Open Pores

Open pores look like small pits, giving your skin a dimpled appearance similar to an orange peel and they impart an irregular, dull and aged look to your face.

Description:

Open pores on your cheeks, nose, and forehead can appear larger as you age, as well as when they are blocked. Any skin type, whether it’s oily, normal, or dry, can take on the appearance of having large, open pores. These may give your skin a dull appearance, particularly if they’re clogged with dirt, bacteria, oil, or dead skin cells.

Pores cannot be opened or closed. Often, when people say they wish to open their pores, what they’re referring to is a deep cleaning to remove excess oil and debris. This may make open pores look as if they’ve shrunk or closed.

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You can't get rid of open pores, nor would you want to. You can, however, reduce their look and improve your skin's appearance. While skin doesn't technically breathe the way our lungs do, it does require open pores to keep you cool and to eliminate dead skin cells so that new cells can grow.

Keeping skin clean, and avoiding the sun, are two of the best ways you can reduce the appearance of open pores. Treatments are available that can make your pores look smaller, giving you the appearance of healthier and more vibrant skin.

Steaming, Masks, Exfoliating, and Chemical Peels work well at cleansing the pores of oil, dead skin cells, and debris. Whilst Laser treatments work best at rejuvenating collagen production and may be most effective for large pores caused by aging or sun damage.

Melasma

Melasma is a common skin condition which brown or greyish patches of pigmentation develop, usually on the face.

Melasma Square

Description:

Melasma, also known as chloasma and the mask of pregnancy, is a common skin condition which presents with light to dark brown or greyish patches of pigmentation on the face affecting the cheeks, forehead, upper lip, nose and chin, usually in a symmetrical manner. The name comes from melas, the Greek word for black. It is more common in women, especially pregnant women, and people with darker skin-types who live in sunny climates. However, it can affect men and all ethnic origins.

Melasma usually becomes more noticeable in the summer and improves during the winter months. It is not an infection therefore it is not contagious and it is not due to an allergy. It is not cancerous and will not develop into skin cancer.

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The exact cause is unknown, but several factors can contribute. These include pregnancy, hormonal drugs such as the oral contraceptive pill, and medical conditions that affect hormone levels. Sunshine and the use of sun-beds can make the tendency to melasma worse.

There is no known cure for melasma, but there are several treatment options that may improve the appearance. If melasma occurs during pregnancy, it may resolve a few months after delivery and treatment may not be necessary.

Rosacea

Rosacea is a long-term skin condition that mainly affects the face. It's more common in women and people with lighter skin, but is often worse in men.

Description:

Rosacea is a chronic, episodic and progressive inflammatory vascular disorder that affects up to 10% of the adult population. Rosacea sufferers typically experience flushing and show signs of diffuse redness of the cheeks, chin, nose and forehead which is temporary at first, but as the condition progresses this redness can become permanent, blemishes and pustules may also appear.

In the most serious cases of Rosacea, skin can thicken and excess tissue can form. This usually affects the nose and is known as Rhinophyma, it makes the nose look large and bulbous and can give people the mistaken impression that sufferers are alcoholics. This can affect sufferers psychologically as well as physically.

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The exact cause of Rosacea is unknown, however, experts have identified a number of factors that connect sufferers. For example, the prevalence of Rosacea is highest among fair-skinned individuals, particularly those of Celtic and northern European descent.

The onset of the disorder usually begins between the ages of 20 and 50 years. Females are affected more than males but women are more likely to experience symptoms on the cheeks and chin. When it does affect males, they are more likely to progress to the end stages of severe Rosacea when Rhinophyma may occur.

The papules and pustules that appear are similar in appearance to those in acne-prone skin, and in fact Rosacea used to be called Acne Rosacea, but the two conditions differ. In Rosacea there are no blocked pores, the skin is more likely to be dry than greasy and Rosacea spots don't leave scars.

Couperose-prone skin (also known as Couperosa) is also a Sensitised skin condition so it too includes unpleasant sensations such as stinging and burning and is typified by redness, dryness and sensitivity. The redness is a result of dilated blood vessels which, due to the skin's weakened elasticity, expand when there is a rush of blood to the skin but do not contract afterwards as would happen in normal skin.

Couperose-prone skin can come and go in its early stages but, as it progresses to more advanced stages the redness can become permanently visible on the skin.

Red skin from hypersensitivity differs from everyday blushing as it lasts considerably longer (hours, days or even months) and the redness may not improve until the skin is treated.

