WHAT IS COLLAGEN AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Collagen is one of those words which we in the beauty industry tend to throw around all the time.  We stress the importance of ‘boosting collagen’ or describe it as the ‘holy grail of youth’ but do you know what it is and why you need it?

Well, collagen is a protein, and a pretty important one at that as it is found all around the body…in the bones, skin, muscles, tendons, blood vessels, and the digestive organs. In the skin, collagen provides elasticity and replaces dead skin cells. In the tendons, collagen acts like glue by holding everything together.  In my book that all sounds pretty important.

Collagen is essential for youthful skin keeping it plump and wrinkle-free, but as we age our supplies drastically dwindle.. In addition to ageing, lifestyle factors like stress, poor diet, and poor gut health can all decrease the body’s ability to produce collagen and thus speeding up the ageing process.  Here’s how to top it up naturally or with the latest hi tech treatments:

Skincare

*Despite the promises, collagen creams cannot be absorbed through the skin, as the molecule is too large. It’ll sit on the surface of the skin to help lock in moisture and make it feel nice, but that’s it, so save your money.

* Some of the most effective skin ingredients that will promote collagen production include vitamin C, amino acids and copper peptide. Choose a serum containing any of these potent ingredients, as it will penetrate deeper into skin cells than a moisturiser can target.

* Retinoid creams – only available on prescription – have been proven to help boost collagen production.
Food

*Food is a great way to boost collagen naturally in the skin   Fish like tuna and salmon are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which help create stronger cells. Dark green vegetables will boost collagen production and orange ones like carrots and sweet potatoes are rich in
vitamin A to help restore and regenerate damaged collagen. Protein is also important as it can help support the body’s natural production of collagen, particularly bone broth, eggs fish and small amounts of meat.

*High-sugar consumption can lead to collagen depletion as a high-sugar diet can damage proteins and make collagen fragile.

*Vitamin C is key to radiant, healthy skin as it acts as an antioxidant and helps produce collagen. Oranges, strawberries, broccoli, kiwi fruit are all good for you…plus they are so delicious.  Indulge!

*Boost Zinc production by including shellfish, meat, beans and peas, nuts, seeds

*And don’t forget Copper which is found in whole grains, beans, nuts, shellfish, leafy greens
At the Clinic 
*Collagen Boosting Facial
You can kick-start and boost collagen production with regular hi-tech radio frequency facials. Gwyneth Paltrow swears by them and says her favourite Collagen Wave facials have taken ‘years off her face’.  First, skin is cleansed and then a hand held device delivers radio frequency over the entire face – a smaller device is used for delicate areas under the eyes and around the mouth. There’s no downtime and a course of four monthly treatments will see plumper and tighter skin.

* Replace lost volume with Sculptra
Scupltra is an injection with a difference. It is based on Lactic acid which is a natural product found in our muscles. When it is injected in the face it replaces lost collagen and stimulates the growth of new collage. Many celebrities are secretly having Sculptra as it gives gradual results and a natural-looking, fresh-faced appearance. Sculptra is a particularly good option if you want to restore a more youthful shape to your face but don’t want a face-lift or other surgery. Nobody immediately recognizes you’re had it done, unlike dermal fillers, where the effect is more instant. Three to five treatments two months apart may be needed. A topical anesthetic may be required, and you may be bruised and/or swollen afterward. You’ll see an immediate plumping effect but best results are seen after six weeks when new collagen is stimulated.  Results last up to four years.
From £450 an area

* Regenerate Naturally
Microneedling is the crème de la crème for stimulating new collagen.  A peptide solution is massaged on the skin and then a Dermaroller, a barrel-like hand roller with hundreds of very fine needles, thinner than your own hair, is rolled over to spike the skin, leaving pin point punctures– this is perceived by the body as damage which activates a wound heal response to regenerate the skin, boost collagen levels, which in turn thickens and plumps fine skin, fading lines and reducing wrinkles. A course of three to four weekly treatments
may be required and you should see results within six weeks. A home kit is also available to prolong results.

Finally…..Do Not Smoke.  Many chemicals in tobacco smoke damage collagen and elastin, and remember that UV rays from the sun can damage collagen in our skin. When it rebuilds, it forms wrinkles — so, do what every beauty editor recommends and apply that sunscreen. Every day not just when you are on the beach.

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The MenoPodge

The MenoPodge.

