Dermatologist Dr. Dolly Gupta for You
There has long been a stigma attached to skin troubles. As skin disorders are often visible to others, those who suffer from such ailments have to bear the brunt of social blemish, as well as the effects of their diseases.
This thought made me put my thinking cap on, and I was again down in a deep conversation with Dr. Dolly Gupta who is a celebrity Dermatologist, Hair Transplant and Cosmetic Surgeon. The energetic expert is a frequent judge and official Skin and Hair specialist in many beauty pageants, lectures, conferences and corporates. In her 12-years of practice, she has successfully assisted multiple celebrities, actors, politicians, sports personalities, singers, media personalities and models.
Last day, we got a bird’s eye view of the mosaic on skin-care regimen, displeasing dark spots and sunscreens as saviours; there is more to come - the galore of glowing skin-care tips awaits your attention. Go ahead, dig in and read on…
Wellness Buddy: Good evening Doctor! I am a Wellness Buddy, and I have come with a few questions in mind. People are quite anxious these days over the incidence of early aging? What are the factors responsible for early aging?
Dr Dolly Gupta: Aging is inevitable. However, one should be aware of the factors which causes aging – intrinsic and extrinsic. The former depends upon the genetic make-up of the individual; it is a natural process and beyond our control. It runs in many families, that people look quite young even at the age of 40-50 years. Again, due to factors like sleep lines, expression lines, etc. females tend to age faster than men. Aging can start as early as in the early twenties.
Whereas the extrinsic factors are concerned, the primary aging factor is the UV radiation from Sun. Other reasons are lifestyle factors like smoking, high alcohol consumption, stress, environmental pollution, chemicals. These factors are proving to be especially detrimental for young people.
WB: Doctor, what are the signs of aging?
Dr Gupta: Wrinkles are one of the major signs of aging. However, even before wrinkles set in, one will observe that their skin is becoming dull, dry and rough and a lot of dark spots appear. Moles and red rashes get frequent; the skin starts becoming thinner in texture. Expression and smile lines becomes deeper and the skin starts to sag eventually. All these appear with time, but if you would notice that young people are developing pigmentation on their skins, these are also signs of aging.
WB: So, how does one reverse the signs of aging? Are there any treatments?
Dr Gupta: First, we have to improve our lifestyles – from the correct sun exposure to the right diet to proper exercise. Reduce stress in your life, don’t work for long hours, get 6-7 hours of good sound sleep. Engage yourself in some activities – sports, dance, meditation, etc.
Coming to the treatment part, keep your face clean, use sunscreens. There are a lot of anti-aging products available these days. You may also opt for procedures like chemical peeling, mesotherapy, microdermabrasion, laser treatment, etc. which are very safe if done by qualified dermatologists. One must always verify the cosmetic surgeon’s credentials and experience before undergoing these treatments because one simply cannot have any room for error in these surgeries.
You must have heard of the term – botox. People have this notion that only celebrities opt for botox. Actually, the reality is today, everyone wants to look beautiful. Botox is one of the safest options with no side-effects. Again, there is a process called fillers which makes the facial skin straight and corrects hollowness, if any.
WB: Doctor, now I would like to raise a topic which is highly relevant in today’s context – pimples & acne.
Dr. Gupta: Everyone is very conscious these days that they do not have any mark on their skin. Acne on skin can severely hamper one’s self-confidence. It psychologically upsets you. If acne is treated at a very early stage, scarring can be restricted. People opt for so many OTC medications and random products that by the time they visit the doctor, a lot of scarring has already happened. So, it is better if these are addressed at the very onset.
Acne often runs in families. One may develop it in their early teens with hormonal changes, can continue till their late-twenties and then it improves. Again, it can happen at a much later stage – we call it late onset acne. One should keep the skin oil-free and scalp dandruff-free all the time. Use the right products – use gel-based formulations. Use products that are non-comedogenic (do not block the skin pores). Do not touch the acne with your fingers or pick at them – it results in scarring, infection and further acne.
These days, acne is also related to common hormonal disorder in women known as PCOD (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Disease). So, prior testing of hormonal levels is important before starting the treatment.
WB: Is there any preventive care for acne? Something that we can do so that they do not develop at all in the first place?
Dr. Gupta: You cannot stop it completely. But, with proper skin-care and precautions like cleaning for dandruff, avoiding junk food and proper exercising, one can reduce the severity of acne.
