Ask Lesley – What are these tiny red marks on my skin?

I’ve got tiny little red marks on skin, on my arms and thighs– it’s not a rash or spots. They are mostly flat but a couple are raised and look like tiny blood marks. My mother had them too. What are they?

You’ve described cherry angiomas, originally described by Dr Campbell de Morgan so they are sometimes called Campbell de Morgans. They are benign, can run in families and can increase in number and size with age. They’re no real cause for concern but if you dislike them they can be removed with radio frequency costing around £150. Or try a concealing cream or mineral make up to cover them.


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Beach Bum Ready

Just as our breasts head south with age, our bottoms follow suit, giving us a saggy, flat behind that’s sometimes referred to as a ‘mum bum’.

Ways to fix it? Why don’t you try a few of my tips;

Work those butt cheeks!

Buttock clenches are the easiest way to firm up those muscles, and you can do it just about anywhere! If you want to take it a step further, try lunges and squats too.. You’ll start to see a difference if you do these three exercises for five minutes each day.

Exercise is the best way to tone that bottom, so beware of crash diets! Drastic diets are the enemy because you lose muscle as well as fat, we need strong muscles to keep good shape. Don’t starve your body because it will reach for lean tissue and muscle for its energy- then you’ll lose all your shape.


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Sort Stress Breakouts with a Cortisone Jab

OMG…you have just woken up and there it is, in the middle of your chin, or nose, or forehead.  A volcano…which is about to erupt. Red and throbbing.  A spot.  And just when you were planning a weekend away with a new partner, or about to start a new job..and don’t forget that society wedding in the Cotswolds.  A spot!!  The result of stress and maybe a little too much of a sugar overload…and it’s not just your waistline that suffers, the skin’s barrier can become more fragile leading to blocked pores and breakouts.

For one crazy minute you contemplate dealing with it yourself.  Maybe gently squeezing it to ‘encourage’ it to pop out all the nastiness and then heal up nicely in time for said social events.  Then sanity kicks in and you realise that you need help.

Sounds like you?  Well, it certainly sounds like me as this scenario has been played out many times, and if like me, you have been tempted to ‘deal’ with the spot and have ended up with something far worse, and a small scar to boot, then take my advice and get a professional in to administer a cortisone jab as this can reduce the size of spots in 24 hours.  And use a salicylic product on top as this helps too.   This has all helped me when I have had a breakout, and I have recommended it to many of our celebrities, who need to be HD-ready at all times. Call the Clinic on 020 7436 4441 and we can definitely help.

Tip: Anything that reduces oil production can help stop breakouts. A diet high in refined carbohydrates can increase skin sebum, so cut out sugar and eat more wholegrains, fruit and vegetables. Or try Mario Badescu’s miracle’ cult classic’ Drying Lotion. (£15.45 from  Jennifer Aniston, Eva Longoria and the cast of Sex and the City are all Mario Badescu fans and swear by this super-fast drying miracle that attacks spots and prevents them spreading, quicker than you could say ‘red carpet’. A few drops before bed will speed healing, dry up whiteheads and pimples, and reduce spreading of acne eruptions creating the perfect skin tone. Suitable for all skin types.

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My Peepers are Party-Pooped!

I feel rather partied-out at the moment, as I have been lucky enough to be invited to one dinner or Gala after another recently. It’s great fun at the time, and lovely to go somewhere where I am amongst friends, but after a while, too many late nights can leave my eyes looking tired, puffy and years older.  My go-to solution is to make sure that I thoroughly cleanse my face in general, and the eyes in particular…both before getting into bed and first thing in the morning….this is to ensure that every scrap of makeup and debris is taken off so that my lovely HSSC Restorative Miracle Serum and my HSSC Eye Serum can go to work and do their job.  

Some people swear by scrubs to take makeup off, but I find that a bit harsh for my skin, so I resort to a good old face flannel and lots of lovely warm water as I find it really soothing and calming.  You can buy stacks of really good face cloths in places like Wilko for something like 35p each!  A good tip is to soak two tea bags in warm water, then chill the bags for a few minutes in the refrigerator. Place one tea bag on each eye for five minutes, and your eyes will feel fresh and look brighter.

And I have also discovered a new treatment called Xela Therapy which can help fade and dramatically improve dark circles. The treatment involves having blood drawn from the arm, which is then spun in a centrifuge to separate out the platelets and then mixed with a new form of hyaluronic acid, called Xela Rederm. This is injected into the areas around the eye to lift, smooth and stimulate the regeneration of skin cells and new collagen. A course of three treatments, two weeks apart recommended but you’ll see fresher more rejuvenated eyes after on. . Results are natural with no downtime. Results last 6-12 months when one top up is required.

As for those tell-tale hollows which can cast shadows under the eyes, a hyaluronic acid filler can also be used to add volume. This instantly helps light bounce off the skin, taking years off the eyes.  Results are instant and last three to six months.