 

Sometimes life sucks if you are a woman – particularly if you are a menopausal woman.  And before all smug 30 and 40-somethings stop reading….that can mean you too, as the menopause can strike at an early age.  I see a lot of women in the Clinic who complain that they have put on weight and just cannot seem to shift it ….I call it the MenoPodge….and who are looking for cosmetic surgery to solve the problem.

I really sympathize, because all regular readers know that I documented my own weight loss last year and taking it off is one thing, but keeping it off is a completely different matter particularly when battling the hormonal roller coaster which is the reason the pounds go piling on.   The menopause is a natural progression of female life but it doesn’t mean that we have suffer in silence.

There are things we can all do to make life easier.

Why the Menopodge?

After 40 virtually all women find that they gain fat more easily especially below the bra, the triceps area (the dreaded bingo wings), on the back, and on the tummy and thighs. This tendency to gain weight is a natural part of ageing, but lifestyle and genetic factors come into play too, so we cannot simply blame the menopause itself. However, the drop in oestrogen levels that happens at menopause has the effect of redistributing body fat, so often excess pounds often settle round the waist as unwelcome ‘middle-aged spread’ or meno-pot.  

More bad news. Muscle mass diminishes with age too and this decreases the rate at which your body uses calories, which can make it more challenging to maintain a healthy weight.  

Even more bad news. There’s no magic formula for preventing — or reversing — menopause weight gain. 

I did say that life sucks!

There’s a lot we can do to minimise the problem though.


For instance: 1. Keep on the go. Move more…whichever way you look at it you need to up your exercise routine. It doesn’t have to be in a gym – simply walking more and sitting less is going to help. And try to find a way to build muscle – and no I don’t mean you have to compete with the weightlifters in the gym (although that would help!) – just find something heavy like two large bottles of water and use those as weights to start off with. Your bingo wings will love you.

 

2. Sleep Yourself Slimmer Not getting enough sleep disrupts a hormone called leptin in the body, that regulates appetite and when you’re tired you’re more likely to eat more, especially sugary foods. Try to find a way to get 6-7 hours sleep each night, preferably without resorting to pills. I find a warm bath with Epsom salts is effective.  


And recently I have discovered that the CBD oil I mentioned in early posts works incredibly well as a sleep aid. Three drops under the tongue and I am out… definitely beats counting sheep. I use MariPharm because it is the purest CBD I have found. Plus it tastes nice too unlike some of the more mass market varieties available. MariDrops cost £39.99 from www.maripharm.co.uk

The best quality CBD oil (cannabidiol) products to supplement a healthy lifestyle. Available in UK and nationwide. Free shipping on all MariPharm CBD products.
www.maripharm.co.uk



3. Lose The Booze Ladies, I am with you. This is tough one, but if you CAN give up alcohol completely it will definitely help, because alcohol stores fat on your waist and irritates your intestines, which can cause bloating, known as the “booze bloat”. And a hangover often causes you to reach for sugary carbs and sweet snacks.  Think of it as simply drinking sugar!


Try Gin and Tonic instead of the regular glass of wine..it has fewer calories and I find it harder to get through more than one to two G&T’s than three glasses of wine!

4. Avoid Crash Diets Skipping meals and following extreme diet plans that exclude carbohydrates and other vital nutrients is unhealthy and may reduce levels of leptin and leptin receptor sensitivity, the hormone that regulates appetite and fat distribution. I have tried most diets, and whilst it is great to see the pounds fall off, it is depressing to see it all come back on again once normal eating habits are resumed.  You need to change your eating habits and establish a new routine.


My tips for eating during the Menopause:

  • Take a daily probiotic. Levels of friendly bacteria in the gut drop after the age of 50 leaving you at increased risk of a sluggish digestion and bloating
  • Nibbling nuts instead of biscuits can help shift middle age spread as they’re high in protein and essential fatty acids, balance your hormones and ward off sugar cravings. But not too many!
  • Eat more whole grains. Research shows that menopausal women who eat more of these tend to have less body fat than those who get exactly the same number of calories from carbohydrates.
  • For every decade after 40, your body needs around 5% fewer calories, so cut back.
  • The ideal diet for healthy weight loss should be low-fat and incorporate fresh fruit, vegetables, and protein sources…and cut out the juicing…you need fibre in your diet to help keep your insides working properly.
  • Up your oil intake. Oily fish (such as salmon and mackerel), olive oil, linseed oil and nuts .A good intake of oil helps your body burn fat.
  • Eat more oestrogen-mimicking foods – pulses, bean sprouts, linseeds and green, leafy vegetables, garlic, celery, seeds, broccoli, carrots and some herbs and spices such as sage, fennel and parsley *Protein is not just for bodybuilders. If you want to lose body fat, then adding protein to your meals will help as it not only keeps you fuller for longer but also helps builds lean muscle. Start the day will a high protein breakfast…eggs are brilliant.

