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Skin Conditions

Your skin is as unique as you are. There’s a whole world of factors that can change and affect the way it looks, feels and responds – such as your genetics, age, climate, diet and environment. And just as you think you know your skin, it can change and surprise you.

As specialists in skin health, we use the latest science and technology from around the world to treat the cause of your skin condition, rather than the symptoms. Your journey starts with our facial imaging skin assessment, a revolutionary new system that observes and measures your unique skin characteristics. Drawing on their depth of knowledge and experience, our therapists will then identify and prescribe your skin treatment plan, designed to help transform your skin’s health.

It’s also possible that your skin may present with a combination of skin conditions. Your skin therapist knows how to treat these conditions in a specific order for the best outcome.

Acne, congestion and breakouts

ACNE, CONGESTION AND BREAKOUTS

Breakouts and congestion affects most people at some point in their life. However, if left untreated, congestion and breakouts can advance to acne. This chronic inflammatory disorder is where certain hormones cause the oil-producing glands next to hair follicles in the skin to produce abnormally larger amounts of oil. This changes the activity of a usually harmless skin bacterium (P. acnes), which becomes more aggressive and results in inflammation and pus. The result is spots, oily skin and sometimes skin that’s hot or painful to touch. Acne typically affects the areas of the body that produce oily serum, namely, the face, back and chest.

Causes

Acne is a common skin condition known to run in families. There are also lots of external causes such as hormonal fluctuations, stress, medications, hot or humid climates and irritating cosmetic ingredients.

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Age Spots

AGE SPOTS

Age spots, also known as Liver Spots or Solar Lentigo, are typically an unwanted consequence of the skin’s natural ageing process and sun exposure. A result of excess melanin (skin pigment) being stimulated, age spots look like an area of uneven skin tone or pigmentation. They are most common on the shoulders, neck, chest, backs of the hands or any sun-exposed areas.

Causes

Sunlight, environmental factors and the natural ageing process all contribute to the development of age spots. They can also occur during pregnancy due to extreme hormonal changes, producing lesions known as melasma.

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Open pores

OPEN PORES

Pores are tiny openings in the skin that release perspiration and oil (sebum) to cool and condition your body. There are up to half a million pores per square centimetre on the skin’s surface. Open pores typically develop as a result of blocked pores, insufficient free water levels within the skin and an accumulation of dead cell material. They appear as small pits giving the skin a dimpled appearance similar to an orange peel. Whilst the nose, forehead and chin areas (the T-Zone) are the most common areas for open pores, they can occur anywhere on the body on all skin types and conditions.

Causes

Open pores can be caused by lots of different factors including genetics, seborrhoea (excessive, thickened oil flow), acne and extractions (squeezing pimples).

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Cholesterol deposits

CHOLESTEROL DEPOSITS

Cholesterol deposits are soft yellowish plaques of fat that build up under the skin. They are usually found in the area around the eyes (periorbital), though they can also present on elbows, knees, hands, feet, joints and bottom. While size can vary greatly, cholesterol deposits are typically flat and soft, often skin-coloured, yellow or reddish.

Causes

Anyone can develop cholesterol deposits, but they are more common amongst older people and those with high blood cholesterol levels.

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Fibromas

FIBROMAS

Fibromas are benign skin tumours. Flat, raised, small or large, they either sit on the skin’s surface or are found attached by a short thin neck or peduncle. Pedunculated fibromas (e.g. skin tag on neck) vary in size from pea-sized to larger ones and can be a normal to dark colour.

Causes

Fibromas of the skin are believed to be genetic, although the likelihood also increases with age or chronic trauma.

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Ingrown hair and folliculitis

INGROWN HAIRS & FOLLICULITIS

Ingrown hairs are hairs that have curled round and grown back into the skin.

This can lead to an inflammation in the hair follicle causing raised red spots, which can sometimes become infected and turn into painful, pus-filled sores. This condition is known as folliculitis.

