Articles on dark skin

How to Deal With Dark Circles?

Dr. (Lt Cdr) Siddharth Garekar, Dermatologist
Having dark circles is  a distressing experience. Medically this condition is called Periorbital hyperpigmentation and an astounding 53% of all Indian populace will suffer from the condition. Which is to say that you will find dark circles (of variable severity) on every other person that you come across. There are two ways that you can try to prevent dark circles.Lifestyle Modifications Lifestyle modifications will treat dark circles that are caused primarily by an unruly and unhealthy lifestyle. A lifestyle that involves habits, sleep deprivation and sun damage can damage the skin and are also known to cause skin damage around the eyes. Here’s what you can do,Control your sun exposureYou need to control your sun exposure, as increased exposure to the harmful rays of the sun can boost melanin pigmentation around the sensitive areas around the eyes, thus leading to dark circles. We recommend that you wear a quality sunscreen and use barriers (sunglasses) to prevent this damage.Get ample sleepNot getting enough sleep or leading a stressed out life is another major cause for dark circles. Make sure that you get at least 8 hours every day to stay away from dark circles.Control any habits that you might haveSmoking, binge drinking, and other habits have been known to be an underlying cause for the dark circles. Stop smoking and drink only in moderation and see if your problem goes away on its own.Eat rightNot eating right, or sparing your body of the nutrition that it so thoroughly deserves is another way to make sure that you make your skin quality suffer. Vitamins such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E are responsible upkeep and regulation of healthy skin.Topical therapyIf you want to try something that temporarily alleviates the problem and is soothing at the same time, you might want toTry tea bagsTea bags have been known to reduce the appearance of dark spots and dark circles, for the best results, dip tea bags in ice cold water and then put them at the site.Also, cold compressesYou can use a cotton ball dipped in cold water or the back side of a cold spoon to compress the area.Cucumber or potatoes?They both work equally well, just grind some up and freeze them, the mush that you get after should be applied to the dark circles.Get professional helpThe best way to get rid of dark circles permanently is to spot the underlying cause, and in order to do that, you need to seek professional help.

This Festive Season Keep Your Skin Healthy!

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
During festivals such as Diwali, everyone wants to look good. A healthy skin and glowing skin is always on the wish list of every woman irrespective of her age. And on the other hand it is not always possible to rush to saloon again and again. So, here are some easy tips which can be included this festive season for that ultimate glowy skin.Control on sweets doesn’t mean you have to just completely go off from them. Control the portions while consuming your favourite sweets. The other way could be, you can choose some healthier sweets made of jaggery and cottage cheese. Also avoid sweets that are fried. A lot of sweet intake can cause breakouts on your skinGo strict with fried items majorly in festive season.It will not only make you feel bloated and acidic but will leave your skin looking dull. Better to consume more of fruits and vegetables in order to get nourishing skinSleep well - Pre Diwali card parties usually stretch to late nights. Insufficient sleep causes breakouts, inflammation, allergies. So if you really want a glowing skin in Diwali, take a good amount of sleepHydrate your body by drinking enough fluids such as plain water. This habit of yours will always keep your skin supple and acne freeDon’t skip workout - In the hustle bustle of shopping, social gatherings, we tend to skip the workout regime. Continue with your exercise regime as usual without compromising. It will boost your blood circulation and will keep your skin glowing throughout the dayProtect skin from firecrackers - Most firecrackers have high smoke due to magnesium content. These fumes and particles can settle on your skin and can harm you. If your skin is sensitive, it's always better to wrap a scarf on your face while stepping out