5. At the Clinic As I said earlier, I see a lot of ladies who want instant solutions, so here’s three of the best Menopausal Shaping Treatments:

  • Fight Cellulite Thirty per cent of your collagen is lost during the menopause resulting in thinner skin and more cellulite. Cellutite is a laser treatment, which goes underneath the skin to smooth out lump, soften cellulite and tighten skin. Less invasive than liposuction, it uses high-energy radio frequency assisted lipolysis technology (RFAL) and is carried out using local anesthesia. From £2000
  • Firm up Forma uses next level radio frequency energy to help contract the layers of the skin and stimulate new collagen to tighten and improve skin tone. The treatment is painless and feels like a warm massage using a hand piece that delivers the precise energy. You will need four to six weekly hourly treatments for the best results. From £200
  • Tummy Toner Body FX is a non-invasive treatment that uses a combination of Radio Frequency and electroporation to destroy fat cells on the stomach and around the waist. It will also help boost collagen to tighten and improve skin tone. Six weekly hourly treatments recommended. Can be uncomfortable, from £300  

Ladies, you are not alone, there’s help out there, and just remember that the Menopause does not last forever…just try to be in good shape once it ends. Now that’s a cause for a smug celebration.

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DREAM CREAMS FOR YOUR TUMMY

Good evening everybody. Here we are, as promised. Below I go into detail about how you can beat the bloat foods, procedures you can have at the clinic for your tummy fixes AND my favourite dream creams for the stomach.

Summer body here we come… thank me later!!

 

Beat the Bloat Foods

A great four-day anti bloat diet will help flatten your stomach  – simply avoid all carbohydrates, sugar, fizzy drinks, fried and gassy goods and eat plenty of protein fruit and vegetables as well as the foods below…

1. Nuts/Olives/Avocado – contain healthy fats and research shows that dieters who ate foods containing monounsatured fats (like nuts) lost more belly fat than those who ate the same number of calories with less of the fats. But watch portions – stick to a handful of nuts or less per day.

2. Fat free Yogurt/ Non fat Greek Yogurt –contains calcium and protein as well as good bacteria (probiotics) that may help reduce bad bacteria in the intestines that can cause belly bloating.

3.Mushrooms –the only natural plant source of Vitamin D. Insufficient levels of vitamin D have also been lined to higher levels of belly fat.

4. Beans – low in calories, high in fibre and a great flat belly food – don’t eat too many and drink with water to avoid excess gas

5. Oily fish – such as salmon can help combat middle-aged spread as they contain the protein leptin, which acts like a hormone, reducing fat stored around the middle and controlling your appetite so you don’t overeat.

AT THE CLINIC

If your tummy problem is more about crepey or just a little loose skin then you will benefit from one of the new non-invasive treatments to tighten and firm the stomach.

* Viora Reaction is a quick, safe procedure which uses both vacuum massage and radiofrequency (RF). The massage improves blood circulation and lymphatic draining, while the heat produced by RF stimulates new collagen growth for better skin thickness and texture. You’ll need four to six 20 minute treatments for maximum effect and results should last for at least two to three years as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle. The cost is around £200 per treatment Contact 0207 436 4441 for more info.

* BodyTite can target stubborn fat pockets which are resistant to diet and exercise. It is a form of energy-assisted liposuction that that works by applying radiofrequency energy at the time of fat removal. The radiofrequency energy heats the tissues, which helps to break down fat, while also creating a significant tightening effect on the skin. This makes the process of fat removal less aggressive when liposuction is used to remove the ‘melted’ fat cells. The treatment takes slightly longer than standard liposuction, but creates less swelling and bruising and can be done under local anesthetic. . After the treatment, a garment is applied and needs to be worn for at least four weeks Studies also show that BodyTite tightens the skin up to 60 per cent more than traditional liposuction From £2500 depending on the size of the treatment area Contact 0207 436 4441

DREAM CREAMS

Every time you bathe or shower apply a nourishing body cream to hydrate the skin on your tummy Try;

*Etat Pur Pure Active A90 Caffeine £11.30 to help stimulate circulation www.etatpur.co,uk

*Dr. Ceuticals Tummy Tone  £19.99 formulated with brown seaweed to target fat pockets.  from Boots

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TIPS FOR TUMMY TROUBLES

Most women get the January bloat when waistbands are too tight after Christmas and you end up with the dreaded muffin top. In fact, did you know that a recent survey suggested over sixty two per cent of women said the body part they are most self conscious about is their belly. Unfortunately, as we age and our metabolism slows down, stomach fat gets harder to shift. But you can make over your midriff with the right nutrition, exercise and treatment..