Causes

Often folliculitis occurs in areas that are damaged by friction or hair removal, or where there is blockage of the follicle. Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) can also be a contributing factor. It can be a particular problem in areas like the face, legs, armpits and pubic area. Anyone can get ingrown hairs, but they tend to be more common amongst people with coarse or curly hair.

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Pigmentation

PIGMENTATION

Pigmentation is areas of uneven skin tone, darkness, age spots or freckles. It occurs when excess melanin (skin pigment) has been stimulated. There are two different forms of pigmentation: passive and inflammatory.

Passive pigmentation comes from an internal imbalance, which activates the melanin-stimulating hormone. Inflammatory pigmentation is a result of the activation of our skin’s natural defence mechanisms, which causes melanin to move up and defend the skin against trauma.

Both forms of the condition can occur on the shoulders, neck, décolletage, hands, bikini area and face. Pigmentation affects all skin colours and all skin types and conditions.

Causes

A range of external, internal and genetic factors can cause pigmentation. Inflammatory pigmentation is typically triggered by sun exposure, the use of poor skin products, or trauma. Passive pigmentation is more likely a result of hormonal changes, pregnancy, the contraceptive pill and various medications.

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Premature ageing and sun damage

PREMATURE AGEING & SUN DAMAGE

Premature ageing is a result of structural destruction and deterioration in the normal functioning of skin. As we age, the skin’s natural defence mechanisms, such as collagen and elastin, begin to break down, and we begin to notice the lines and wrinkles that weren’t there before. Collagen gives body tissue shape, firmness and strength, while elastin gives much needed flexibility to your skin. Other signs of skin ageing include pigmentation, sunspots and sagging.

Sun exposure speeds up this ageing process. UV from the sun breaks down collagen and impairs the synthesis of new collagen. It also attacks the skin’s elastin fibres. Without supportive connective tissue (collagen and elastin), the skin loses its strength and flexibility.

Causes

It is natural for our skin to lose some of its youthfulness as we age. But factors such as smoking, nutrition, exercise and not using SPF protection can accelerate the skin’s ageing process.

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Reactive and sensitive skin

REACTIVE & SENSITIVE SKIN

Skin isn’t as sensitive as you might think. In fact, the outer layer of your skin (the epidermis) acts as a protective barrier for your body, keeping harmful substances out and locking moisture in. However, sometimes your skin’s natural defences can become weakened, which compromises the moisture barrier and leaves your skin susceptible to external irritants, such as harsh ingredients and allergens. Some people believe this to be sensitive skin, but it is more accurately known as reactive skin.

Causes

There are many reasons why your skin might become reactive. One of the main causes is trans epidermal water loss (TEWL). Water is very important for healthy skin. Cold weather and central heating, hot weather and air conditioning can deprive skin of its moisture, leaving it feeling dry, sensitive and reactive. Dirt and pollution can also weaken the skin’s natural barrier and make it more reactive.

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Sebaceous hyperplasia

SEBACEOUS HYPERPLASIA

Sebaceous hyperplasia is enlargement of the skin oil glands (sebaceous glands) causing benign small bumps. These harmless bumps often appear soft, yellowish in colour with a cauliflower-like or donut-shaped appearance ranging in size from 2 to 3mm. They usually appear on the forehead and cheeks, where oil glands are plentiful. While it is not a painful condition, lumps may be irritated by shaving, glasses or clothing.

Causes

Sebaceous hyperplasia tends to be more common in fair-skinned people who have dealt with oily or combination skin over the years. There is also a genetic component, and it can manifest in people over 40 who have a family history of the condition. Sun damage can also be a factor.

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Skin tags

SKIN TAGS

Skin tags are small, soft, skin-coloured growths that hang off the skin. They’re very common and can vary in colour and size from a few millimetres up to 5cm wide. They are commonly found on the neck, breasts, armpits, around the groin and on the eyelid. Skin tags are harmless but may become inflamed if they are repeatedly irritated when tissues are rubbed together in friction e.g. wearing jewellery.

