Im a 24-year-old with a very dull skin. I’ve been to dermatologists before and every time I ask for something to give glow to my skin; they always prescribe me creams that give me that fake white tone and I don’t want that. Can you please prescribe some cream or something that would bring out my natural complexion and give my dull skin a natural glow?

Yes, most of the fairness creams work temporarily and gives you a fake fair complexion. For a healthy glow, you need to work on three things.

1. Sun protection.

2. Incorporate vitamin C in your skin care regime.

3. Collagen induction or neocollagenosis.

For sun protection, use a good quality sunblock. The base should suit your skin which can be a lotion, a gel or a cream. Your sunblock must be a broad spectrum with the coverage for both UVA and UVB rays of the sun. Use a good quality vitamin C serum, it’s something that will work as an antioxidant and neutralise the free radicals that damage your skin. Your skin will look healthy only if it has a good quality collagen. Collagen fiber is something which gives your skin the healthy appearance and the sustainability. Some procedures for collagen induction like microneedling, chemical peels, resurfacing lasers or radio-frequency can be considered. In your case they will surely help you to restore the glow. Above all, you are what you eat, so keep an eye on your diet and water intake. For looking fresh, add some fresh greens and colourful vegetables and fruits in the form of smoothies to your diet.

I'm 17 and I have a very bad skin because I have acne since grade 6. I have a skin with large pores, black heads, acne scars and little hair because I'm hairy. I hate my skin now because I can see the damage of acne, plus my skin is oily. I think I inherited this skin type from my mom. What dermatological method is best for me?

Yes, this is what I always emphasise on. If your parents and sibling have had acne in their teens, then there is a good possibility you might have it too. In that case, an early visit to a dermatologist will help you control the condition and will prevent your skin from the damages of acne which are quite difficult to treat. Despite of huge advancements in cosmetic treatments and having the high end equipments in hand, treating a scar still remains a challenge for us, we still cannot treat scarring up to 100 per cent. I would advise you to visit a dermatologist as soon as possible, we can still bring a lot of improvement and prevent you from further damage in the form of scaring and pigmentation.

This hot Karachi weather is giving me small puss filled acne and I can’t help but pop them every time because they look really bad on the face. Please suggest something to prevent them and also prescribe something for the marks these puss filled pimples have left behind. Thank you, doctor!

Hot and humid climate adds on to your condition, if you are already having an acne prone skin. The maintenance seems quite tedious but once you do it regularly it will become a routine. First things first, stop popping and picking on your pimples. It’s the biggest skin crime you are committing. If your acne is pus filled that means you need antibiotics for treating that. Antibiotics prescribed to you might be topical or oral or in a combination or retinoids, depending upon your condition and that can be prescribed only by visiting your dermatologist. A gel based sebum control sunblock will prevent you from having post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Follow your am and pm routine religiously by cleansing with a salysalic acid based foamy facewash followed by a sebum control gel based sunblock. At night, you can get rid of dust, dirt and makeup by using a gentle water based cleanser. You can also use Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water. Wash your face with a facewash having salicylic acid and apply the medication in a little amount as prescribed by your dermatologist. Meanwhile, you can start using Granex Spray two times a day.

I’ve had this terrible skin picking disorder due to anxiety. I can’t stop picking the skin on my lips. I’m trying to quit it but I still do it every now and then. But I’ve noticed that every time I stop biting my lips, they turn white and colourless. Why is that? How can it be fixed?

This falls in the category of body focused repetitive behaviours. Body-focused repetitive behaviours (BFRBs) are intense urges like biting, picking, and pulling that can cause damage your body permanently. Things that might play a role include your family history, your personality, the amount of stress in your life, your childhood, and even the age you first started showing signs of a BFRB. This condition is mostly seen in females. You can try wearing a lip bumper, it will help to create a barrier between your lip and teeth and help to break the cycle. Apply Liplex to your lips for smooth texture and pinkish glow. Get your iron levels checked. Low iron levels act as a trigger to some picking habits. Try to control your stress levels. Some people also benefit from talk therapy. Sometimes we need to take help from medicines too.