LIFESTYLE TIPS

You need to take a three fold approach against a tubby tum – burning fat with cardio exercise like fast walking, dancing, swimming, diet (see below) and then toning the core muscles with strengthening exercises like crunches and sit-ups.

*A great exercise for the stomach- and the back – is the plank. Lie face down on the floor then come up a little to lean on your elbows, shoulder width apart. Raise your body off the floor, holding in your tum, and then hold it in a straight line for a count of 10, then longer as you improve. Do these every day to see a difference.

*Try adding light weights to your exercise routine as they will help increase muscle mass and burn more calories.

*A really easy way to get a flatter stomach is to repeatedly hold your tummy in. Simply pull your belly button in towards your spine and hold for a few seconds.

*Too much stress can increase levels of the hormone cortisol, which can also lead to excess stomach fat. If you’re feeling frazzled, try to de- stress through deep breathing inhale through your nose, count to four, then exhale from your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat until you feel refreshed. Yoga or Pilates will also strengthen and tone stomach muscles and help you to relax.

Check back on the blog tomorrow to read about how you can beat the bloat foods, treatments that can help at the clinic and my favourite DREAM CREAMS!

 

 

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ASK LESLEY – RED BUMPS AND WAXING

I always get red bumps after waxing and hair removal. What causes them and what’s the solution?

These little bumps are often ingrown hairs. To banish then without irritation use a solution like Skin Doctors Ingrow Go Lotion (£11.39 boots.com) nightly to help free and prevent the ingrown hairs. The solution contains salicylic acid; glycerin and glycolic acid to clean out and purify the affected pore, reducing red spots and exfoliating the dead skin making the ingrown hairs pop out easily. It’s perfect for legs, under arms and the bikini line. Best tip is to use for several days before waxing to lift ingrown hairs or wait at least 12 hours after waxing before applying.

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SPOT TIPS

Last week in my blog post, I spoke all about adult acne. Now, whether you have adult acne or just spots in general… here are some spot tips for you!

SPOT TIPS

If you’re tempted to treat your acne with a few old tricks from your teen years, don’t. Adult skin is more sensitive and less resilient than adolescent complexions The most important thing you can do for your skin is have a good skin routine

*Avoid anything that contains lanolin, mineral oil, or petroleum.

*Don’t use pressed powders pancake or powder or liquid foundation, because most contain oil. Use a good mineral make up, it’s anti-inflammatory, acts as a concealer, foundation, powder and sunscreen all in one*Cleanse no more than twice a day And never cleanse with harsh soaps that will dry out your skin. Since your skin is likely drier than it once was, over-washing can remove the surface oils that keep it supple

*Drinking water is crucial.  Aim for 2 litres a day to flush out toxins and increase your intake of dietary fibre

* Focus on exfoliating, not degreasing. As we age, skin’s cell turnover slows, and pores can get clogged with dead cells. Slough them away with an at-home peel.

*Never squeeze spots. It’s tempting, but when you squeeze or pick at pimples, you may be pushing the inflammation deeper into your skin which could cause scarring.

*Wash make up brushes regularly, twice a week at least

*Use a clean pillowcase. The following night turn it over and on the third night change and use a clean pillowcase and repeat.

*Avoid shellfish According to new research; they may be making you break out. The reason: Shellfish contain iodine, which is the only dietary component proven to cause breakouts in people sensitive to it—plus, they are “high androgen foods,” meaning they could contain hormones that lead to acne.

* New  research has  identified an inability among sufferers to digest saturated fats, so eliminating dairy products and all animal fats, especially red meats, may help to manage the symptoms.  Sufferers should also avoid yeast and white sugars.

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ALL ABOUT ADULT ACNE

You may think acne as a condition that belongs to your youth but today, an influx of adult woman are experiencing acne – and some are having it worse than when they were teenagers.

Our modern lifestyles mean middle-aged women  (44 per cent of all UK women according to the latest figures) are increasingly suffering the misery of bad skin and the rate of women suffering from acne is   on the rise.