Festive Season Skin Care Tips

Dr. Apratim Goel, Dermatologist
Introduction: The festive season is here again and Diwali (the festival of lights) is just round the corner. We cannot let it pass without lighting up our faces with a beautiful glow. Everyone wants to look their best, but unfortunately, often end up looking their worst due to consumption of unhealthy rich food, stress due to hectic shopping, the pollution in the air due to incessant firecrackers and lack of time for skincare.Yes. The most essential ingredient to get a special glow and radiance is a happy attitude to life and a stress free mind, so you need to start making an effort to achieve that before you start the beauty routine. Having taken this initial step, let us move a step further. That is the skin care which is very important keeping in mind the added pollution and the stress. This is very easy provided there is a diligent skin care regime and during this time you need to indulge in a few extra skincare procedures which will help you long way.SKIN CARE REGIME DURING FESTIVE TIMESCleansing: Toxins from the body and pollutants from the environment give the skin dull look. Instead of soap use a face wash. Gel or foam for normal to oily skin and crème cleansers for those with dry skin.Makeup remover: For those using makeup, use extra makeup remover wipes prior to cleansing the face. Available with leading cosmetic brands, cold milk as well as baby oil is a good makeup remover especially for dry skins.Moisturizing: Different skin types have different requirements. Choose from creams for dry skin, lotions for normal skin and gels for oily skin. No matter the skin type, always moisturize prior to sleeping.Scrubbing: Exfoliation removes dead skin cells; but skin cells shed every 28 days so use scrub only once a week or once a month (depending on skin type). Use bran soaked in water, moong dal scrub or ones available in the market. Do not over scrub as it removes all moisture from skin and may also harm the skin.Masks: Fruits like papaya, banana have the capacity to dissolve toxins when applied, oily skin can use multani mitti or clay packProtection: Never go out without a layer of protection at any age, which can be sunscreen (minimum SPF 25) moisturizer,  compact powder and  foundation, to prevent dust and dirt harm you. Barrier creams available can be used prior to fire crackers show.Water spray: Sprinkle water on face and neck every morning. Use a spray bottle and take care not to rub with towel but to pat dry. Whether it's a commercial product, or one you make yourself (fill a spray bottle with distilled water, add a few drops of chamomile or essential oils, shake it gently before each use, and spray it on) hydrate your face, even over makeup,frequently throughout the day. Spraying removes toxins collected at night and increases circulation of blood. Thermal water sprays are available in market.EXTRA CARE AND PRECAUTIONS DURING DIWALI TIMELimit your sweet intake: It may seem like wet blanket advice during the season, but at least keep consumption under control. If you overdose on sugary and fried goodies, in a few days it'll start showing on your face -- breakouts, dull skin, weight gain, not to mention allergies thanks to the artificial colors and flavors that go into mass-produced sweets. Make sure to include plenty of fresh fruit and raw vegetables in your dietDon’t stop working out: Some form of workout, walks, gym, meditation is required. In the hustle and bustle of shopping, socialising and pre-Diwali card parties, do not compromise on your health. Continue your exercise regime as usual and you'll be thankful at the end of the season that you didn't pile on the pounds.Hydrate yourself: Nothing saps the skin of its lustre like dryness. The sudden change of season and drop of atmospheric humidity experienced in this month can shrivel up your skin. Use a water-based moisturiser frequently and drink plenty of water to hydrate your skin. Lukewarm water to which honey and lemon can be added takes away the puffiness of face caused by fluid retention at night.Protect your skin from firecrackers: Most firecrackers have high smoke emissions due to high magnesium and cordite content. These fumes and particulate emissions can settle on your skin and harm it, causing irritant reactions, chemical burns and allergies. Stay at least six to seven feet away from lit fireworks. If you have sensitive skin, it's a good idea to tie a cotton scarf over your face while lighting or watching a fireworks. Wash your face thoroughly with a mild soap and water immediately afterwards and follow up with a moisturizer. In case of burns, wash the area immediately with cool running water for 10 minutes or longer, till the burning sensation eases. Apply an antibiotic cream on mild burns and consult a doctor immediately.Care from skin : Excessive exposure to pollution can cause premature aging and wrinkles on the skin. Excessive humidity can cause acne eruption, fungal infections and a host of other skin diseases. Skin stays excessively sticky and greasy and should be washed every few hours with a gel face washDark circles and puffiness around eyes:  This is commonly seen especially during hectic shopping and late night-outs during Diwali. For dark circles, Vitamin C serum massage for the under eye area at night for 3 – 5 minutes is a good remedy. Active ingredients like kojic acid, liquorice, hydroquinone, azelaic acid etc are good lightening agents. Cucumber or potato pulp applied for few minutes under eyes reduces puffiness as well as dark circles.And now get ready to look great during the festival of lights.

