Type of Common Cosmetic Conditions
There are many conditions that can affect our appearance and confidence. We provide a range of cosmetic treatments to help you look and feel better (see list below).
For more information and to book an appointment to discuss your situation in complete confidence, please contact us using the form below.’
Acne is a common skin condition caused by an excessive build-up of secretions in the sebaceous glands found next to hair follicles. Bacterial infection can result in a break out, usually more common at a time of hormonal change, at puberty or during pregnancy. Acne should be treated early and effectively to prevent scarring.
A range of treatment options are available, both for treating active acne and reducing any scars that may have formed.
Age spots are small patches of dark skin, also called liver spots or solar lentigines. Mostly found on areas exposed to the sun, like face, shoulders, arms and hands, these vary in size from freckle-sized to sometimes the size of a penny. These are due to production of Melanin, a pigment that gives our skin colour, in response to UV exposure. Our skin loses its ability to repair with age and the pigment cells, melanocytes, become unevenly distributed. Age spots are more common in people with light skin, red hair, history of overexposure to the sun or tanning beds, or if close member of your family has them.
These are harmless but can be unsightly and hence impact self-confidence. Resurfacing is an effective treatment for a variety of skin problems or conditions.
Skin tags are fleshy growths that grow and hang from a stalk. They mostly occur in skin creases, like the eyelids, neck, armpits, under the breasts and groin. These can get caught and bleed or just look unsightly. There are, however, simple and quick ways to treat or remove these skin tags.
Bingo wings are areas of hanging flesh under the back of the upper arm that wobble and are particularly noticeable when the arms are raised and shaken. It is more likely to develop with quick weight loss as the skin does not get time to shrink, leaving stretched flesh that sags. These can also develop with age as collagen breaks down in the skin, reducing the firmness of the skin. Another factor is excess fat in the arms that causes bulges and rolls that wobble when the arms move. A diet poor in minerals, healthy fats, proteins and vitamins can affect the muscle tone and skin elasticity, exacerbating bingo wings.
The fat that bulges underneath or around a bra on the back, can be caused by ageing as fat distribution is altered. Excess fat is stored around the abdomen, buttocks, and thighs while ill-fitting bras can worsen the appearance of bra fat. In addition, weak muscles contribute by allowing skin and fat to sag, creating the folds of fat that are visible when wearing bras and swimming costumes.
Non-surgical fat reduction treatments for bra fat give great results sooner than with surgery and without scarring.
Primarily affecting women, cellulite reflects the way in which fat is stored, creating the dimpled ‘orange-peel’ appearance. Initially seen as small bumps or dimples on the skin, the usual areas affected are the upper thighs and buttocks.
Crow’s feet or smile lines
Wrinkles around the eyes are often the first wrinkles to appear. These are also known as smile lines or Crow’s feet. With age, the body produces less collagen and elastin. This makes the skin less supple and elastic and not able to bounce back after making facial expressions.
Also, the skin around our eyes is more delicate and doesn’t produce oil, making it more likely to become dry and thin. Other factors which can harm the skin are smoking, neglected skin care, exposure to the sun and genetics.
The most common cause of the double chin is weight gain, as excessive fat gets stored there. However, it can affect individuals even if they are not overweight. The reduction of collagen and elastin synthesis in the skin with age leads to laxity. Muscles in the neck and chin area also become weak over time, giving the appearance of a pocket of fat below the chin. This sagging creates the appearance of a pocket of fat at the neck or a ‘double’ chin.It can also be hereditary for some people as that is how the body carries fat.
Drooping mouth corners
Drooping mouth corners give the face a sad or angry look and it can affect an individual’s self-esteem. Muscles on the jaw which run from the corners of the lips down to the chin are responsible for the corners of the mouth turning down when frowning. However, the natural ageing process results in loss of collagen and elastin, which can cause the skin to sag. When this happens around the mouth, it can lead to the appearance of drooping mouth corners. Smoking also contributes by accelerating damage to collagen. This can be treated using a dermal filler to restore youthful volume to the area around the mouth, while botulinum toxin can be used to relax the muscle depressor anguli oris.
Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating can be embarrassing and can be upsetting. Usually affecting the underarms, this can affect the feet, hands, and sometimes the entire body. Primary hyperhidrosis does not have a specific cause and develops during childhood or after puberty. However, secondary hyperhidrosis can be associated with pregnancy, hyperthyroidism, obesity, menopause or anxiety.
Excessive sweating from the underarms has other treatment options if anti-perspirants don’t help.
Eye bags is the sagging loose skin or mild swelling with or without dark circles just below the eye. This appearance of swollen eyes can affect people of any age or gender. It is commonly caused by by a lack of sleep, smoking, alcohol consumption, loss of fatty tissue, genetic predisposition and poor diet.
Smoking and alcohol causes skin to become dehydrated and causes sleep deprivation – which can cause blood vessels to dilate, worsening the dark circles under the eyes
Face veins (or telangiectasia) are small veins that run under the surface of the skin that have become enlarged. These cause no harm but can cause people to become self-conscious as they can be unsightly.
Women are more likely to be affected by face veins due to oestrogen levels, pregnancy, being on the Pill, or by taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Other factors that may contribute towards the development of spider veins on the face are overweight, sunbathing, alcohol, age and using moisturisers that contain alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), because of its exfoliating properties.
Fat thighs can affect both men and women, causing people to become self-conscious due to excess fatty tissue. However, women are more likely to suffer from thigh fat due to the natural distribution of body fat around the bum, inner thigh and outer thigh. Also, your body shape is largely dependent on genetics as some people tend to store fat in the central part of the body. This fat can be quite difficult to lose but there are treatment options to consider.
Vertical furrows across the forehead or forehead lines are caused by the frontalis muscle. A normal action of the muscle is to cause the eyebrows to be raised. However, this also causes wrinkles above the brow. Some factors can make these wrinkles worse, including smoking, sun exposure, ageing, poor diet and genetics.
Frown Lines or Glabella lines, are the furrows between the eyebrows, generally shaped like the number 11. These are also caused by similar factors that cause Forehead lines (see above). A range of products, including dermal fillers and Botulinum toxin, can help to address forehead lines and frown lines.
The loose kin that hangs below the jaw line is commonly referred to as jowls. This can be caused by ageing, weight loss, sun damage, smoking and genetics. With age, collagen and elastin are not being produced at the same rate and causes skin to lose its natural elasticity.
Loose skin is part of natural ageing but can be significantly exaggerated for some. Depending on the cause, it can be on any part of the body. This is usually caused by the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin that causes it to sag.
Excessive weight loss, while desirable from a health perspective, may not give the skin an opportunity to shrink and can therefore sag. Other reasons include a lack of muscle tone, a lack of protein in the diet, after a pregnancy, smoking, exposure to sun and poor skin care.
Love handles are the deposits of excess fat at the waist and often difficult to lose as this area has more fat cells than in other parts of the body. This becomes more obvious if you gain weight but is also one of the last areas to reduce when you lose weight.
Melasma (or Chloasma) are brown or grey skin pigmentation more common in women and usually seen on the cheeks, nose and forehead. It is associated with hormonal imbalance and therefore seen in pregnancy, in women taking the contraceptive pill or those diagnosed to have polycystic ovaries (POCS).
Though difficult to treat, pigmentation can be reduced and success is better if treatment is started early.
Moles are very common benign marks which most of us have and some might be unsightly. However, there can be concerns regarding some turning cancerous, which may require removal or biopsy.
Abnormal collection of melanocytes (pigment containing skin cells) cause pigmentation in the skin. This can be age spots, patchy or over large areas of skin and there are treatment options to help treat these.
Areas of redness on the skin can be age related or congenital. Commonly seen on the face, particularly around the nose, chin and cheeks, it is also seen on the elbows. It can also result from broken capillaries in the face or spider veins that can worsen over time.
Rosacea can present as redness, pustules, visible blood vessels or raised spots or lumps. The common areas affected are the cheeks, nose and around the eyes. However it can affect other parts of the body. Alcohol, caffeine, hot drinks, sunlight, stress and hereditary factors can all cause rosacea.
