Men, Here’s How To Treat Those Problem Areas
Who says vanity solely belongs to the ladies? Having a desire to slick up can also be a man’s prerogative. Now here’s the guide to send your grooming woes packing.
Target Area: Hair
Thinning of hair or baldness due to excessive hair loss from the scalp is fairly common in men. The most common cause is Male Pattern Alopecia (MPHL). MPHL is related to male hormones (androgens) and genetics, hence its name, androgenetic alopecia. MPHL is characterised by a receding hairline and / or hair loss on the top and front of the head. However, there are also other causes of hair loss in men. These include improper hair treatments, physiologic stress (eg. surgical trauma, malnutrition, medical conditions such as anaemia, kidney failure)
According to Dr Paul Chia, Specialist in Dermatology & Consultant, Raffles Skin & Aesthetics, there are four main ways to treat hair loss:
Target Area: Complexion
Acne vulgaris is a skin condition that occurs when oil and dead skin cells clog up the pores. Acne is a common problem and may affect up to 40 per cent of men in their twenties. Men’s faces often produce more oil and have larger pores, resulting in more acne. This could be caused by hormonal changes, propionibacterium acnes on the skin and overproduction of oil (sebum).
Men should go for thinner facial products such as sunscreens and moisturisers in lotion or gel form. Cleansers which contain active ingredients to further reduce sebum, promote exfoliation and control bacteria, such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, AHAs (alpha-hydroxy-acids) and sulphur should be used. In more severe cases of acne, one may need prescription creams or oral medication to effectively treat the problem, advises Dr Rachael Teo, Specialist in Dermatology & Consultant, Raffles Skin & Aesthetics.
Target Area: Nails
The most common nail condition that affects men would be nail fungal infection. This condition commonly results in the nail looking yellow, thickened, dirty and black discolouration to the nails. Some of the main contributing factors includedamaged nails, diabetes mellitus, circulation problems or a weakened immune system.
Although the fungal nail infection is usually asymptomatic (causes no itch or pain), patients are frequently keen to treat with oral antifungal tablets to eradicate the infection. Topical antifungals may also be used, but usually require a long period of treatment. Newer treatment options for nail fungal infection include laser treatment, says Dr Chia.
Target Area: Tummy
Belly fat, or abdominal obesity is caused by a type of fat, known as visceral fat. The latter settles deep inside the abdomen, wrapping itself around several internal abdominal organs. This is mainly caused by sedentary lifestyle, high calorie diet and ageing.
While we already know that spot-reduction is not possible, targeted exercises like sit-ups or crunches can help to a certain extent to tone up the abdominal wall muscles. However, they cannot replace the importance of overall healthy weight loss which should be achieved through proper diet and exercise, says Dr Stanley Liew, Specialist in Endocrinology & Consultant, Raffles Diabetes & Endocrine Centre.
Target Area: Feet
The excessive sweating on one’s feet, coupled with reduced evaporation of sweat, followed by bacteria on the skin breaking down sweat and releasing an odour, results in smelly feet. This is mainly caused by increased temperature and activities, poor feet hygiene or having hyperhidrosis (a condition characterised by abnormally increased perspiration).
Dr Chris Foo, Specialist in Dermatology & Consultant, Raffles Skin & Aesthetics suggests some simple measures such as maintaining good feet hygiene to reduce bacteria load and infection risk, wearing proper footwear to allow for better feet ventilation and seek medical treatment options (eg. antiperspirant, botulinum toxin and iontophoresis – a process which utilises a low-level electrical current to reduce excessive sweating).