
"Botox and fillers remain the number one cosmetic treatments. We have become more expert in these treatments and can create treatments according to patient requirements.
My philosophy is ‘make it as natural a look as possible’ – definitely not Barbie dolls with plastic faces!" Dr Sohail Mansoor, Consultant Dermatologist and BMI Kings Oak Hospital in Enfield, told Cover Media.
"It is always important to challenge your physician for evidence behind any new therapies and to understand the associated risks. It is also important to take regular exercise, eat healthily, don’t smoke and protect your skin against the sun."
If the thought of Botox fills you with dread, perhaps a combination treatment would be more appropriate. Dr Toni Phillips, Clinical Director at DestinationSkin, likes to offer her clients several different anti-ageing methods in one.
"We find that the best results for anti-ageing can be found through a combination of treatments - including injectables, laser or IPL, dermaroller and skin peels," she explained. "The latest technology for anti-ageing uses tiny beams of laser to resurface the skin and stimulate new collagen production with little to no downtime."
It's easy to presume that visiting a professional is going to give you a better outcome than anything you could do at home, but that's not necessarily the case. Dr Walayat Hussain, Consultant Dermatologist at Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital, believes certain creams can help turn back the years - but it all depends on the ingredients. He advises going for retinoids (vitamin A) as they help rejuvenate skin, and reminds that using sunblock and not smoking will also pay dividends in the long term.
If you're itching to try the next big thing even before it's been discovered, Dr Gabriela at Aesthetics Lab has a tip. She is convinced molecular water is going to be the next big thing in skincare because of its intense hydration properties.
"Molecular water are micro-molecules of water so small they are able to penetrate the skin cell membrane and hydrate the skin at a cellular level promoting cellular renewal and collagen synthesis," she explained.
"Molecular water does not aggravate the skin like some ingredients but rather promotes cellular metabolism through a natural process (osmosis). This makes the products suitable for most skin types and skin conditions."
Infusing molecular water into the skin cell stimulates blood flow, which can help with collagen production. This means we can target areas which need more collagen (for example where there are wrinkles or hyperpigmentation) with the water and so improve their appearance.