How can I get rid of the brown spots on my face?
There are different skin disorders that appear as brown spots. Most seborrhoeic keratoses (Fig 6) can be easily destroyed with electrosurgery or carbon dioxide laser. Solar lentigines and freckles (Fig 7) respond well to pigment lasers with minimal risk of scarring.
Fig.6 Seborrheic keratosis
Fig.7 Solar lentigines/freckles
What are the cosmetic surgical treatments available for baldness?
Small areas of non-inflammed bald scalp that have remained unchanged for many years can be excised and the hair-bearing sides stitched together.
Hair transplantation is a treatment option for male pattern baldness (Fig 8). Hair-bearing scalp skin (grafts) are removed from the back of the scalp (donor site) and implanted into the bald areas (recipient site) where hair growth is desired. Male pattern baldness worsens with advancing age and the severity of baldness is unpredictable. Thus, hair transplantation must be individualised taking into consideration the person's family history of baldness, age, severity of baldness and hair texture. It may not be suitable for some persons with male pattern baldness.
Fig.8 Male pattern baldness
Synthetic hair implants are polyester fibres, which are embedded in the scalp to simulate human hair. The procedure of implanting the artificial "hair" is safe and quick and there is no limit to the number of implants available. However, this expensive procedure necessitates specialised aftercare and the implants fracture after one to two years. Some people develop inflammation of the scalp after hair implantation (Fig 9).
Fig.9 Foreign body reaction to hair implants
The decision to undergo cosmetic surgery and the type of procedure to undergo is highly personal. Decision to undergo such procedures should be an informed choice.
Here are some pointers to help you along:
Fig.10 Scarring from attempts by beautician to remove eyebrow tattoo.
- Allow yourself to be treated only by trained medical practitioners. Check that whoever is treating you, has the appropriate training and qualifications. (Fig 10)
- Know the facts. It is important that you understand the nature of the procedure, the consequences and the potential risks and complications so that you can make an informed decision.
- Know your options. There is usually more than one method of treatment. Get a second opinion if necessary.
- Know yourself and understand your level of risk tolerance.
- Have realistic expectations.
- Nurture a healthy sense of self-esteem. This will help you to put things in perspective and not attach undue importance to the cosmetic procedure and its outcome.
- Don't believe in unsubstantiated claims by establishments and unqualified personnel that are profit-driven.
- Don't expect or hope for the same results as someone else who has undergone the same treatment. No two persons respond in an identical manner to the same procedure.
- Don't take the passive approach. Saying "I'll leave it in your hands, doctor", is like signing a blank cheque. You would have relinquished control of your body to someone who may not understand your deepest concerns.
- Don't take the short-term view of things. Understand that things may go wrong. Ensure that your doctor is able to see you through the procedure and handle any complications that may arise.
DEDICATED TO EXCELLENCE IN DERMATOLOGY
By National Skin Centre (Singapore)
Copyright (C) 1995 - National Skin Centre (Singapore)