Flat Warts (Verruca Plana) is a common benign skin condition . They are caused by a virus known as Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and they can be seen anywhere in the body. Flat warts can affect all ages and are common in both men and women. While common warts are more frequently seen in children and immunocompromised individual more cases of flat warts are seen in in adults especially women who just gave birth. With men, we usually noticed warts on their faces especially the bearded area. Flat warts are slightly raised, smooth, light brown pinpoint papules that are usually mistaken for moles. It often takes a few months for warts to grow large enough to be noticed. They are usually self limiting and can go away even without treatment however it tends to grow in large numbers of 20-100 pieces at a time. There are times when new warts appear as fast as old ones go away because old warts shed virus cells into the skin before it gets treated. Filiform warts, on the other hand looks like long thin fingers that stick out and grow quickly. They often grow on the eyes, around the mouth and nose. Since warts are viral in origin it can spread from person to person or by touching someone’s body or by sharing towels or personal items. Warts can return on the same site or appear in a new spot later. Another common benign skin lesion seen among Filipinos is skin tag (Acrochordon) ,these are soft, skin-colored growth that hangs from the surface of the skin attached on a thin piece of stalk. They easily move or wiggle back and forth. A skin tag is painless but can bleed and become irritated by frequent touching or rubbing. Warts and skin tags are usually treated by methods like electrocautery, cryotherapy, excision , lasers or Cantharidin paint.We don’t recommend treating flat warts or skin tags on the face with topical solutions like Salicylic acid since it destroys the surrounding normal skin hence burns and pigmentation may occur. If your warts or skin tags hurt, bleed, become bothersome or multiply fast then it is time to see your skin practitioner.
You’ve probably asked this question to your aesthetician or dermatologist and I bet they gave very different answers. I have heard some aestheticians claim that dermatologist do not have enough knowledge with facials because they are only trained to treat skin diseases while dermatologists say that there are not enough scientific studies to back up claims that facials really work.
If your face is too dry or too oily, or you're always looking for ways to cover up unsightly facial blemishes, a facial may help. A facial is usually defined as deep cleansing treatment applied to the face, designed to eliminate clogged pores, blackheads, and other skin imperfections. It includes several steps that can include the use of creams, masks, peels, steam, exfoliation, extraction and massage. However, there is no “ one size fit all” technique in facial treatment, everyone has a specific skin type thus it cannot be the same for all the clients. A spa facial is soothing and relaxing and is done to pamper yourself but not to treat the skin problem. On the other hand, medical facials start with skin assessment and consultation so that the skin problem can be properly addressed and treated. Proper skin assessment is important so as not to aggravate the skin condition, There are so many horror stories about “Facials gone wrong” and this is because there is no proper skin assessment or the facialist does not have enough knowledge about the client’s skin condition. For example, some skin care providers do comedone extraction because it is included in the facial package even if it is not needed. The facialist will try pricking the skin until it bleeds, it will then end up with scars which are harder to treat in the end. Additionally, too much massage may cause bruising and sometimes may lead to skin inflammation and acne breakouts. Some “organic” products are too harsh that it causes severe hypersensitivity reaction or allergies (contact dermatitis) so their skin will end up worse than before.
As a dermatologist, I believe that facials can help clear your skin provided: it is customized for patient’s skin type, it is combined with other clinically proven procedures like microdermabrasion or galvanic treatment and done by a certified skin care provider. If you want to treat and pamper yourself, by all means go to a spa for facials. If you want your skin problems treated then make time to research and find a good skin care provider. Do not trust your skin to just anyone, you only have one face and you don’t want it ruined by just one facial treatment.
‘Tech-neck’ and ‘Smartphone Face’: Is your Smartphone to Blame for Sagging Skin? By Gloria Vergara-Octaviano
Cellular phones and laptops have long been implicated as the cause of various health conditions but recently we have been hearing the words “tech-neck” or “smartphone face”. So what exactly is technech or smatphone face? Dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons coined these names because of the increasing number of skin tightening procedures and chin implants that they claim are secondary to cellular phones and laptops. Doctors say that frequent neck bending cause by looking at the cell phone screens will lead to sagging skin, dropping jowls and lines just above the collarbone. A pioneering medical aesthetic practitioner, Dr Mervyn Patterson, of the Woodford Medical Aesthetics coined the name “smatphone face”. He claimed that 'If you sit for hours with your head bent slightly forward, staring at your Iphone or laptop screen, you may shorten the neck muscles and increase the gravitational pull on the jowl area, leading to a drooping jaw line. We usually see sagging skin and wrinkles at the beginning of middle age but apparently there is an increasing incidence of premature skin sagging because of too much use of smartphones and laptops. Other doctors call them ‘tech-neck’ which is found mostly in people aged 18 to 39 who have an average of three digital devices and look down at their screens up to 150 times a day. The frequent neck bending hastens the impact of gravity and natural loss of the skin’s elasticity leading to folds and sagging skin. Wrinkles are natural part of ageing, it start to appear as a result of sun exposure, frequent use of facial muscles, smoking, alcohol drinking, genetics and hormonal depletion. People who suddenly lost a lot of weight may also experience sagging skin. Creams and serums containing retinol or retinoid have been proven to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. Other medications include powerful anti-oxidants like Vitamin C and E, CoenzymeQ10 and Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA).More invasive procedures include injectables like soft tissue fillers and Botox, skin resurfacing and surgery (ex: face lift, feather lift). Non invasive treatment options are laser skin tightening, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), Radio Frequency, microdermabrasion ,chemical peels and microneedling. These procedures may be combined for optimum treatment but results may vary depending on the location and depth of wrinkles. Repeated treatments may be necessary so make sure you discuss this with your skin practitioner to see which treatment is best for your skin.
How to prevent premature wrinkling?
Microneedling Therapy: The Answer to Acne Scars, Wrinkles and Stretch Marks? By Manuel C. Octaviano Jr.
Post acne scarring is depressing especially if it occurs on the face. It may lead to social embarrassment and low self esteem. Treating facial scars has always been a challenge for dermatologists because of the side effects and the limitations that most of these treatments bring. Treatment procedures for post acne scars include laser skin resurfacing and dermabrasion (not microdermabrasion).These procedures are effective but with longer downtime hence it needs more time to heal.
Presently, microneedling therapy also known as collagen induction therapy CIT) or Percutaneous Collagen Induction (PCI) is slowly gaining success in the treatment of post acne scars, wrinkles and stretch marks. This minimally invasive procedure uses a device that contains very fine needles that punctures the skin effectively enough to stimulate collagen and elastin production. The microchannel produced will also aid in the penetration and absorption of therapeutic serum. Micro needling system improves the skin texture , increases skin thickness. reduces pore size and stretch marks.
Microneedle number and sizes may vary from 0.5 to 3.0 mm and can be manual, electric or battery powered. Needles sizes of 1.0 mm and higher are designed for deeper scars and generally used by skin practitioners. It is performed in clinic setting and is done every month depending on the recommendation of your dermatologist or skin practitioner. Topical anesthesia may be applied an hour prior to procedure but it is generally well tolerated with minimal downtime. Consultation is recommended prior to procedure so that a personalized approach to treatment can be discussed. We usually recommend 4 treatments 1 month apart depending on the depth of scar and the skin response. Indeed, microneedling has a great promise for the treatment of acne scars, wrinkles and stretch marks. It is best to talk to your skin care practitioner so you will be better informed about this treatment.
Gloria Octaviano is a Physician-Dermatologist in the Philippines, she is a member of the International Society of Dermatology and a diplomate of The Philippine Academy of Clinical and Cosmetic Dermatology.