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ASK AN EXPERT: Dr Abhijit Desai Fields All Your Skincare Woes

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Sure, Google’s your online doctor. And sure sometimes you’ve done sooo much research that you may assume that you know it all. What’s worse is at times, you even go ahead and prescribe what you preach. Well, that’s where we draw the line. You may have heard doctors say, ‘don’t be your own doctor.’ Reasonably so. Which is precisely why we pulled a favor and got 5 minutes with Dr. Abhijit Desai. Beauty Book did the needful by asking all your commonly asked questions before things go downhill.

Mumbai’s most celebrated dermatologists cuts the frills and gives you the real picture on everything skincare.

Beauty Book: I have combination skin. I have an oily T Zone but the rest of my skin is dry. What skincare regime should I follow?”

Abhijit Desai: “You will have to use an oil-control cleaner for the T zone and apply a regular moisturizer meant for normal skin on the rest of your face. If it starts feeling dry after a few hours, you can reapply it. For the T Zone use a specifically designed face wash such as Cetaphil Oily Skin Cleanser or Sebamed Clear Face Cleansing Foam.”

Beauty Book: Do we need to use a moisturizer if we have acne?

Abhijit Desai: “Ordinarily you don’t need to, but if you are in a dry and cold climate, you might need to. Try Acne Moist, Sebamed Clear Face Care Gel or Emolene to moisturize your skin after using a face wash designed for acne-prone skin.”

Beauty Book: Can dandruff cause acne on the neck and back?

Abhijit Desai: “This is one of those myths that grow with every passing month. There is no connection between acne and dandruff. The fact is that oil glands are active on the face, back and chest and if you have an oily skin, chances are you will also get occasional breakouts on your back. The treatment options include using a good scrub to exfoliate the dead skin calls on your back. Removing these cells unclogs pores and keeps you acne-free. Microdermabrasion is an option for mild acne. Once the acne has cleared, it’s a good idea to have a monthly exfoliation to keep the area clean.”

Beauty Book: I am weary about using allopathic anti-acne creams. Are herbal creams effective?

Abhijit Desai: “The issue with over-the-counter anti-acne creams like Clearasil and Clean and Clear or herbal acne creams is that the concentration of the effective ingredients is so minute that they can’t eradicate the problem from its roots. Herbal creams often contain natural anti-inflammatory ingredients such as turmeric and do reduce the redness and size of pimples but are rarely effective in rooting out the problem.”

Beauty Book: People tell me that when I get married my acne will go away. Is that true?

Abhijit Desai: “It has been seen that pregnancy, not marriage, may improve or worsen acne. This again is a hormone-driven response. There is, however, no research paper on the effect of the placental hormone on acne. I would also advise you to steer clear of unproven lines of treatment like stem cell therapy to treat acne. There is no evidence that it can help.”

Beauty Book: A friend told me about the latest craze, a Vampire Face Lift, to treat acne scars. Is it effective?

Abhijit Desai: “Please do your homework before agreeing to try out an unproven treatment regime. There has been no FDA approval for this treatment. If your dermatologist suggests it first satisfy yourself by asking for literature supporting its claims, ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures and other similar evidence. Surf the net and you’ll find scores of dis-satisfied people who have spent thousands of rupees on this unproven treatment. Remember, new is not always better.”

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