GENERAL SKIN CARE MYTHS

Myth: Exfoliation is an essential part of skin care regime.

Fact: Exfoliation is not an essential part of skin care regime.

Your skin is living tissue, which begins growing from the lower layer and is gradually pushed and shed automatically over a period of a few weeks from the skin surface. Simple gentle soap water bath is normally enough for most individuals and there is simply no need for you to try and exfoliate your skin. Let your dermatologist decide whether you need any exfoliation procedures.

Myth: It is important to check the type of wash you use.

Fact: It does not matter too much as to which wash you use.

A bewildering variety of soaps, syndet bars, lotions, body washes are available to clean your skin. You don’t need to be very choosy. Simply use any one that suits your skin. People with dry and allergic skin need to be more careful and require non irritating, milder products. Avoid using ‘antibacterial’ or so called ‘medicated soaps’, since all these ‘medications’ are going to be washed off anyway along with the rinsing action. Don’t expect to kill any bugs in this fashion.

Myth: Oily skin needs to be moisturized every day.

Fact: Oily skin may not need moisturizing.

You may have active sebaceous glands on the central part of your face causing oiliness. However, the rest of your skin may be dry. Apply moisturizers after baths on the dry areas. On the oily parts of your skin, you can skip the moisturizer and simply wash gently to keep the oil away.

Myth: Natural medicines are safer because they do not contain chemicals.

Fact: Most natural medicines contain many unknown chemicals of unknown significance.

More than $1 billion and over 12.5 years of painstaking work by scores of scientists are typically required to evaluate just one potential new chemical for medicinal use. Only a few chemicals pass through these very stringent series of scientific tests before they are carefully released for human use. It is a common practice in India to use many other unscientific medications. These purportedly safe, harmless and natural medicines are often concoctions of unknown chemicals (yes, chemicals!) that do not pass through any such rigorous testing, leaving serious doubts about their efficacy and safety.

Myth: Acne is just skin deep.

Fact: Acne is often driven by hormones.

Obtaining a flawless skin over a few months is actually quite easy under the supervision of any good dermatologist. However, acne is driven by hormones and that is why seen mostly in teenagers and young adults. Some patients may have associated oily skin, weight gain, menstrual irregularities, hair loss and excessive hair on the chin. All this may point to internal hormonal issues which your dermatologist may detect and investigate.

Myth: Drinking lots of water results in beautiful skin.

Fact: Drinking excess water does not help.

Inadequate water consumption can severely affect the proper functioning of your internal organs and your body as a whole. It is extremely essential to drink sufficient water to facilitate the proper functioning of your body and to ensure a healthy glow in your skin. However, you should also remember that drinking excess water does nothing extra for your skin.

Myth: Skin Brightening Creams Give Fairer Skin.

Fact: Skin brightening creams can be harmful.

Fairness creams have long been accused of being discriminatory and racist, but what is a lesser known fact about the billion dollar industry is that they can land you with far more serious problems. Many of these creams contain harmful compounds, which can permanently damage your skin and also your internal organs.Prescription creams from your pharmacy are meant to be used only under medical supervision and misuse by self medication can land you in serious trouble. Don’t use medicines on your own, even if you are a doctor!

Myth: Sunscreens are essential for everybody.

Fact: Sunscreens are recommended to prevent skin cancers.

Sunscreens were developed and are recommended internationally to prevent skin cancers. Chances are that you use your sunscreen for another less serious reason: you want to prevent a tan and want your skin to remain fairer. If this is the case, use a broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen, which protects against both UVA and UVB radiation and also probably against sweat. You need to apply at least an ounce (30 ml) every 2 hours on exposed areas of your skin. Applying this entire amount so frequently in a hot, muggy, climate may not be very comfortable and it will most likely pinch your pocket. You could consider using hats, umbrellas and sun-protective clothing instead.

LASER MYTHS

Myth: lasers expose you to radiation.

Fact: lasers are safe since they use light and not harmful ionising radiation. In fact, normal sunlight contains more radiation that triggers cancer than most modern medical lasers.

Myth: lasers are harmful to health.

Fact: laser light penetrates only 1-4 mm into the skin. That is why during laser hair removal procedures only superficial hair roots are destroyed since light cannot reach even till the deeper hair roots. And therefore, certainly, cannot reach or affect any deeper organ in the body.

Myth: lasers can cause burns.

Fact: all modern lasers use the theory of selective photo-thermolysis formulated at the famous Harvard medical school. This basically means that laser light acts likes magic bullets and specifically searches and destroys only the intended target. Thus, for example, lasers using green light will be absorbed only by the red colour in blood vessels. Abnormal blood vessels in birth marks, in broken veins or even within the eyes in diabetics can thus be removed very safely. Just like with any other technology, side effects can happen but chances of burns are minimal with good machines in expert hands.

Myth: laser hair reduction hurts.

Fact: with proper use of scientific methods, during treatments, there is only a feeling of a bit of warmth or of a pin prick sensations. A very occasional patient, especially for sensitive areas like bikini or underarm areas, requires the use of topical anesthetic cream before treatment.

Myth: lasers cause thinning of the skin.

Fact: lasers actually causes thickening of skin after treatments. Skin is living tissue and the controlled gentle heating in the dermis due to laser treatment induces new collagen and elastin formation, replacing the older damaged tissue. That is why lasers have a rejuvenating effect, reducing wrinkles and causing the skin to become plumper. Of course, your laser physician should have a thorough knowledge of laser physics to achieve the desired results.

Myth: lasers are expensive.

Fact: in the long run, it costs more to use razors, waxing, foams, etc. To keep your skin smoothing traditional hair removal methods. Moreover, these methods need to continue lifelong and are tedious and painful. In contrast, with just a few painless sessions over a few months, permanent hair reduction can be achieved with lasers.

Myth: lasers are unnecessary

Fact: there are many medical problems for which lasers are indispensable. There are no medications or creams which can permanently remove unwanted hair, remove scars, birthmarks, tattoos, varicose veins, port-wine stains. Laser technology is similarly indispensable for many other internal medical conditions.

Myth: lasers cause cancers.

Fact: lasers are actually used to remove skin and other cancers. Laser light does not contain wavelengths which trigger cancers.

Myth: stopping laser treatment can cause skin to deteriorate.

Fact: lasers actually cause skin rejuvenation. By aligning and tightening tissue they make the skin appear younger. Of course, the ageing process will continue each year. That is why even after a few sessions, some persons opt for long-term regular maintenance treatment to keep the skin youthful.

Myth: all laser treatments are the same.

Fact: no two lasers machines are exactly the same. Also, no two lasers experts are exactly the same. For optimal results, the laser machines have to be reliable. More importantly, your dermatologist should not only have in-depth knowledge of human skin but also needs to have special expertise and sound knowledge of lasers physics.