Like Rosacea, Couperose-prone skin can be caused by a number of factors including age, genetics and diet, and both conditions are made worse by certain triggers, which can vary from person to person. Avoiding triggers is the best way to minimise symptoms, and the most common include:

  • Environmental factors such exposure to hot and cold temperatures, wind, sun, humidity and pollution (including cigarette smoke) as well as pollen and car emissions.
  • Psychological factors such as anger or stress. Stress hormones such as adrenaline trigger inflammatory processes in skin.
  • External factors such as certain fragrances, detergents and topical medicines (including cortisone creams) as well as hot baths, strenuous exercise, alcohol and spicy foods. Clothing can also have a detrimental effect courtesy of skin-irritating dyes and chemicals impregnated into clothing, as well as synthetic and non-iron materials containing chemicals such as formaldehyde, which can trigger skin irritation and allergies.
  • Mechanical factors such as pressure or abrasion on the skin.

Avoiding known triggers is the best way to minimise the symptoms of both Couperose-prone skin and Rosacea.

Rosacea - Diffuse redness appears on the cheeks, chin, nose and forehead.

Severe Rosacea  - Can lead to rhinophyma, a thickening of the skin on the nose.

Couperose - Is a permanently pink complexion with diffused redness across the neck, nose and cheeks

Texture

Uneven texture/dull skin is commonly a result of excess dead skin cells that build up on the surface of the skin. This can make areas of the skin feel rough or bumpy to the touch, and can also give the skin a dull, lackluster appearance.

Description:

Perfectly smooth skin is something we all want, but textural issues such as rough thick skin and dry patches can be common concerns for everyone.

The environment plays a key role in our skin texture, with dirt, chemicals, pollution and sun exposure all playing a part in stripping the skin of its natural water, collagen, and elasticity. Sun damage, smoking, dehydration, and a poor skin-care regimen are major factors in the appearance of dull and uneven skin. Excess oil in the skin can often disrupt the skin’s natural shedding process, resulting in an accumulation of dead skin cells. This can make areas of the skin feel rough or bumpy to the touch, and can also give the skin a dull, lackluster appearance.

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Cell build-up, can also occur as natural part of aging process, due to a decrease in collagen production. As we age, the production of collagen naturally decreases and skin cells lose the ability to retain firmness, moisture and tone in the same way. From our late 30s, hormonal changes start to affect skin and hydration can take a hit, which can all contribute to the appearance of dry, rougher skin.

Unwanted Tattoos

There is nothing worse than the feeling when you’re stuck with a tattoo that you might have once thought was a good idea, but have later come to regret your impulsive decision.

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Choosing a tattoo design is a big commitment and as the years go by, our style and tastes can change, meaning you might be left regretting your tattoo. Common reasons include the design being poorly executed, a change in personal taste, or having the name of a partner tattooed who is no longer on the scene.

When your skin is tattooed, ink is injected deep into the dermis (the lower layers of the skin). The particles making up the ink are quite large, so once they have been injected they cannot be broken down by your body easily and are effectively permanent.

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Although most tattoos can be faded effectively, there is no guarantee of complete clearance. The distinct qualities of each tattoo dictate the behaviour and varying responses to laser treatment.

The quality of the ink, the colour, the quantity and density of the pigment used, all dictate the degree to which the tattoo will respond. Small, dark amateur tattoos using low-quality ink respond better than the high-quality dense ink of different colours found in professional tattoos.

Fungal Nail

Toenail fungus is an infection that gets in through cracks in your nail or cuts in your skin. It can make your toenail change colour or get thicker.

Description:

Nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis is a common condition that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolour, thicken and crumble at the edge.

Fungi thrive in moist, warm environments and when given these ideal conditions, they can naturally overpopulate. This is often characterised as fungal infections such as jock itch, athlete’s foot and ringworm. The same fungus which causes these infections can then continue to cause nail infections. When the fungi overgrows in, under, or on the nail, you will suffer from a fungal nail infection.

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Anti-fungal creams and powders must be obtained from your GP or Pharmacist

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Fungal nail infections can also be caused by walking barefoot in places where they can be spread easily such as communal showers, changing rooms and gyms or from damage to your nails from sports injuries and the like.

It is notoriously difficult to treat. Traditional treatments with medication and topical creams have limited success.

When left untreated, they can not only look unpleasant, but also spread to other nails causing further issues.

Excess Hair

We all have hair on almost every part of our bodies, but some people have more than others. This can be embarrassing, distressing and difficult to manage, for both men and women.

Description:

Excess hair refers to unwanted body and facial hair. We all have hair on almost every part of our bodies, but some people have more than others. This can be embarrassing, distressing and difficult to manage, for both men and women. Excess hair may be caused by increased production of a group of hormones called androgens. They are produced by both men and women - men just have more of them. These chemicals play a role in the development of male traits including male-pattern hair growth and loss.

In women, excess hair is often referred to as hirsutism, which is often thicker and coarser than normal. The hair may develop in areas where you'd typically expect to see it on men, such as the upper lip, chin, chest, tummy, lower back, bottom and thighs.

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In pre-menopausal women, a common cause of hirsutism is polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition which causes irregular periods and cysts on the ovaries.