Cases of women and men developing acne for the first time in their thirties and forties are on the increase and it can even persist until their sixties. According to the latest statistics around 52 per cent of women over the age of 33 have some form of acne with about 15 per cent getting their first serious attack in their forties.

So what’s behind this epidemic of adult acne? Skin experts believe that an increase in the male hormone, testosterone, may be the main cause. It creates an excess of sebum — an oily/waxy substance produced by the sebaceous glands to lubricate the skin. Too much sebum causes a build-up of oil and dead skin cells in hair follicle pores. Bacteria make their way to the blockage, and the growth in bacteria causes acne.

But many facets of modern life are also thought to exacerbate it, including junk food, the excessive consumption of sugar, hormone imbalances, also due to hormone overload in processed foods, stress as well as growing school of thought that acne is genetic.  So f you’ve got it how do you deal with it?It is important to be treated by skin experts/ a dermatologist as early as possible to find out what’s causing your acne and also to prevent scarring. Growing concern over antibiotic resistance is changing how we are acne. We used to have a great deal of success treating acne with oral antibiotics but the bacteria responsible for causing acne has become so resistant to the drugs that the ability to treat modern acne has now become compromised so instead we are relying more on topical treatments with targeted skincare, laser and light treatments along with chemical peels and  prescribed hormone treatments.

Often, it is hard for acne sufferers to understand why, even with on-going treatment, they cannot get rid of their symptoms forever. But acne is similar to having any chronic disease, although there is no cure yet, we can control the symptoms and patients with acne need to find a treatment regime that works for them to maintain clear skin.  Remember, many acne treatments may take a while to work (anywhere from 2-6 months) so doesn’t stop using the treatment within this time period.  And if your acne does not improve talk to your doctor or dermatologist. Mention any side effects from, or irritations to, your acne treatment. Some acne treatments tend to dry out the skin during the initial stages but the skin usually adjusts.

 

SKIN CLEARING SOLUTIONS

 

AT THE CLINIC

No single medical therapy fits every case but the single most important thing you can do to keep acne under control is to have a good skin care routine and this means using the right products for you along with a range of topical treatments including IPL, microdermabrasion and chemical peels

 

*For milder breakouts, topical medications like retinoid – derived from vitamin A –can significantly improve the skin. You’ll need a prescription from your doctor to get it.

* Smartxide Laser 3- 5 treatments, six weeks apart will improve skin tone boost collagen and fade acne scars. From £250 per treatment 0207 436 4441

*Glycolic Peels- a monthly peel will help improve acne scarring and keep pores unblocked. From £60

* PRP therapy also known as Dracula Therapy which uses your own blood can help stimulate the regeneration of skin cells and new collagen. The results are natural with no downtime. From £400 a treatment

*If you’ve been left with acne scars, fat transfer or filler can fill out the dents leaving a smoother complexion from £200

 

BEST HIGH STREET BUYS

Look out for these spot-busting ingredients

*Glycolic Acid-derived from sugar cane, can penetrate pores and dissolve the plug of dead skin cells and oil that block pores and allow bacteria to grow that leads to spots.

*Salicylic Acid-derived from the willow tree, breaks up pore clogging sebum and encourages the shedding of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin

*Benzoyl Peroxide- Benzoyl peroxide has an antibacterial effect and helps kill bacteria that occurs in acne but be careful with clothes and towels it will bleach them white! Also avoid getting too much sun while you’re using it.

*Sulfur acts as an anti-bacterial agent, a pore cleanser and inflammation reducer. four and 12 weeks.

 

 

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Fill’er Up!

 

I have written about fillers many times in the past, mainly because advances in this area of cosmetic surgery have been huge…and a touch of one of the new fillers really can make a difference, with very little downtime.  Honestly, they can really help to restore youthful contours by plumping the cheeks and filling in hollows under the eyes for instance, so when a girlfriend of mine said she wanted some help but didn’t want to go down the full facelift route…yet….I said she needed fillers.  She gulped, because she is a true needle phobic and despite the fact that I said that in the hands of a good doctor she was unlikely to feel any pain, she said no.
So.. fast-forward a couple of months and she came back to say she would do it!  Reader, I booked her in and it all went well but I am going to let her tell you the story!
Lesley has been a friend for a long time and because she is so on the ball with the latest cosmetic techniques it has been fascinating listening to all the different procedures she works with.  I had been considering a face lift, but because I am such a coward when it comes to needles, I have been putting it off, and putting it off…so when the subject of fillers came up I was curious to know if it could work for me.  Like most women, as I age I have found the hollows under my eyes have become more pronounced and my cheeks have less volume…could fillers help?  Lesley said yes and said that the topical anaesthetics used were so good that after 15-20 minutes I would not feel a thing.  And the whole procedure would take about 40 minutes.  
 
