Agonising acne, tress troubles, love handles and boob consciousness... The fret list is endless

Shilpi Kakkar

Shilpi Kakkar speaks to experts offering some much sought-after advice

When Acne Attacks: Face it!

Everyone likes to murmur “fabulous genes” when they sport smooth and supple skin. Get real! Everyone has bad skin days, ranging from their early teen years to post menopause. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), laser treatments, your period, and new creams or make-up could all cause acne.

Feed your face

Exercise regularly, eat healthy. Avoid excessive white carbohydrates (pizza, pasta, bread etc.). Have adequate protein in fat-free milk/yogurt, sprouts, chicken and fish, together with fresh fruits and salads. Increase your water intake.
“Use a facewash with salicylic acid or Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHAs) only twice a day. Excessive use will bring in “rebound excessive oiliness”, explains Dr Rekha Sheth.

Do not pluck pimples or blot them using a quickfix like toothpaste. “This is likely to burn your skin and cause a blemish that will take ages to clear,” warns Dr Sheth.

Stop your hands from straying to your face. “Your hands might be full of bacteria,” cautions dermatologist Dr Swati Srivastava. “Applying face packs containing tea tree oil helps reduce acne.”

Hair Today. Gone Tomorrow!

As the years roll by, most of us experience a dip in strand count. Hereditary, hormonal imbalances, anaemia and extreme dieting are common causes of hair loss, as are hairstyles such as high ponytails, braids, dreadlocks, hair extensions and regular roller use.

Tress relief

Deficiency of Vitamins B and C, iron, protein, or aggressive diets cause hair fall. Vitamin A (red, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, greens, liver, eggs, milk and fish oil) encourages hair growth, while a deficiency causes dandruff. Vitamin B (whole grains, cereals, and legumes) produces stronger red blood cells. Vitamin C and folic acid (orange juice, beetroot, broccoli and liver) boost hair health.
Cut out caffeine and alcohol.

Acupuncture and scalp massages stimulate follicle growth, as do sleep, exercise, yoga or meditation. Weight training and aerobic exercises release endorphins, creating a positive state of mind. Deep breathing purifies blood and carries nutrients and oxygen to the scalp, improving hair growth.

Love Handles and Thunder Thighs?

Thunder thighs and love handles appear indifferent sometimes to the amount of diet control and focused exercise hours you put in. When sweating it out for hours in the gym, in the pool and on the tennis court...fails to bring in results, there are other ways to zap that flab.

Suck it up

“Liposuction is not the procedure of choice for weight loss, nor should it be, as it is a body contouring procedure measured in inches, not pounds,” cautions Dr Mohan Thomas, cosmetic surgeon at Cosmetic Surgery Institute. “Over 90% of our patients belong to the non-glamour world and are in the 35-65 age group. Depression, obsession and body dysmorphic disorders do exist. An ideal patient is one whose family supports her, when she chooses to undergo corrective surgery.”

Post suction recommendations include lymphatic drainage (massaging of the area), no gym activity or swimming for four weeks; only walking is permitted. A calorie-restricted diet and change of lifestyle is mandatory for improved results as well as maintenance.

36-24-36. I wish!!!

You wish your breasts were larger, firmer and more shapely. Much like you wish you had a flat stomach and could slip into swimwear without wincing. What do you do?

Go Figure!

“Diet and exercise are not effective for breast enlargement. Gaining weight may help in certain cases, but fat may also be added to other areas, such as the waist and thighs. The only option is a cosmetic procedure – either a breast implant or an autologous breast implant (where fat from another part of the patient’s body is relocated to the breast). Fillers are a non-surgical option for breast enhancement. However, this method is expensive and the results are temporary,” explains Dr Viral Desai, Aesthetic & Cosmetic Plastic, Laser, Reconstructive Surgeon.

The sag in the lower abdomen post child birth is difficult to zap away, despite a rigorous diet and exercise regimen. “The slack muscle tone and loose skin associated with the post-pregnancy body can be corrected only by a cosmetic surgical procedure. Tummy tucks offer three results: removal of excess fat, removal of excess skin and tightening of loose muscles,” explains Dr Desai.

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