Other possible causes for hirsutism can include hormonal conditions, side-effect of certain medications, obesity, and even simply getting older can lead to more hair to pluck, especially after the menopause. However, sometimes excess hair growth has no identifiable cause; this tends to be more common in skin types from a Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and South Asian background. It can also be hereditary.

If you suspect that your hair growth is abnormal, it is best to consult your doctor as it may be a symptom of another problem.

Acne Scarring

Scars can appear as mild discoloration or thick skin with pitting or uneven texture.

Description:

Acne scarring can sometimes develop as a complication of acne. Any type of acne spot can lead to scarring, but it's more common when the most serious types of spots (nodules and cysts) burst and damage nearby skin. Some people are left with pigmentation (darker or lighter patches of skin) after their blemishes have healed, and some may be left with pitted facial scarring, where the skin appears uneven and dimpled.

Inflamed blemishes or acne such as cysts, papules and pustules can result in pitted acne scarring. This is because the cysts form on the bottom layers of the skin and when the cyst has healed it leaves behind a gap between the skin’s layers. The upper layers of skin above ‘sink’ to fill the gap, causing a pitted, dimpled appearance.

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Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or dark marks (also known as macular scars) left behind after acne has healed are caused by a build-up of melanin in the skin. They aren’t strictly ‘scars’ as they aren’t usually permanent, however, they may take months or even years to disappear altogether without treatment.

People with dark skin tones are more susceptible to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Scarring can also occur if you pick or squeeze your spots, so it's important not to do this.

There are 3 main types of acne scars:

Ice pick scars – small, deep holes in the surface of your skin that look like the skin has been punctured with a sharp object.

Rolling scars – caused by bands of scar tissue that form under the skin, giving the surface of the skin a rolling and uneven appearance.

Box scars – round or oval depressions, or craters, in the skin.

Lips & Eyes

Fine lines caused by muscle movement. Dark circles, and puffiness.

Description:

The term ‘dull skin’ or ‘lacklustre skin’ usually refers to tired-looking which has lost its natural glow. Lips can sometimes appear too thin, unbalanced or have lines and wrinkles. While some people may have naturally thin lips, they can also be a sign of ageing, sun exposure or a result from smoking. As you get older the collagen in your lips breaks down and the muscles tire, leaving your lips looking and feeling thinner.

Dark circles and puffy eye bags, are often hereditary conditions caused by loss of fat volume under the eye.  In certain ethnic groups the dark circles are caused by ethnic pigmentation. Lines are caused by laughing, concentrating, squinting or frowning; whenever your face muscles contract.

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After years of frequent contractions, combined with environmental and lifestyle factors - such as exposure to sunshine, smoking or pollution - lines, wrinkles, dark circles and bags begin to form around your eyes, leaving them looking tired.

Dark circles - A dark, almost bruise-like crescent underneath each eye.

Puffiness - Swollen, fluidy skin underneath and above the eye area.

Fine lines and wrinkles - Crepey skin on the eyelids and under the eyes.

Sagging skin - Droopy skin which may pull the eyelid downwards, making the eyes look sleepy.

Dull, Dehydrated Skin

Skin lacking luminosity which feels dry to the touch.

Description:

The term ‘dull skin’ or ‘lacklustre skin’ usually refers to tired-looking which has lost its natural glow.

Dehydrated skin is sometimes discussed synonymously with dry skin. However, these are two different phenomena.

Dehydrated skin means that your skin is lacking water. It can be dry and itchy and perhaps dull looking, too. Your overall tone and complexion may appear uneven, and fine lines are more noticeable.

While dehydrated skin can be a nuisance, it’s relatively easy to treat with the right lifestyle changes. Treatment begins from the inside out to replenish and maintain hydration throughout your body.

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  • Active Lotion
  • SPF 40 or Tinted SPF 40
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Dehydrated skin can appear dry, but it's not the same as having a dry skin type. While dehydrated skin lacks water, dry skin lacks natural oils (sebum). Also, dry skin is a skin type, while dehydration is considered a condition. Skin types are classified as normal, dry, combination, and oily. You’re usually born with one type of skin, but it may change with age and season.

When you have dry skin, your sebaceous glands don’t produce enough natural oils. Your skin usually needs help with added hydration via emollient creams to protect from further moisture loss. At its definition, dehydration means that your body is losing more water than it’s taking in. Aside from not drinking enough water, this can be related to increased urination from caffeine or diuretics. It may also occur from lots of sweating from exercise. And even from incorrect use of cosmetic products.

Unlike dry skin, dehydration can cause the following symptoms:

  • Itchiness
  • Dullness
  • Darker under-eye circles
  • Sunken eyes
  • “Shadows” around the face (especially under the eyes and around your nose)
  • Increased incidence or appearance of fine lines and surface wrinkles.