Q. I have been using anti-ageing creams and products that are available off the shelf at pharmacies for many years. Do these products that promise youthful appearance really work? Are the more expensive creams always better? How about treatments and procedures to combat skin ageing?
A. There are categories of medications which lay claim to reversing the effects of ageing. Those that block out ultraviolet radiation are useful, along with others that mop up oxygen-free radicals. Expensive creams are not always better. It all depends on what the cream claims to do, and whether there are sufficient scientific studies or trials performed on volunteer human beings.
Topical medicines include sunscreen lotions or creams to block the effects of UV light, topical vitamin C as an antioxidant, and hydrating agents.
Treatments like laser and radiofrequency therapy aim to photo-rejuvenate the skin by shedding the top layer (stratum corneum) to expose the ‘younger’ fresher layer. It also creates a stimulus to develop new collagen which theoretically renews skin elastic properties and volume.Surgical procedures like skin re-tightening is also known as a facelift and surgery can also be done for conditions like drooping of breast etc. The use of threads for skin ‘lifting’ has been topical but this is certainly no substitute for surgery. Often the surgery is followed by adjunctive laser therapy to complement the surgery’s effects.
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