WB: Often quite strong medications are prescribed for acne. What are the long-run effects of these?
Dr. Gupta: Everything has an effect and a side-effect. If you are taking the medicines, exactly how you have been instructed to take, there will no side-effect. I prescribe medicines basis detailed medical history, various test reports, etc. Side-effects crop up when the patients do not follow up but continue to take the medicines on their own. People often overuse OTC steroid-based medicines, anti-acne creams, fairness creams, etc. which gives instant results but are extremely harmful for the skin – severe pimples, red rashes, extreme sensitivity to sun exposure, etc. will result.
WB: Doctor, there is this fascination with fair skin in our society. Is it possible to actually lighten dark skin tones? In this context, how effective are the claims made by fairness creams?
Dr. Gupta: Fair is not always lovely! I get so many patients who crave for fair skins. It is in our mentality that fair skinned people get more priority everywhere – be it a marriage proposal or job selection.
One thing that I would like to clarify is that there is nothing called fairness treatment. There are products available which you can use on the face, but not on the entire body! The important thing is having a healthy skin, not a fair one!
There are few injections available like glutathione which has created a craze because celebrities are using them for fairness. But, these molecules are not that tested; nobody knows their long term side-effects, plus these treatments are not permanent and highly expensive as well.
However, we do have a lot of options where we can improve the complexion and make the skin glowing.
WB: Talking about healthy skin, along with acne comes acne scars. Can these scars be permanently erased?
Dr. Gupta: Firstly, we should not allow the scars to happen. But, if you have already developed them, please know that no scar can be permanently erased. There are a lot of procedure for removing acne scar, which can reduce it by 40-90%. Chemical peelings, subscision, dermaroller with mesotherapy, surgeries can be done according to how severe the scarring is, the shape and size of the scars.
The treatments continue for an average of 8-10 months with sittings in every 2-3 weeks. We have to stimulate the collagen and elastic tissue so the hollowness of the scars gets filled gradually. This needs around 4-6 weeks to reflect on your skin. Also, scar healing varies from person to person on how religiously you are following the doctor’s instructions.
WB: Doctor, another very common problem these days is under-eye dark circles. Do they also fall under the category of dark spots? How can they be treated?
Dr. Gupta: Yes, they fall under the category of dark spots. We call this condition – periocular melanosis where dark pigmentation occur around the eyes. It is a condition seen more among the young people and in females. There can be many reasons behind this; one is due to hereditary factors, again due to inadequate sleep, you can develop under-eye dark circles. If you wear spectacles and do not change you lenses with the change in power, you put a lot of stress on your eyes while reading. Use of cosmetics to which you are allergic or exposure to dust may develop allergies and pigmentation. Frequent eye rubbing can also result in dark spots around the eyes. Anemia and nutritional deficiency can also be the causal factors.
There are many procedures through which this can be treated in 2-3 sittings and with each sitting, you can see visible changes. Sometimes people have hollowness under their eyes which creates the impression of under-eye dark circles; treatment for these are different. Fillers are used here; these are very minor, safe and painless procedures.
WB: Finally Doctor, if you would share with us some tips on skin-care that is inspired by your vast years of experience. Tips which are unique and innovative in itself...
Dr. Gupta: The basic skin-care that everybody should follow is the proper cleansing of the face; do it twice – morning and night. If your skin is too oily, you can do it more often, but it should be with the right product. Go to your doctor first, you must know your skin-type and only then select the skin products. Right after cleansing when the skin is wet, apply moisturizer because this way you skin would sty hydrated by absorbing a lot of water. Sunscreen must be applied religiously. The anti-aging creams should be started as soon as the twenties. This is compulsory for everyone.
WB: That was truly insightful, Doctor! Thank you so much for sparing your precious time and sharing your valuable knowledge with us.
So, this was my, the Wellness Buddy’s time with the learned Doctor. I gathered a lot of information from the expert whose words were rich with years of practice and experience. I left the doctor’s Rashbehari chamber with a deep sense of purpose in mind to keep myself and my surroundings clean at all times – hygiene is the key.
They say, nothing can beat a strong sense of purpose but for this to hold good, our actions need to be in sync with our aims at all times. Next week, we will share an open letter with you – a letter written by one friend to another. The letter will surely stir a chord in your heart; it will show you how some random, bad habits can ruin our bigger purposes in life. Habits that start off small but then go ahead to take over our lives; habits as ‘normal’ as smoking and chewing tobacco.
Stay tuned for more!