My job involves a lot of outdoor work and hence I need to wear a good sunscreen. Is SPF 15 sufficient for Jaipur?. Some experts recommend the use of a day cream with a higher SPF? Could you recommend some good brands?

Since you have an outdoor job, you must wear a sunscreen daily. Actually, even SPF 15 is sufficient because a sunscreen only prevents sunburn, not tanning, our skin type is such that it tans easily. You must screen your face from strong sunlight with an umbrella or cover your head with a scarf or dupatta.

Are Acne medicines safe? I suffer from sever acne and have been taking capsule ISO-ARET-20 for the past four months on the advice of my skin specialist. Since I am getting married, should I continue with the treatment or stop, more so given the precautions to be taken with isotretinoin? Please advise?

Isotretinoin 20mg is the drug of choice for nodulocystic acne. The dose in severe cases can go upto 20mg thrice a day and then can be gradually reduced. This drug can be taken for a maximum of six months. However since you are getting married, you must be careful and avoid pregnancy if you are going to continue with the medicine, because this drug can cause serious deformities in the baby. You must avoid getting pregnant for about three months after stopping the medicine. Check with your dermatologist regarding the duration of the treatment..

Too many face linesI have laugh and frown lines which make me look harsh and older. I heard about the BOTOX® injection that it acts by causing paralysis to the muscles. Could you explain the process, and is it painful?

BOTOX® is a purified protein and acts by relaxing the particular muscles which cause the lines thus erasing the lines and wrinkles. It is very safe, very quick, minimally invasive and effective, but has to be repeated every four to six months. The procedure is not really painful when you consider the dramatic results it gives.

How can I improve my complexion?

I'm a 15 year old dark complexioned girl and I want to become fair. Will applying Hydroquinine make me fair? Is it safe? Is there any herbal remedy for my dark skin? I have tried lots of fairness creams available in the market, but none have helped. I have a normal skin. Please help me to get rid of my dark complexion.
Our skin colour is genetically determined, that means we inherit our skin colour from our parents. Hydroquinine is a bleaching agent, but being chemical, it cannot be used for a prolonged period without side effects. You must avoid excessive sun exposure to prevent further tanning of the skin. Always use a sunscreen on the face, arms and legs. You can try home remedies like a pack of 'besan' (gramflour), 'haldi' (turmeric powder), honey and curd. Make a paste of this and apply on the face, neck and arms. Keep on for 30 minutes and then wash off. This will also help lighten the skin.

Brittle NailsI have very soft nails which break easily. I eat well and exercise but the health of my nails hasn't improved?

For healthy and strong nails you need to eat a healthy and high protein diet. Never go for any drastic weight loss programs. Continue your exercises. You can get acrylic or gel nail treatments done. These involve synthetic nails being applied over the existing ones, by a professionally trained expert. This protects soft nails from breaking and gives you time to strengthen them.

How does laser hair removal work?

The laser works by a principle called Selective Photothermolysis. The laser is pulsed (turned on) for a millisecond emitting a beam of light on to the skin. The light energy passes harmlessly through the skin, but is absorbed by the pigment in the hair follicle and hair shaft. By absorbing this laser energy, the hair follicles are disabled, impairing their ability to grow. Hair does not actively grow at the same time, and has three stages during the growth cycle. The hair follicles in the first stage of growth are the darkest and absorb the most energy. A patented Chill Tip cooling handpiece protects the outer layer of skin, and has a mild anesthetic property allowing areas to be treated as painlessly as possible.

Is laser hair removal permanent?

Yes, laser hair removal is a permanent hair reduction method. It removes hairs in stages, but the reduction achieved is permanent. However if there is an underlying cause, for eg. altered hormonal levels, which is not corrected, there could be recurrence of the hair.

Can all types of hair be removed by laser?

No, not at all types. Only thick, dark and coarse hair can be removed permanently. Medium thickness and brown hair respond moderately and white (grey) hair or very fine blonde hair do not respond at all.

Can all hair be removed in one sitting?

No, not possible. It requires multiple sittings. No of sittings required depend on the type of hair as well as skin, but on an average 8 +_2 sittings are required.

How long is the treatment?