Though more visible on lighter skin, Rosacea can affect any skin colour. It tends to worsen over time and treatment can be prolonged, so it is important to seek medical advice sooner to achieve better results.
Saggy skin can occur anywhere on the body. It can happen just with ageing as collagen and elastin production in the skin reduces and muscles weaken. This can be more pronounced due to weight loss while genetics can play a role. Exposure to too much sun and smoking also affects skin health, leading to damage and wrinkles.
Stretch marks can develop during various stages in life, for example, during puberty, pregnancy, weight gain or weight loss. These can initially be reddish/brown lines and they mature with time to a silvery shine. Treatment is more effective in the earlier stages.
The ‘stomach’ or abdomen caries a large body surface area and can carry large amounts of fat. This is influenced by our natural body shapes and genetics and can be more evident with poor muscle tone as the abdomen can then also protrude. Stomach fat can be quite difficult to lose with age when we burn fewer calories due to a slower metabolism. Treatment is therefore targeted at all these factors and several steps may need to be taken to help reduce this fat.
Some people have sunken cheeks primarily due to genetics. However, people who have very little fat in their bodies, for example, regular long-distance runners may also have sunken cheeks. This can make the face look gaunt and some people become self-conscious. It can become more prominent with age as collagen, the protein responsible for keeping the skin and firm, deteriorates over time.
A range of treatments can help to correct sunken cheeks, including dermal fillers and skin resurfacing.
While your lips are natural to your appearance, there is a growing demand for having prominent lips, often seen in celebrities. Age, UV exposure, smoking and dehydration further cause thinning of the lips.
Some scars do not heal well. Whether caused by surgery, injury or burns, badly healed scars anywhere on the body can understandably affect self-confidence. Scarring is part of normal healing from any physical injury and the body initially lays down excessive collagen which causes them to look raised, red and angry. Over the next 3-6 months, most scars do become smooth and lighter, but some heal with an exaggerated outcome (hypertrophic or keloid scars) while other get darker (hyperpigmented). This is greatly influenced by racial factors and genetics. Some scars can have a pitted or sunken appearance especially those caused by acne or chicken pox.
What is the vulva
The vulva is the name given to the skin of the external genital area in women. This includes the mons pubis, which is also the area where pubic hair is located. The other areas within the vulva are the clitoral hood, which is the small prepuce or skin covering the sensitive clitoris. The labia majora is the bulge on either side of the vaginal opening is also hair bearing. The thin ‘lips’ immediately covering the vagina are called labia minora, while the skin below the vagina going upto the opening of the back passage is the perineum.
Vulval symptoms that need attention
If you are suffering from itching, soreness, pain or irritation which has been present for beyond a few days, you should see a doctor so that you can be examined to exclude skin conditions affecting the vulval skin. Also, if you have felt or seen a new lump, it needs to be checked out.
Common disorders of the vulva
There are different skin conditions affecting the skin of the vulva. Some of these can be related to infections such HPV, Herpes or fungal infections like candida. However, these can often be benign long lasting conditions called lichen sclerosis or lichen planus. It is essential for these to be diagnosed as these can be pre-cancerous. There are other pre cancerous lesions called VIN (Vulval Intraepithelial Neoplasia) which can only be diagnosed by a biopsy that can be taken under local anaesthetic in clinic.
Who is at risk of vulval disease
Vulval conditions can affect women of all age groups. However, vulval cancer usually affects women more than 60 years of age. These often present many years earlier as pre-cancerous skin conditions, so it is really important to diagnose these early.
How does my specialist diagnose vulval disease
This usually begins with a clinical examination. Some women will need a vulvoscopy performed with 5% acetic acid application. This may then be followed by a small biopsy of the vulval skin which can be taken in clinic under a local anaesthetic.
How are different vulval diseases treated
It depends on the cause of the condition. Some will require a small surgical procedure to remove the affected skin, for example a wart like lesion. Others require application of skin creams or ointments that you doctor can prescribe. Certain skin conditions of the vulva can require treatments that have to be carried on for a few years or even for life.