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How to Deal with Dark Thighs and Underarms, According to a Dermatologist

Get answers about hyperpigmentation, adult acne, and 30s skincare.
How to Deal with Dark Thighs and Underarms, According to a Dermatologist
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Get answers about hyperpigmentation, adult acne, and 30s skincare.

In your 30s, you become more conscious of your internal and external wellness. What younger people may initially think of as vanity, you now consider as loving and taking care of yourself. Skincare, which is all the more vital as you age, becomes a huge part of your daily routine, and by now you know that you can't just use any generic product on your face—you smartly read labels, know the things that work and don't work for you, and stick to your tried-and-tested brands.

At times, you'll need assistance. That's what your friendly neighborhood dermas and aesteticians are for.

"Other people are genetically gifted,” said Dr. Kaycee Reyes in a previous interview with Female Network. "Ang ganda pa rin [ng skin] even at the age of 30, pero 'pag 'di mo naalagaan 'yon... Matatalo ka pa rin ng nag-aalaga ng maintenance [since] the age of 20."

We caught up with Dr. Kaycee recently, and she shared with us tips and solutions for your most common skin concerns. Here's her take on some of the questions you may have always wanted to ask your derma but have never had the time to do so:

"I have dark inner thighs and underarms. What treatments should I get, and what home remedies can I do?"

Dr. Kaycee Reyes: [The] simplest solution is to apply topical anti-inflammatory cream like mild topical steroids for at least 14 days just to lessen the inflammation. Hyperpigmentation is due to chronic irritation (trigger factors include shaving, repeated chafing, hormonal imbalance, obesity, friction, and acanthosis nigricans). 

[You can also treat it with] a 1064nm laser that is specific to target pigmentation via disruption of melanin pigments. This is done every two weeks or or once a month for at least five to eight sessions to see signficant reduction of pigments. Topical medication like hydroquinone, retinol, arbutin, licorice, and kojic acid might help, but not the best option since it can cause allergic and irritant reaction to some people.

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"Is body peeling safe?"

KR: Body peeling is safe if done by a doctor or aesthetician with high level of training. There's a wide selection of peels available depending on skin type and skin concerns. Superficial peels like alpha and betahydroxy acid peels are mild peels that will remove the upper layer of dead skin cells without actual desquamation of the skin. This will trigger repair, regeneration of collagen, and improve skin tone without downtime.

Medium and deep peels like TCA/tricholoacetic acid and phenol peels can give more dramatic results but with higher incidence of complications especially for darker skin like Filipinos and Indians. Phenol peel can even cause kidney failure if not applied properly.

"Why do I always get pimples on my chin?"

KRChin pimples are most of the time triggered by hormonal imbalance due to puberty, during pregnancy, perimenopausal women, and those women who abruptly stopped taking their contraceptive pills. Nutrition and diet can play a role, too. High glycemic index food like white bread, chips, and white pasta can trigger inflammatory acne.

"How do I get rid of the pimples on my back?"

KRFor this, we combine in clinic procedures of mild peels, topical retinoids, and oral medications (oral antibiotics, roaccutane) depending on the severity of the back acne. But with back acne, most of the time, we give oral medications to control the inflammation and bacteria since topicals most of the time can't be the sole treatment for back acne.

"I lost weight and I have loose skin and stretchmarks. How do I deal with them?"

KR: With loose skin and stretchmarks, the best is to treat them both with INFINI technology. INFINI combines fractional radiofrequency technology with microneedling technologies. There are many technology of RF but INFINI uses flow needle energy to deliver the radiofrequency current only to the deeper level of the skin (the dermis) where it is needed to properly promote tightening and collagen formation, and target the stretchmarks scars. Repeated sessions are needed, at least six to 10 sessions, two weeks apart. We also inject plate rich plasma or carbon dioxide to stretchmarks, which can contribute to the scar remodelling.

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"How do I avoid facial sagging?"

KR: As I always say, even if we eat healthy and exercise regularly, the face will change. The bone resorps and loses definition, some fat compartments of the face lose volume (like midcheek, forehead and temple), while some increases in fat volume such as the nasolabial folds and the jowls area. So from the inverted triangle when we were younger, the face becomes triangle as we age especiallly if we do not do any preventive measures.

Some people are lucky genetically since they are able to age lesser especially if they combine this with good environment (good nutrition, exercise, good amount of sleep, and less stress). Some people are not as lucky since even if they have good genes, bad lifestyle habits make them age faster. [There are also] some [who] are not genetically gifted so they age faster than other individuals.

With this, the best is to do preventive measures like using devices such as high intense focused ultrasound (good brands: Ulthera, Ultraformer, and Doublo). These machines will go down deep at around four to five millimeters deep to the SMAS [superficial muscular aponeurotic system - Ed.] layer of the face, and help lift and prevent sagging.

Also, it's best to prescribe hyaluronic acid fillers injection for patients who have lost tissue volume over time. Giving hyaluronic acid (a natural component of skin tissues) injections promotes collagen remodelling, formation of more natural hyaluronic acids, and lessening of bone resorption. This will make the face look less tired and less saggy, which will contribute to a more youthful transformation.

For patients who have more sagging, we recommend Happy Lift, which made of absorbable suspension-barbed threads poly-L-Lactic acid and caprolactone. These threads are unlike previous smooth threads as it has barbs or pointed bristles that help lift and hold the tissues in place, giving a rejuvenating effect like surgical facelift without the downtime. It also initiates collagen production.

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"I always have dark undereyes even if I sleep well at night. How do I get rid of them?"

KR: Dark undereyes can be due to following factors: hyperpigmentation (eg. in ethnicity Indians have more hyperpigmented undereyes), which can be treated with 1064nm lasers that will target the pigment; dark shadowing due to blood vessels supplying the orbicularis oculi [the muscles that close the eyelids - Ed.], which can be lessened by applying vitamin K serum that will contrict the vessels; and the depresseion or hollowing of the tear trough, which can be treated with injection of hyaluronic acid underneath the orbicularis oculi muscle to lessen the hollowing which and brighten the appearance of the underyes.

"What's the difference between a white head and a milia, and how do I keep milia from coming back?"

KR: A whitehead is a soft core of dead skin cells and sebum clogged in the oil glands. Milia, on the other hand, form under a thin layer of skinand not in the oil glands, there is no opening in the skin by which the plugged hardened dead skin cells (cyst) can escape.

For those people who are prone to have milia and whiteheads, the best is to apply topical alpha and beta hydroxyacids (glycolic acid, mandelic acid and salicylic acid) to help exfoliate the skin which could lessen the clogging of pores and oil glands. Topical tretinoin or retinoic acid can also help loosen the keratin plug. It's best to combine both since these will not only prevent whitehead and milia formation, but will also promote skin rejuvenation, depigmentation, anti-acne, and anti-aging.

Luminisce Holistic Skin Innovations has branches on the 2nd level of Mercury Drug Building, 4th Ave. cor. 32nd St. in BGCs and on the 4th level of The Podum.

*This story originally appeared on FemaleNetwork.comMinor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.

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