Enjoy a Beach Holiday!!! Skin Care in Summer for Acne Oily Skin

Dr. Prabha Acharya, Dermatologist
The advantage of having oily skin is that you won’t be getting premature wrinkles but controlling the oil can sometimes be a problem. Here are 9 quick tips to keep your skin oil-free throughout the day.The summer months are harsh on all skin types, but oily skin is more prone to pimples and break-outs. Its appearance becomes greasier making it look dull and lifeless. Summer time should be about fun in the sun, beach holidays and warm lazy brunches. Instead, you worry about blemishes and spots caused by sun damage, dust and grime that your oily skin attracts. Instead of damage control at a later date, take charge & learn how to keep your skin oil free with these simple preventive measures.With a few easy changes to your oily skin care routine, you can avoid hot weather-related side effects on your skin:1. Avoid the sun. Enjoy early morning beach activities and in the evening. The summer sun is your skin’s enemy! Not only does being outdoors in the sun hugely increase oil secretion, but you also end up exposing yourself to the harmful effects of UV rays. During the hours of 10 AM – 3 PM, the sun is at its strongest and most damaging, so have fun filled indoor activities with friends.2. Look for a gentle cleanser. Always test your cleanser before you buy and pick one that removes excessive oil without over drying the skin. 3. Wash your face correctly. Washing oily skin is tricky business as too little can spell disaster with an onslaught of spots while too much can strip your skin of its natural oils. Your T-zone most likely needs frequent washing while your cheeks tend to dry up, so being selective is key. Blotting papers can help you soak up the excess oil in problem areas without over stripping the moisture.4. Invest in a good sunscreen lotion. A water based matte sunscreen is a good choice for oily skin as it helps keep your face shine free and gives you the protection you need. Look for at least SPF 30++ for the best sunscreen effect!5. Go minimal on makeup. While it may feel like you can’t live without your foundation, in summers its best to keep it natural. Foundation and compact powders not only make you look older, but also clog pores. Even the best of foundations for oily skin will get runny when you perspire and adding extra products will only make your skin more prone to pimples. Instead, stick to tinted moisturizers or concealers and use water-based ones.6. Hydrate well. Drink plenty of water and juices so you are hydrated internally. Make sure you moisturise often with a water-based product to keep your skin supple. Whatever the formula, make sure your sunscreen and moisturiser contains oil-reducing salicylic or glycolicacid7. Watch what you eat. Vitamin A rich vegetables like carrots, spinach and so on help slow oil production. Go easy on the alcohol, spicy and fried food as they all dilate blood vessels and compound your oily skin woes. If you are tempted, limit yourself to one drink a night,and eat spicy foods no more than once a week.8. Give your skin some TLC. The best thing about summer skin care are all the fragrant fruity facials. Do your skin a favor and exfoliate with a delicious natural scrub once a week. Make a  cooling, oil-absorbing mask and pamper your skin silly.9. You can also try making a homemade scrub from honey and sugar. This scrub helps exfoliate skin naturally & moisturizes it as well. Be advised not to use any scrub on your face often, as it may dry out your face skin which is not a good thing.