Treatment time can vary based on the area. The upper lip takes only a few minutes while the back or legs can take up to an hour.

Is the laser hair removal painful?

Not really. But yes, it is not absolutely painless also. It feels like a mosquito bite or a mild prick. It is usually easily bearable. But since every individual's pain threshold varies, some people find it very painful and that too in the more sensitive areas like upper lip and bikini line.

Hair from which part of the body can be removed with laser?

Hair can be removed from head to toe, from all parts provided they are dark and not very fine.

It is often instructed that hair should not be threaded, waxed or bleached prior to laser. Is it so? If yes, why?

Yes, this is correct, hair should not be threaded waxed or bleached at least 7 – 10 days prior to laser hair removal. This is because with laser we target the root of the hair. By threading and waxing we remove the root and thus the laser becomes ineffective. Since bleaching takes away the colour (melanin) of the hair, it again takes away the target, even if roots are present.

Is it true that the hairs have to be shaved by a razor prior to laser. Would it not cause further hair growth with thick coarse hair?

If the hairs are left on the skin grown outside, it would damage the skin once the laser is passed. So the extra length of hair on the skin has to be removed, at the same time making sure that the roots are not disturbed.

This can be done in 3 ways – by shaving or trimming or by using depilatory creams. Either can be used. Depilatory cream has to be used by the patient at home just prior to coming. But there is a high risk of sensitisation and developing allergy. So shaving is another option. This also allows the physician to see the hair growth prior to laser.
We generally use trimming in our clinic.
There is no scientific proof that hair growth increases after shaving. It is just a myth.
Laser has lots of complications . Is it true?

Not at all. Laser does not cause any complications, if used by a properly trained and experienced personel. But these days, lasers are being used by non-medical people especially beauticians without having any knowledge of the basics of laser or skin anatomy. In the hands of untrained people, anything can happen. So it depends on you to choose.

What are the common side effects of laser ?

Except for the little discomfort or prick felt during laser, which is usually bearable, laser causes immediate redness and swelling of the area. However this settles down in a few hours to 2-3 days time with or without medication. Little swelling and redness post laser is a must and should occur. But it never stays beyond a few hours.

Any precautions to be taken in post laser period?

Yes, sun protection is a must. Patient must avoid excessive exposure to sunlight. Vigorous sunscreen application is a must for a few days, post laser. A mild topical anti-inflammatory lotion applied for 1-2 days after laser, helps the swelling and redness subside faster. There is no other major care required.

Can facial make-up be applied soon after laser?

Yes it can be. Infact make up itself acts as a good sunscreen. But any irritant cosmetics should be avoided for just one day i.e. the day laser is done. But facial beauty treatments especially bleaching should be avoided for 3-4 days following lasers as there is a little sensitisation of the skin already.

What happens to the skin after treatment?

Within about 30 minutes of treatment, the area may become pink or red. Clients describe it as mild sunburn, and this reaction usually subsides within a day or so. If necessary, the doctor may prescribe a topical cream to apply to the treated areas.

What should I do after I am treated?

Following treatment, you can return to your normal activities, and treated areas should be handled with care. You may clean the area using mild soap and water. You should avoid tanning and use a sunscreen on any treated areas exposed to the sun.

Is treatment safe during pregnancy?

Although no known adverse reactions upon a fetus are known to result from laser hair removal, we do not recommend proceeding with treatment if you are known to be pregnant.

Lastly, is laser expensive?

If you consider it lumpsum it is. In the sense the sittings are expensive and 5-6 sittings are required. But if we see the overall money that an individual spends on threading and waxing over the years, then laser turns out to be cheaper.

Do we need moisturisers?

I am 16 and very conscious about my skin and body. I would like to know: Are moisturisers necessary?

Yes, moisturisers are necessary. They form and occlusive film on the skin which helps bind moisture and prevents your skin from drying out.

What is the best way to get rid of unwanted hair?

You may wax your arms, legs and underarms, but never wax the hair on your face, chest and back. If you use hair removing creams do so with caution as they may burn the skin if left on longer than necessary.

How can I prevent tanning?

As much as possible avoid direct exposure to sunlight. Use a sun block of SPF 30 plus. (Source: Internet)