Cosmetic makeover: Show & tell

Cosmetic makeover: Show & tell

Once upon a time, the saying ‘Beauty lies in the beholder’s eyes’ may have held true. Today, it would appear that beauty lies in the salon of the cosmetologist. With the festival season upon us, image-conscious folks are flocking to cosmetic surgery clinics for new noses, tummy tucks and sculpted smiles. Cosmetic counselling, also known as anti-ageing counselling, is becoming increasingly popular.

Beauty specialists advise people on how to discover their skin type and ensure that they take care of its reaction to dryness, humidity, sunlight, cosmetics, perfumes and other factors.

Removal of tattoos is also keeping cosmetologists busy. The tattoo may involve a beauty spot or a cluster of them, the name of a loved one, or complex designs anywhere on the face or body. Such tattoos, though fascinating at first, often become objects of monotony and frustration. Many people with tattoos wish to have them removed.

Older methods of tattoo removal sometimes resulted in ugly scars, pigmentation and keloids, but dermatosurgeons have refined techniques for skin resurfacing to treat conditions like tattoos, acne scars, smallpox scars etc.
Recent developments combine various techniques like chemosurgery, laser and dermabrasion.

A scar/ mole/ mark on the skin, especially on the face, is the source of much angst. But electrosurgery promises to come to the rescue. It also promises to take care of common skin problems like warts and skin tags.
Radio surgery, with the advantage of  “knife-like” sharpness without charring the surrounding skin, is also popular.

Micro-dermabrasion uses microcrystals of aluminium to treat scars and pigmentation. A simpler process, known as a peel, uses an extract of AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids). Laser resurfacing involves the use of intense laser beams which penetrate just the skin’s surface without affecting the healthy tissues.

Other treatments include photo rejuvenation and different methods of hair transplantation. Refractory problems like keloids can be treated with a combination of intralesional injections and cryotherapy.

Nose jobs top the list of the most popular cosmetic surgeries requested by women, with many asking for noses like  Hindi movie stars.
Cosmetic surgeons reveal that Shah Rukh Khan’s nose is most popular among male clients, while the women ask for a nose like Aishwarya Rai’s! A nose job costs around Rs 65,000.

“We see a spike in the number of clients requesting cosmetic procedures during the wedding season. I have performed around 15 nose surgeries in May alone compared to eight in the other months,” says Dr Ashok Painter, a Mumbai-based cosmetic surgeon.
The most sought-after facial treatment is Botox. The procedure is advertised as “quick and easy”, taking all of 10 to 15 minutes of treatment!

Not very long ago, threading, waxing, shaving, plucking, depilatories or abrasives like a pumice stone were used to remove facial hair. Today, there are alternatives such as electrodepilation and laser epilation.

Such treatments apart, adequate sleep and a balanced diet are vital for a healthy, glowing look. Lack of sleep can make people appear older than they are, by contributing to the “owl effect” or dark circles under the eyes.
On the other hand, restricting exposure to the sun can keep the skin looking young and fresh.

The fact remains than unless we watch our food intake, skin troubles are likely to reappear. Those who gorge on junk food will admit that the skin problems they once conquered, through expensive treatments, did make a comeback.

So, before making an appointment with a cosmetologist, visit a dietician and ensure that you are following a regimen suitable for your skin type and lifestyle. For many, a brisk walk every day works better than a weekly visit to the gym.

Those who are repenting for their excesses over the holiday season and planning crash diets should take note: a crash diet deprives the body of essential nutrients and causes havoc to the skin, making it wrinkle and sag.  Remember, a dermatologist can correct a problem, but to look and feel perfect, you have to work hard and learn to love yourself —  warts and all!

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