Both treatments and the HSSC products are available at our clinic, so do get in touch if they sound like something which could work for you.  0207 436 4441

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Barcode Lips

Sounds fun doesn’t it?  Cool and hip and probably a hot new treatment from Kardashianland?
Well no actually,  doctors call them perioral lip wrinkles and they can be caused by age, genetics, sun-exposure, and repetitive muscle movements because the mouth is a busy spot and there is repeated contraction of the upper lip muscles when we talk, eat, drink and kiss…and the skin becomes thinner due to the loss of collagen and slowdown in natural fibroblast cell activity. Obviously, smoking is a bad thing, but so is drinking through a straw!
And it is no laughing matter for those patients who have this problem.  I know, because I see a lot of people who want to get rid of these deep, vertical upper lip lines.

Tip:  I have found that using your eye serum can help too because whatever is good for the eye is also good to use on the lips and mouth,  Use one containing peptides as this will help stimulate the production of collagen, an essential ingredient for plum, firm skin.  Try No.7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Eye Cream, £18.  It uses Matrixyl 3000 Plus, No. 7’s most concentrated peptide technology to target lines and wrinkles.  I love it.

We recently treated Linda Nolan who had  the same problem.  Linda was very conscious of the deep vertical lines above her lips  and, as she told us, no amount of make up can hide these. We used system a new laser called Smartxide Dot Laser to treat her , a CO2 laser which can target small areas. It uses a small wand-like device which is passed over the treatment area. The high laser energy damages the outer layers of the epidermis which then flakes away as the skin heals leaving skin firmer and smoother. Depending on the depth of the lines, around two to three treatments are usually needed a month apart and will set you back around £300 per session. Results will last for many years too, depending on lifestyle habits.

Hyaluronic dermal fillers can work wonders on these lines, as can a gentle touch of Botox injected along the edges of the lip line to relax the muscles that cause wrinkling.  Choose your practitioner carefully though!

Come and talk to me if you have this problem and let’s zap that barcode!  020 7436 4441
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Hi Sunshine!

Did you know there is a cream that, used daily, will soften wrinkles, fade fine lines, slow down the ageing process and improve skin tone? Even better, it’s most probably already hidden in your bathroom cabinet and cost you less than a tenner.

It’s called sun cream and despite being the very best anti ageing cream you can buy, around 60 per cent of women still do not use it every day claiming you don’t need to wear sun protection unless you are on holiday.
Meanwhile, new research commissioned by a UK cosmetic clinic into the causes of skin ageing, show that just under third of all women cite stress as the primary cause , a fifth say having children gives you wrinkles, while only 4 per cent blame the main offender, sun exposure.
Although most of us think we’re sun savvy this research proves there still remains much confusion when it comes to sun protection.
In May this year we marked the British Association of Dermatologist’s Sun Awareness Week, a national campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of the sun and skin cancer. Latest figures show that more than 10,000 people over 55 were diagnosed with melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer last year and rates of skin cancers in the over 55s have risen by a staggering 155 per cent over the last two decades. The sun is also the number one cause of accelerated skin ageing and the suns UVA rays cause 90% of wrinkles.
Whether you’re sitting in your back garden or jetting away to hotter climes, we set you straight on some of sun cares old chestnuts, the latest burning questions and highlight the latest SPF wizardry to help you stay safe in the sun.
What key ingredients should I look out for when buying a sunscreen?
Always choose a sun cream which protects against both UVA and UVB rays, referred to as ‘broad spectrum’. The SPF factor on the bottle only relates to UVB rays, the burning rays which have a strong link to skin cancer. The UVA rating, relate to the rays which penetrate deeply into the skin and are the main cause of premature ageing and are measured in stars, one star being the lowest level of protection and four stars being the highest. We recommend choosing a sun cream with a minimum  SPF 30 and a four star UVA rating.
What is all the fuss about Infrared and HEVL protection?

Infrared rays (IR-A) make up over half of the rays found in sunlight and can penetrate deeper than UVA or UVB rays, potentially damaging skin cells. Up to now, many traditional sun creams generally did not have IR-A protection but more and more brands are now adding antioxidants which prevent infrared rays causing damage (see box). Recent research also shows  that blue light, or high-energy visible light (HEVL) might be behind the pigmentation-type damage, or sun spots, seen in darker skins so  now more brands are also adding in HEVL protection to sun protection.

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Your Skin and the Sea

Whether you’re jetting off abroad or staying at home this summer make sure you spend some time by the sea. The ultimate source of life and vitality, the sea is full of iodine magnesium and potassium plus other trace minerals which have been proven to help renew and replenish the skin, also improve skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

Research also shows that the sea’ s mineral content is similar to that of the human body’s allowing it to penetrate cell membranes for maximum hydration.  By restoring the missing minerals and the different elements in the skin, you will help maintains the skin’s natural barrier. Just ten minutes gentle swimming will also boost your immune system and circulation. If you can’t get to the sea, then look out  for he latest ocean inspired skincare.

