Dermatology Q&A: Travel skin care tips

Dr. Aparna Santhanam, consultant dermatologist, answers readers’ questions on Dermatology. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Friday.
This week’s answers:

1. I have a very dry skin that worsens during winters. Can you suggest tips that I can follow to take care of my skin?
Moisturising should be a basic body care regime for winters to replenish the moisture skin loses to the harsh weather. Coconut based moisturizers work wonders for the skin as they protect the skin barriers and lock in moisture from escaping the skin’s surface! The result is skin that’s naturally soft, through the day! Take good care of your hands and feet especially as it may get severely damaged because of the season. Moisturising your hands and feet at least twice a day is very important. Also use gloves while you are doing daily house chores.

Take a lukewarm bath daily and include a few drops of coconut oil to bathing water, this works on your skin by keeping it moist and soft throughout the day. Natural oils are necessary ingredient for the skin in winters and renewing softness in the harshness of seasons.Avoid using harsh soaps, shampoos and shower gels that can furthermore deteriorate and dry the skin tone. Do away with drying products and use mild ones which allow moisture to retain in the skin.

2. I will be going on a road trip next month. Keeping the change in climatic conditions in mind, can you suggest some skin care tips?
It could be quite challenging being on a road trip & maintaining a beauty regime when on the go. However, there are few basic tips that you must keep in mind which will help you through all climatic changes.

Keep wet wipes to cleanse your skin regularly. Use a mild moisturizer on your face to prevent drying. Also, moisturize your body skin regularly with a long lasting, natural moisturizer like coconut-based moisturizer, especially your hands and feet. This will prevent flaky, dry skin, and will keep you skin glowing throughout the trip.

Protecting your skin from sun is also crucial, so using sunscreen regularly is also a must-do when on the go and in the open.

Your skin does not depend only on the external applications but also on the intake of food; it is important to have nutritious food and keep yourself well hydrated by having lots of water and fruits like melons, watermelons, oranges and squashes to maintain your moisture balance.

3. My mom is a beautician. Unfortunately she got some problem in her skin due to sun. day by day her skin got etched. now it becomes like a scar. for the two years she is getting treatment for the scar. can you give me your mail id, contact number and address to meet you
Scars can be of different types with or without pigmentation. I hope she is using strict sun protection and sticking to her treatment.

4. Please try to help me understand something. Why do I continue do develop dark, freckle like unraised moles on just the area of my chest and back? It has always amazed me that these moles are almost exclusively limited to the back and chest area, and especially the chest. They continue to form and I’m becoming ashamed to remove my shirt in front of anyone. I do not spend any amount of time in the sun without a shirt and have not noticed any kind of irregular patterns to any of the moles that might indicate melanoma. Can anything be done outside of surgical removal? It makes one wish there was a special tonic that could be taken that would make the moles die and be reabsorbed into the body’s natural waste system. That’s wishful thinking..! The moles are unsightly, please help me understand more about why they continue to form exclusively in these area, mainly the chest.
Hi, what you have described sounds like a DPN, a skin lesion that we Indians tend to get because of our skin type and ethnic predisposition. Use a sunscreen regularly for prevention. The only way to get rid of them is removal, but it is a very simple and easy out patient procedure.

5. Hello doc, I am getting a big acne on my face at the same spot. Its there for the last 2 weeks, subsides and erupts again and again. I’m applying clindac A doesn’t seem to help much. Please suggest some home remedy.
You need proper oral medication like antibiotics/retinoids or this will leave scars. This is not the time to look for home remedies, please see a dermatologist immediately!

6. I have been really concerned lately I have noticed that my discolouration on my nose, I have not pain so it’s not bruise……….at first it was just a little on the side but now it seems to be increasing and I am very conscious of it. In the summer or the month of July, I swam a lot in the pool but had noticed anything then. Also, please note that I am not a drinker. Please let me know if there is any real cause for concern or if there is any underlying issue that I need to address.
Tejani, Filoza
Sounds like sun induced superficial pigmentation. You should see a doctor to get a prescription lightening cream like kojic or glycolic acid. The earlier you start treating it, the more likely it is to resolve fully, So please do not delay. Start using a broad spectrum sun screen today!

Send in your questions on dermatology to now! And don’t forget to include ` Dermatology FAQ` in the subject line.