I was terrified.  On one hand I wanted to try it out….but did I mention that I was needle phobic?  I said no, but after a couple of months I thought I was being a complete idiot and if other people could do it, why couldn’t I.  And if it hurt…I would scream.
 
So earlier this year, and completely unbeknownst to my husband, who hated the whole idea of fillers and botox,  I booked myself in. 
 
On the day itself, I arrived at the Clinic, had a ton of anaesthetic cream applied to my face and sat down with a cup of coffee and a magazine and allowed the cream to do its job.  And Dr. Khan was a delight.  He had clearly been prepped that I was a very, very nervous patient, and he took time to explain what would happen.  We chatted away for a while about all sorts of subjects before I realised that he had actually begun work and was quietly and efficiently injecting my face.  And I can honestly say that it did not hurt.  Yes, I winced a couple of times and gave a tiny gasp every now and again, but that was more due to pressure than actual pain….and therefore no screaming.  He decided to add in a touch of botox too and again, that didn’t hurt…he was so quick that I didn’t have time to register that this might be painful and to object.  
 
Once it was over, I looked in the mirror, expecting to see blood everywhere, but there was none.  A couple of pin pricks which soon cleaned up and a dash of mineral makeup covered those so they were unnoticeable.  And my face was fuller…not hugely so, but I looked subtly younger.
 
My girlfriends commented that I was looking particularly well…but of course, my husband didn’t notice a thing…which is irritating actually because I would have liked to point out that the new, improved me was down to the two things he hated…botox and fillers.  But on reflection I decided to say nothing …particularly because Dr. Khan mentioned that I could probably do with a couple of ‘threads’ to lift the cheeks a tad.  He explained that this would partly erase the dreaded corner of the mouth lines..marionette lines I think they are called because they look like the mouth on a puppet…and again it is not painful, but I might feel a little pressure.
 
I liked that idea and have booked myself in.  I am getting so brave in my old age!
So, one happy patient!  And I can report that she DID come back and have the threads inserted….and I heard no screaming!  Mind you, she was smiling a lot when she left and continues to smile every time I see her.  With reference to threads, my advice is to have a couple inserted and then let them ’settle’ in.  Assess the situation every few months and top up with another one or two as needed.
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ASK LESLEY – TIPS FOR SPIDER VEINS IN THE SUMMER

I’m thinking of having sclerotherapy to treat the spider veins on my thighs and legs but do I have to stay out of the sun after treatment? Also I always seem to get swollen legs in the summer or after flying – any tips?

I know Summer is a while away… but for those thinking of catching some Winter sun… You normally have to wear c,ompression tights for up to three weeks after treatment ,every day,  so yes you can go out in the sun as long as you have your compression garments on – and that can be very  uncomfortable.  Our advice is to wait until the Autumn to have this procedure and in the meantime use a good cover up cream or a fake tan  such as Calze Spray On Tights  (£16 marksandspencer.com)to disguise leg veins. As for swollen legs, try and eat a clean diet that is low or free from inflammatory foods such as salt and alcohol which can lead to water retention. Foods rich in omega 3 oils such as salmon are a natural anti –inflammatory and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Keep legs elevated when sitting, don’t sit with crossed legs   and soak feet in cool water to depuff ankles. Legology Exfo-Lite Stimulating Salts for Legs (£43 for five sachets. Liberty.co.uk) is a two salt scrub combining sea salt with detoxifying Himalayan pink salts  which help stimulate the lymph for deep draining to  help contour, lighten and energise legs. Apply to dry skin before a shower or bath.

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ASK LESLEY – WHAT IS MARGARITA SUNBURN?

My friend has just returned from the USA and said she developed Margarita sunburn? What is this?

This is a skin condition called phytophotodermatitis, which happens when oil from some plants or citrus fruits, commonly lime (hence the Margarita tag), grapefruit and some oranges, gets on the skin and is then exposed to UV light. This can cause a chemical burn reaction, resulting in stinging blisters and hyperpigmentation which can take weeks to fade. All skin types can be affected. To avoid, always wash hands and skin if you are eating or handling citrus fruits, especially limes, in the sun and wear sun protection at all times.

 

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