Experts reveal the best treatments for these common skin worries

By on September 13, 2017


Experts reveal the best treatments for these common skin worries

Experts reveal the best treatments for these common skin worries

Compiled by Lizza Gebilagin & Juna Xu bodyandsoul.com.au

Stretch marks, cellulite and varicose veins covered.

Picture: iStock

It’s time to get your pins out! Five experts help tackle every woe – from varicose veins to cellulite – to make baring your legs a breeze.

Q What's the best way to ditch stretch marks?

A “Complete removal is never guaranteed and for many people stretch marks are just a part of their body. There are laser removal treatments for stretch marks but these do tend to only lessen the appearance not remove them completely. You can reduce their appearance by dry body brushing once a day and using a weekly coffee scrub. I love Atom Coffee Body Scrub ($21, kindredtoxinfreefacials.com.au), which has a natural AHA in the added citrus oil and coffee to stimulate the skin.

“Follow up with Erica Brooke Detox Body Oil ($50, ericabrooke.com.au). If a client is pregnant, I'll often recommend using Metta Vanilla Body Butter, ($34, kindredtoxinfreefacials.com.au). To prevent more stretch marks from developing, incorporate essential fats into your daily diet – think salmon, avocado, nuts – or take a supplement with all the essential fats to increase collagen in your skin, and drink lots of water,” says Natalie Sellars, Beauty therapist, Kindred Toxin Free Facials.

Q Do coffee products work on cellulite?

A “No, in my opinion, coffee doesn't work to remove cellulite and is actually better on the inside than the outside. In fact, drinking coffee boosts metabolism, especially pre-exercise, burning more free fatty acids and helping with weight loss and creating a leaner body – so in that way it may help with cellulite. In general, topical agents tend not to help with cellulite, except fake tan, which can minimise the appearance. What does work is losing weight and increasing muscle strength and tone in the legs as this strengthens and tightens the underlying support.

“Cellulite is difficult to 'cure'. It's an anatomical defect, due to the skin being tethered by fibrous septae to the underlying muscle layer. This tethering creates the indentations and surface irregularities on the skin's surface. It's mainly genetic, made worse by weight gain as it exacerbates the puckering by increasing the volume in the fat compartments. Some skin tightening radio-frequency laser treatments may help soften the appearance of cellulite but multiple treatments are usually required and the cost for several sessions starts at about $2000. It works by melting fat and tightening the fibrous septae, therefore reducing the drag on the outer skin layer, making it look smoother and less like cellulite,” says Dr Natasha Cook, dermatologist, Darlinghurst Dermatology Skin & Laser Clinic.

Q Should I stop crossing my legs to prevent varicose veins?

A “No – it doesn't cause varicose veins. Up to 40 per cent of Aussies will experience varicose veins during their lifetime and genetics plays the biggest role in determining if you'll get them. If your mum has them, your chances are about 40 per cent, while if both parents have them, the likelihood of you developing them increases to at least 70 per cent. The secondary cause is lifestyle factors, such as prolonged standing – nurses, chefs, hairdressers or factory workers are more likely to develop varicose veins – and obesity. Increased oestrogen levels may also play a role, as some women will notice a few pop up if they're taking the contraceptive pill or during pregnancy.

“If you're prone to getting them, I'd recommend wearing compression stockings, especially on long-distance flights, and staying well hydrated. Exercises will help with circulation but it won't stop varicose veins from forming. Ask your pharmacist about medication known as "venotonics", which can help tone veins and minimise symptoms such as aching, however, they won't affect the appearance of the varicose veins,” says Dr Zil Yassine, Medical Director, The Vein Institute.

Q How can I get rid of varicose veins?

A “Non-surgical treatments are the gold standard, particularly endovenous laser therapy. This gently seals the vein by applying thermal energy, which causes the vein to scar and after a period of time the body resorbs the vein and it disappears. This laser procedure is about 98 per cent effective over five years and doesn't have the associated risks of surgery.

“Endovenous laser treatments are undertaken at specialised clinics and cost between $3000 and $4000 (after Medicare rebates) for a full treatment plan, including scans and follow-up consultations.

“Most patients see results within a few weeks. The important thing to understand is you can't judge the severity of the varicose veins just by looking at them, so I'd encourage patients to get an ultrasound scan to check. Even if you have a consultation and get the scan done, you can obviously decide not to go ahead with treatment but at least you'll know how bad your varicose veins are.

When left untreated, varicose veins can progress to complications such as swelling, aching and throbbing, ulcers, deep venous thrombosis and skin pigmentation, so it's best to consult your GP,” says Dr Zil Yassine, Medical Director, The Vein Institute.



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