Causes

Skin tags are more common in older people and people who are obese or have type 2 diabetes. A change in hormone levels, such as during pregnancy, may cause skin tags to develop. However, often there is no apparent cause.

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Stretch marks

STRETCH MARKS

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Stretch marks (striae) are a type of scar that occurs when collagen fibres in the skin are stretched rapidly. Typically occurring in the breast, abdomen and thigh area, stretch marks may first appear as red or purple lines, fading over time to a white or silver colour. They can affect any skin types and conditions.

Causes

Our skin is generally very resilient, but there are some life events that cause it to overstretch. This can be due to rapid growth or weight gain, pregnancy, muscle building and puberty.

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Unwanted hair

UNWANTED HAIR

All women have facial and body hair, but it’s usually very fine and fair. Hirsutism is when excessive, thick, dark hair grows in areas where men usually have hair, such as the chin, neck and chest. Shaving, waxing and plucking might seem like quick fixes, but they can cause damage to the skin.

Causes

Hirsutism is caused by an excess of male hormones called androgens in the woman’s body, usually as a result of pregnancy or menopause. Unwanted hair growth is also common when women get older and can run in families. In younger women, the most common trigger is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which causes irregular periods and fluid-filled sacs (cysts) on the ovaries.

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Scarring

SCARRING

When recovering from an injury, trauma or skin condition, scarring is a natural part of the healing process. If the trauma involves the most superficial layers of the skin (epidermis and superficial dermis), you can heal without scarring. However, if the trauma involves the deep dermis, a scar will develop. Scars can be atrophic (indented), hypertrophic (raised), keloid (raised, red and large), pigmented or a combination of these characteristics.

Causes

Scarring naturally follows acne, injuries or surgery. The most common scar type is an indented scar, which is often left by acne on the face, chest or back.

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Small leg veins

SMALL LEG VEINS

Small leg veins might be highly common, but that doesn’t stop them being an embarrassing issue, especially for women. Small leg veins, also known as spider veins, are very fine and can appear as short unconnected lines or in a tell-tale spiderweb pattern. They are typically a red or bluish colour.

Small leg veins are rarely a serious health problem, but they may cause uncomfortable feelings in the legs, such as itching or burning. Occasionally, the veins can be a sign of blood backup deeper inside.

While small leg veins cannot be prevented as such, they can be treated. The large majority of spider veins are not needed for healthy blood circulation and so can be effectively and safely eliminated with non-surgical procedures, such as sclerotherapy.

Causes

There are lots of reasons superficial leg veins can develop. The most common cause is genetics, but women can also get them after pregnancy or if they have a career with long periods of standing, such as hairdressing or teaching. Certain lifestyle choices can also increase your risk, such as smoking, obesity and hormonal birth control.

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Vascular lesions

VASCULAR LESIONS

Vascular lesions are the result of lots of vessels, or large vessels, that form directly underneath the skin. Because the vessels are visible through the skin, this results in a red appearance. Lesions can occur in many sizes, shapes and forms all over the body, and tend to be more noticeable in people with fair or thin skin.

Causes

Vascular lesions may be hereditary or caused from any constant exposure to excessive blood stimulation such as alcohol, caffeine, hot drinks, physical exertion, excessive spicy foods, high blood pressure, drugs or sun exposure. They can also be common in those whose skin gets red or flushed easily.

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Wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin

WRINKLES, FINE LINES & SAGGING SKIN

Wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin are tell-tale signs of ageing. Poor circulation and lymph drainage result in a loss of structural integrity, weakened fragile capillaries, decreased skin density and decline in collagen production, all of which causes the dermal structures to deteriorate and the skin to sag (skin laxity). There are two types of lines and wrinkles (rhytides): dynamic and static. Dynamic wrinkles are shown when facial muscles contract, while static wrinkles are visible even when your face isn’t moving.

Causes

Wrinkles, fine lines and sagging skin are all a natural part of getting older, but there are some factors that cause them to be more or less pronounced: genetics, sun exposure, pollution, illness and lifestyle.

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