Skin Problems Banished!

Posted on: July 6th, 2011 by Thamar Houliston
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Age brings with it wisdom, confidence… and a host of skin concerns. Read on to find relief for the problems you’re likely to be struggling with right now and how to prevent those on the horizon…


  1. In Your Twenties
  2. In Your Thirties…
  3. In Your Forties…

In Your Twenties

Primary Skin Issues: Acne and oiliness Let's get the bad news out of the way – late onset adult acne is on the rise. This means an increasing number of us will face first-date breakouts well into our twenties. While many skin types are prone to acne owing to genetics, a hormonal imbalance (namely progesterone) is also a common culprit, explains WH skin expert and specialist dermatologist Dr Dagmar Whitaker. Food can also be a factor, explains Allem. "High-gylcaemic food, dairy and even soya can cause acne, so I recommend a diet with lean protein and choosing low-fat food and good fats (like avocado) instead," she says. Your Cure: Popping the Pill may offer a lasting solution, but it could also make your skin more susceptible to pigmentation. "Hormonal changes can trigger an overproduction of melanin, resulting in patchy colour changes," warns Allem. An oral antibiotic formulated for acne is another option, but you can become resistant to it if you take it for six months or more, she adds. In severe cases, Allem recommends the drug Roaccutane, but this can only be prescribed by a dermatologist. And there are side effects from dehydrated skin to serious stuff like severe birth deffects if you're pregnant. "I’ve seen success using photodynamic therapy with ALA. This non-invasive treatment combines red light with the photosensitising solution ALA to reduce excessive oil gland cells," she says. It may be just what you need to turn your skin around, but you could experience mild redness and discomfort, and will need to avoid the sun for 48 hours. (Visit www.skinrenewal.co.za for a treatment facility in your area.) Prevention Plan: For your thirties It’s easier to prevent pigmentation (or chloasma) from forming in the first place than treating it once it’s there. UV rays and contraceptive hormones are the common causes no matter what your skin tone, so choose an alternative form of birth control if you can – and never leave home without a high-factor sunscreen, says Dr Whitaker. For your forties: Wrinkles may be the last thing on your mind, but from the age of 25 skin starts to produce less collagen, the protein that gives our skin its structure. "Check out how other family members are ageing; if they've got wrinkles, you're likely going to get them too," says Allem. There are treatment creams that are quite safe to use in your twenties, but as to when you need to start using one, it's totally up to the individual, explains Schulte.


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