7 Mistakes Men Make With Their Skin

Dr. Puneet Goyal, Dermatologist
This guy is using products. Are you? In the face of such daunting skin care complexity, a lot of us throw in the towel. “Soap and water are all I need for my skin,” we say gruffly with a bravado we think conveys a devil-may-care masculinity but secretly just masks a deep fear of the unknown world of skin care.As a result, we tend to continue with the skin-destroying, wrinkle-creating practices — too many harsh soaps, not enough sunscreen, and basic neglect — we’ve been repeating because we don’t know better.Such skin care calamities could be avoided if only more of us would man up and ask a question we probably didn’t ask our dads growing up: What mistakes am I making with my skin care?1. Not using any products at allA lot of guys might say, “I don’t want to spend as much time on my skin as my wife does.” The notion of having to spend a lot of time slathering product on your skin before going out or going to bed might make some men recoil — or worse, remind them of Christian Bale’s grooming-obsessed character in American Psycho.But skin care doesn’t have to be a medicine-cabinet-clogging ritual (nor does it make you a serial killer). “At the bare minimum, everyone, including men, can get away with just three products: a cleanser, a sunscreen, and a treatment product for whatever your [skin] problem is,” says Baumann. “That’s the bare minimum. Just put the cleanser in the shower and use it whenever you’re bathing. Put the sunscreen next to your toothbrush and slap it on in the morning. And then use your skin treatment at night. That’s not a lot of time, and you’ll get great results.” 2. Not knowing what kind of skin you haveThe first step in taking care of your skin is knowing what type of skin you have. As beneficial as starting a skin care regimen can be, the wrong kind of care for your skin type might result in damage, not benefits.“Sometimes people are really oily, so they need cleansers that help take that oil off the skin and prevent the pores from getting clogged,” says Baumann. “Other people don’t have enough oil and their skin doesn’t hold onto water properly, so they need more of a creamy cleanser that would deposit moisturizers on the skin.”To see what kind of skin you have and what type of products you should be looking for, you may need some professional help. “Of course I’m biased,” admits Baumann, “But I think [men] should go to the dermatologist and get diagnosed what their skin type is.”3. Washing face with just any soapNot all soaps are created equal, especially when your face is concerned. But Baumann says many of her male patients ignore that fact.“[Men] are not usually very interested in all the different subtleties of skin care and all the different choices,” she says. “So a lot of times they’ll just use whatever soaps they have in their shower to wash their face.”Baumann says that’s a bad call because many popular soaps are harsh on the face. “If it’s Ivory or Irish Spring or Dial or one of those antibacterial ones that a lot of guys use, those are really drying and really irritating to your skin,” she says. (And if you’re using Lava soap, it’s a wonder you even have a face left.) “If your skin’s dry and has inflammation, that can speed up aging and cause other issues,” Baumann continues. “Sometimes acne and things like that can be caused by using the wrong soap on your face.”So once you identify whatever issues your facial skin may have, be sure to use the right cleanser.“If you have acne, you need a cleanser that’s going to kill the bacteria that causes acne,” says Baumann. “If you have rosacea, which is redness, you need an anti-inflammatory cleanser. That choice of cleanser is so important. If you’re just using your shampoo or your body soap or whatever, you’re missing that opportunity to do something good for your skin.”4. Not using a daily SPFFor too many men, sunscreens are for occasional use only — maybe for those days at the beach or those long hikes.That’s not good enough. To protect your skin from sun damage, Baumann recommends incorporating sunscreen into your daily ritual.“The sunscreen should be something that goes next to your toothbrush that you put on every single day no matter what,” she says. “I suggest using a daily SPF instead of a moisturizer.”If protection against ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer isn’t enough to get you to use sunscreen, there are plenty of other unsightly problems that a good sunscreen will guard against. “The yucky-looking brown discoloration you get on your skin — they’re called SK, or seborrheic keratosis,” Baumann says. “They’re those brown things that look like you could pick them off. People who are in the sun a lot get them. Sunscreen will prevent the SKs, the wrinkles, and, of course, skin cancer.”How do you go about choosing the right sunscreen? “Look for a light one that is gel- or lotion-based and avoid those with dimethicone, which makes SPF feel slimy,” Baumann recommends. “If your [skin is] dry, it’s easier to find a good sunscreen because a lot of them are moisturizing. If you’re oily, it’s a little bit more challenging. You should look for a gel.”5. Not using retinoids at night“When you see dermatologists and we have good skin, that’s why — it’s because of the retinoids,” says Baumann. “Retinoids do so many good things.”Dermatologists may swear by retinoids (vitamin-A-based skin care products), but a lot of guys still don’t know about them. That’s unfortunate, because Baumann says they work miracles: preventing wrinkles, sagging, and dark spots.Related: 5 Cosmetic Procedures Most Guys Don’t Know About“[Retinoids] turn on good genes and turn off bad genes,” Baumann says. “They’ll turn on genes that protect your skin from skin cancer, aging, acne, and brown spots. And they’ll turn off genes that break down cellular components like collagen that makes the skin strong.”Retinoids themselves are sun-sensitive, which is why you should put them on at night. (They do not, however, make your skin sensitive to the sun, as popular myths contend.) If you’re going to introduce retinoids to your nightly skin care routine, it’s best to do so gradually. “You have to start really slowly, like every third night for the first couple of weeks,” Baumann says. “Then every other night after a couple weeks, then eventually every night.”But the results, Baumann promises, are worth it. “I’ve been a doctor for 19 years,” she points out. “My patients who have used retinoids look younger than they did 19 years ago. The ones who don’t use it look 19 years older!”6. Shaving on dry skinYes, you might be in a hurry. Still, shaving your skin dry is an all-around bad idea. “You end up getting nicks,” says Baumann. She recommends shaving in the shower after five minutes of warm water exposure.“All that warm water kind of swells the skin a tiny bit,” she says. “So when you shave, you’re not getting quite as close to the roots of the hair. A shave that close can lead to ingrown hairs. Also [when your skin is wet], you get a better glide so the blade doesn’t catch on the skin cells. So you don’t end up with those little nicks.”7. Not using hand creamDon’t think you can walk around with dry, scaly hands and women won’t notice. News flash, they do! “We don’t like it when you shake someone’s hand and their hand’s really rough,“ says Baumann. “Men never think to put on moisturizer, especially when they wash their hands a lot.”She recommends that guys always have a moisturizer handy — in their pockets, in their bags, or in their cars — for use as needed. The result: marked improvement in your hand-to-hand contact. “Using a hand cream after washing hands can make such a difference,” she says. “As a woman, I always notice when a man has soft hands.”And if you follow these tips, chances are the rest of your well-maintained skin won’t go unnoticed either.Suggested products: “I like Cetaphil cream or CeraVe,” says Baumann. “Give it five minutes to soak in and it won’t feel slimy.”