Ren’s new Renergy Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Collection boasts sea kelp and other marine ingredients to revitalise.

  • Try Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Salt Anti Fatigue Body Scrub (£26
  • Estee Lauder’s new Nutritious Micronized Algae range (from £21 uses specially cultivated cold processed algae from the sea to help hydrate, control oil leaving skin looking fresh and toned.
  • Try Nutritious Micro Algae Hydra Lotion, £36.
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Cankles, Kninkles & Thutts! was a new one for me too, but I love the way that the human race have a habit of renaming parts of the body.  It’s how language evolves I guess.
For those of you who don’t know, the Thutt is the area where the bottom of your bottom (!) and the top of your thighs meet.  It is usually due to the underdevelopment of the gluteus maximus muscle, which causes sagging so that the whole area has no real definition.  The Thutt area is a classic trouble spot as the bottom is comprised of skin fat and other tissue, and it ages similarly to the face.  And thanks to the female hormone oestrogen, all women are prone to carrying fat on their lower half.
It’s not pretty, but it is solvable.
Firstly, consider some exercises to strengthen and lift the glutes because this is one of the biggest muscles in the body, so if it is firmly in place, and well toned, it can lift and define your bottom.  And the more muscle you have, the better your metabolism!  Plus it will help with your core stability too…which will alleviate poor posture and a bad back.  A win-win all around.
Activities that work the legs are all great bottom boosters.  Try running, cycling, walking and swimming.  Buttock clenches will also help firm up those muscles and you can do them anywhere.  Stand with feet apart and clench your bottom muscles.  Hold for a few seconds and repeat for one to two minutes.  Lunges and squats are also good.  You should see a difference after three months of exercise and diet.
Secondly, try BodyTite.  It can remove lumps, bumps and excess fat.  It can also be used to sculpt the undersides of the bottom to give a little uplift.  It’s a one-off treatment with permanent results which is done under local anaesthetic.   You will need to wear a compression garment for at least two weeks afterwards and you should expect to see some bruising and have soreness for a few days.  Best results are 3 months later.
So, if you want a perkier bottom line, I am happy to talk to you to discuss the best treatment plan for you.  0207 436 4441
Now let’s see what the new body-combination word is!
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Shape Up!

Tummies won’t snap back into shape without regular exercise – burning fat with cardio exercise like fast walking, dancing, swimming, diet and then toning the core muscles with strengthening exercises. Remember, if you’re just exercising without changing your diet, you’ll spend a lot of time at the gym with little result.

Try these exercise tips:

*If you’re looking for killer abs like Davina’s, don’t waste your time focusing solely on crunches, since they tone just one muscle group and are not good for the spine. Instead focus on full-body exercises, like squats to overhead press as they help engage your core while working multiple body parts. Yoga and Pilates will also help strengthen and tone all the muscle groups

*A flat tummy needs a strong core and you can do this strengthening exercise when you’re sitting down. Sit at the edge of a sofa with your feet out and on the floor and hands on your stomach. Relax your thighs and turn them slightly outward, then roll back until your bra line just touches the sofa back. Pull in your abdomen and lift one or both feet off the floor. In that position, contract your abs even more as you exhale to a count of 10. Return feet to the floor, sit tall, and relax Repeat five times.

*Using light hand weights during your work out will increase the difficulty and challenge your abs muscles further.

* If you only have time for one exercise, pick the plank and hold for 30 seconds. The plank focuses on your entire core, helping you work the muscles that tighten your midsection while also strengthening your arms and legs.

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Hi Tech Tummy Toners

Hi Tech Tummy Toners

Diet and exercise are still the first (and often the best) option when dealing with stubborn fat around the stomach area but if that’s working a non invasive treatment can help zap stubborn fat underneath the skin’s surface as well as tighten loose, crinkly skin.

Tite FX is ideal for flabby tummies. Radio Frequency and electroporation are used to destroy fat cells as well as boost collagen to tighten and improve skin tone. Four to six weekly hourly treatments recommended from £999 for a course.

If your tummy problem is more about crepey or just a little loose skin, Reaction is a quick, safe procedure that uses both vacuum massage and radiofrequency (RF) to firm up and ton. The massage improves blood circulation and lymphatic draining, while the heat produced by RF stimulates new collagen growth for better skin thickness and texture and a reduction in circumference. You’ll need around to six to eight 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. A course of six costs £999. 0207 436 4441

Most women never regain a washboard stomach after pregnancy, but a postnatal bulge is not so much about fat as muscle tone. During pregnancy the abdominals have to stretch and lengthen enormously and in some women they will separate completely leaving a pouch of loose skin after birth, which is resistant to diet and exercise. The only way to correct the problem is to excise the loose skin with a mini tummy tuck The new micro- tuck focuses on the lower tummy and is less traumatic that a full on tummy tuck with a much faster recovery rate. The incision is very short and is best for women who are in excellent shape but have a small amount of excess skin. You will need downtime of at least two to three weeks for recovery. From £6k for more info 0207 436 4441

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