The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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This week: skin care

incurable pimples

I have pimples on my face since I was 12. Now I am 19. Neither beauty treatments nor any medicine could cure my problem. Fresh pimples appear before my menstrual periods almost every month. I don’t suffer from constipation, and don’t take sugar, chocolates or fried foods. On the contrary, I take lots of vegetables, fruits, and drink plenty of water. Still there is no improvement. Please suggest a remedy.

Getting pimples at this age is nothing unusual. This has got no relationship with any food in particular or your bowel habits. In fact, you can have any healthy food, and even chocolates and sweets. Drinking plenty of water or taking lots of fruits and vegetables are good for health in general, but won’t solve your skin problem. As you are having pre-menstrual flare-ups, you’ll have to go for some investigations. You should consult a skin specialist and with proper treatment your problem can be substantially controlled.

patches on face

I am a 32-year-old housewife. Since I had childbirth three years ago, I got dark patches on both my cheeks which look quite ugly. Is there anything wrong with my liver' Can they be treated'

You are suffering from melasma. It is related to sun exposure, heredity or may have some hormonal causes. Are you taking any contraceptive pill' It is surely not related to any liver dysfunction. With proper sunscreen and proper use of some skin-lightening agents, melasma can be managed comprehensively. Sometimes a minor procedure called chemical peeling may also be required.

bad dandruff

I have been suffering from dandruff since childhood. I have tried all types of hair oils and hair care products, but nothing has worked. Now I am losing hair too. Will I become bald soon'

Dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp will get more complicated if you continue applying hair oils and so-called hair care products. In fact, hair oil serves no purpose for the growth of hair. Other than a mild conditioning effect, it has got no effect on hair. Applying shampoo regularly is

ecessary. That should take care of your dandruff problem. If that doesn’t help, consult a dermatologist. Regarding falling hair, it seems you have male-pattern baldness which is also known as androgenetic alopecia. As evident from the name, it primarily affects males and in most cases runs in the family. I am afraid, it’s not possible to cure the disorder. At best, getting bald can be deferred for some years.

face cream trouble

I am a 27-year-old receptionist. I have been regularly applying a medicinal face cream to deal with any type of blemish on my face. But whenever I forget to apply it even for a couple of days, or discontinue it, itchy rashes and pimples appear on my face. In addition, fine hairs have also appeared on my face. Is it dangerous' How can I get rid of this problem'

This is a very common complaint. Probably you are applying a potent corticosteroid on your face without knowing the dreadful side effects and probably without any proper medical or dermatological advice and supervision. This practice of self-medication with a potent steroid cream can invite consequences like steroid acne, skin thinning, hair growth etc. You should get in touch with a dermatologist.

itchy eruptions

I’m a 22-year-old student. I have some itchy eruptions on the outer side of my right forearm, forehead and upper back. The areas involved are slightly whitish and rough. Is it eczema' If it is cured, can it lead to asthma'

You are probably having polymorphous light eruption. It is a type of sun allergy. You have lesions on all the classical areas. With the application of a good sunscreen and a corticosteroid for some time this problem can be resolved. Some anti-histamine tablets may also be necessary. This is not exactly eczema. And eczema cannot lead to asthma. That is a myth. So don’t get panicked unnecessarily.

We invite readers’ queries on health problems. Eminent doctors will respond to them in this column every week. Mail your letters to:
KnowHOW, The Telegraph, 6, Prafulla Sarkar Street, Calcutta 700 001
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