Taking Care of That Excess Skin

Dr. Harikiran Chekuri
Losing weight is an achievement indeed. You need to put in a lot of effort to reduce that extra flab from your body. But weight loss can be disappointing at times, when you see loose skin hanging around your body which is nearly impossible to get rid of. It’s like winning a war but losing a battle. However there are solutions to this.Here are some very useful but easy tips that can help you to find an answer to that excess skin.Don’t lose much – Yes, you’ve got that right, don’t lose too much weight at one go. Let your body get adjusted to your weight loss regime. This will help your skin retain its elasticity and not shrink rapidly. Take the suggestion of a specialist who can guide you into a perfect weight loss plan that won’t allow your skin to lose its elasticity.Keep your skin hydrated – Drink a lot of water. At least drinking minimum 6 glasses of water is a must. If you can drink more, it’s always better. This allows your skin to remain hydrated and tight. So while you are on your weight loss spree, make sure you drink a plenty or water to prevent the lose skin.Take up weight training – Weight training at least thrice weekly helps building an extra layer of muscles underneath your skin. It is very important if you are on a strict diet. Losing fat from your body often leads to loosening the layer of muscle underneath your skin. Having an extra padding of muscles will restrain sagging skin. Thus, you will never have those ugly sagging skins even after you shed weight drastically.Moisturize your skin – Apply lot of moisturizer that contains Vitamin E. This helps in skin toning and regeneration of new skin cells. You may also use recommended fruit oils or Coconut oils for massaging your skin as well. This will not only tighten up loose skin but also keep the wrinkles away.Belly toning exercise – Most of the sagging skin can be seen around your belly, hips and waist. Hence, it is important to go for belly toning exercises like crunches, air biking, leg rising, sit ups, side bridges and pelvic thrust. These are easy to do workouts that take only 15-20 minutes to perform. Have them in your workout list for at list three to five days of the week.Massage – Get a massage weekly or bi-weekly. This will help in proper blood circulation and add a glow of youth to your skin. You will feel relaxed as your muscles and skin gets toned. Consult a professional and pamper yourself with great body massage.However, the loose skin greatly depends on the individual and may take time to heal. Sometimes even after trying out everything, you fail to get rid of those hanging skin bags. This calls for cosmetic surgery that can help you to get rid of unwanted skin bags completely. Look out for an expert aesthetic surgeon around you for further guidance and assistance.

Instaglow: Five Foods to Shimmering Skin

Ms. Nisha Singh, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Human body is a very complex set of cells, tissues, bones and various vital organs, all held together by the largest organ of the body: Skin. It not only defends us from various external, environmental factors like preventing entry of bacteria, but also performs several important functions like temperature regulation, insulation etc. Our skin is also one of the integral five senses and is essential in retaining the moisture and nutrients within the body.An organ that performs so many indispensable functions should therefore be given the utmost care and importance. Balanced nutrition is a crucial and significant building block of healthy skin. The macro and micro nutrients in foods not only protect one from the skin damaging UV rays but also slows down the appearance of wrinkles, spots and blemishes, boosts up skin elasticity and makes your skin smooth, supple and glowing.The road to a beautiful complexion, of course begins with a well-rounded diet of fruits and veggies, lots of fluids, good quality protein, fatty acids and other micro nutrients. The only side effect of this diet is that “These super foods also do wonders for your whole body - builds brainpower, corrects your cholesterol levels, reduces your stress levels and improves general well being.”Five power foods to get a great skin:Green leafy vegetables: Spinach, Methi leaves, mustard greens, Romaine lettuce, mint, coriander leaves and other greens are all excellent sources of Vitamin A, zinc, iron, fiber, and Vitamin K. Vitamin A is an antioxidant and it prevents or delays the process of cellular damage thus slowing the ageing of skin and appearances of fine lines and wrinkles. Zinc is an important co factor in enzyme reactions that help skin healing.Strawberries: A cup of strawberries provides approximately 149% of the daily value of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is another super anti oxidant that increases the production of the protein collagen that helps in keeping the skin firm. Ellagic acid, a natural phenol antioxidant found in abundance in strawberries reduces oxidative stress and prevents skin from sagging.Tomatoes: Another super food, high in lycopene, an antioxidant. It’s readily available in tomato paste and easily assimilated when cooked. Preliminary studies have shown that having tomato paste, daily for three months reduced skin damage by UV radiation up to 30%. Higher prevalence of this antioxidant lead to fewer lines and furrows.Walnuts and Almonds: These nuts are a storehouse of VitaminE, alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and omega fatty acids. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and ALA and omega fatty acids provides lubrication to the skin and prevents dryness.Water: Drink water, more water and plenty of water. Guzzle up on this zero calorie drink to keep your skin moist, supple and hydrated. Adequate consumption of water not only prevents dryness of skin but also ensures cellular health and flushing of the toxins out of the system.A quick fix smoothie to help get radiating skin:1 small – frozen banana½ cup – hung low fat curd/ 2 cups – chopped spinach/kale5-6 – strawberries5-6 – soaked and peeled almonds1 tsp – cinnamon powderHoney to tasteMethod: Give the above ingredients a quick whirl in the blender with some ice cubes and enjoy this refreshing smoothie.

Sunscreen Can Protect Your Skin Against Skin Cancer and Premature Aging

Dr. Amrendra kumar, Dermatologist
Sunscreen can protect your skin against skin cancer and premature aging. However, it is not as effective unless it's applied correctly. Follow these tips when applying sunscreen:Choose a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher, is water resistant, and provides broad-spectrum coverage, which means it protects you from UVA and UVB rays. Follow these helpful tips when selecting a sunscreen.Apply sunscreen generously before going outdoors. It takes approximately 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you. If you wait until you are in the sun to apply sunscreen, your skin is unprotected and can burn.Use enough sunscreen. Most adults need at least one ounce of sunscreen, about the amount you can hold in your palm, to fully cover all exposed areas of your body. Rub the sunscreen thoroughly into your skin.Apply sunscreen to all bare skin. Remember your neck, face, ears, tops of your feet and legs. For hard‐to‐reach areas like your back, ask someone to help you or use a spray sunscreen. If you have thinning hair, either apply sunscreen to your scalp or wear a wide‐brimmed hat. To protect your lips, apply a lip balm with a SPF of at least 15.Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours to remain protected, or immediately after swimming or excessively sweating. People who get sunburned usually didn't use enough sunscreen, didn't reapply it after being in the sun, or used an expired product. Your skin is exposed to the sun's harmful UV rays every time you go outside, even on cloudy days and in the winter. So whether you are on vacation or taking a brisk fall walk in your neighborhood, remember to use sunscreen.