It’s a Myth that Plastic Surgery is Just for Vanity

What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear plastic surgery? Nose jobs, liposuction, breast implants? If you associate plastic surgery with these (now alarmingly) common procedures, you are not alone. There is a rise in cosmetic surgeries on popular celebrities, both men and women today. So, many wrongly believe plastic surgery is just for vanity, only a luxury for the rich and the famous. That is not true.

Cosmetic Vs Plastic Surgery

Many use the names interchangeably and wrongly assume that both are the same things. However closely related they may be, cosmetic and plastic surgery both have different goals.

Cosmetic surgery, as the name implies, is only focused on improving the appearance. Breast augmentations, liposuction, Botox and tummy tucks all fall under this category. Cosmetic surgery is generally not covered by the insurance.

Plastic surgery is primarily focused on the repair or reconstruction of dysfunctional body parts so that the person undergoing the procedure may live better. Burn repair surgery, hand surgery or scar revision surgery etc. fall under this category. Plastic surgery is expensive, but for the right reasons, it can be covered by your insurance.

Women and Plastic Surgery

Women with breast cancer may have to undergo a mastectomy but not all women with mastectomy will pursue breast reconstruction. In another scenario, some women want breast reduction to help reduce chronic back pains.  Either way, plastic surgeons closely work with such cases. While this may not be medically necessary, it helps women enhance their quality of life. Although it is a part of it, plastic surgery is not just to enhance a person’s appearance or beauty. In many ways, surgical enhancements develop into a medical necessity.

Check out the following cases where it is not only medically essential but proves that plastic surgery is not just for vanity.

Skin Cancer

Plastic surgeons work closely with people with many types of skin cancer, such as squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, etc. The surgeon first removes all the skin affected by cancer. Then reconstruction is performed which includes sutures or skin graft – which is the process of replacing skin with skin from another part of the body. This is an extremely intricate procedure.

Dog Bites

Plastic surgery is key for victims of a dog attacks. It aids proper healing and avoids the risk of skin infections and scarring if treated within the 12-24 hours. Bites that cause serious injuries to the face as those incurred in car accidents may also need plastic surgery.

Face Reconstruction

A severely injured soldier also gets help from the plastic surgeon. The treatment is not just to fix or improve the external look of the person. Plastic surgery helps improve the soldier’s quality of life. They can look in the mirror and not be reminded of the trauma they underwent. The surgery also protects the soldier from stranger’s reactions to the injuries, thus improving their self-esteem.

Deviated Septum

A nasal septum is normally the straight midline of the nose that divides the nose passageway into equal halves. A deviated septum is a severely shifted midline. A person having it may have heavy snoring, chronic sinus infections, nosebleeds, headaches or nasal congestion. Septoplasty is an invasive procedure performed by a plastic surgeon so there is no bruising on the outside of the nose.

Birth Defects

Babies born with a cleft palate or deformed upper lip are unable to nurse or suck the right way. This is a type of birth defect which requires plastic surgery to reconstruct the lip. Others with facial bone defects require plastic surgery not only to enhance their look but to improve the way they eat, breathe and talk too.

Eye Lifts

Some women who still want to wear eyeshadow and look young, go for eyelid procedures. However, eye lifts are medically necessary if the dropping of the eyes interferes with the person’s ability to see. Insurances generally cover the latter case.

Patients who are looking for a surgeon for either cosmetic or plastic surgery procedures should always check out the doctor’s specific certifications and if he or she is a member of the Association of Plastic Surgeons of India. There is absolutely no harm is talking to other people who have undergone a similar procedure to know how exactly it works, what to expect and what not to expect.

A Cheat Sheet for Winter Skincare

There’s a slight nip in the air and the woollens are out by now already. Unfortunately, to look and feel good, only wearing sweaters and jackets doesn’t suffice. As much as one would prefer covering up and stay warm and cosy, the low temperatures ultimately manage to affect the skin and cause damage. Ideally, following a good winter skincare regime is the way to go. That takes daily commitment for adhering to a schedule, of course. But worry not. If you are hard pressed for time, here is a cheat sheet to still manage to look radiant.

  • Hydration is the key. Dry weather can cause flaking and itchiness. This is even more prominent for sensitive skin. A simple trick for this is to stay hydrated. Though winter doesn’t make us feel as much thirsty, drink at least 8-10 glasses of water each day. Dry skin aggravates skin ageing so it is imperative to keep it moist internally.
  • For cleansing, use a cleanser with Aloe Vera as it helps restore moisture. It doesn’t have any harsh properties and, therefore, post cleaning leaves behind a soft feeling. For very dry skin, avoid soaps. If you follow the daily facial cleansing-toning-moisturizing routine, it is important to use an alcohol-free toner to avoid excessive drying. Look for ingredients such as chamomile and calendula when buying skincare products. These are non-irritants and have natural anti-inflammatory properties.
  • When choosing a moisturiser, someone with an oily skin tone should opt for a light moisturising body lotion whereas; for a dry to normal skin, a thick cream (but non-greasy) should work well. Apply lotion post a shower while the skin is still damp and refrain from excessive towel drying. It helps lock in the moisture. The best routine is to reapply a thin layer of moisturizer as and when you can throughout the day. Massage your hands and legs with argon oil before going to bed to wake up for a supple skin.
  • Speaking of showers, never take a very hot water bath during winter. Of course, the cold weather may want you to increase the water temperature a little more than normal. But that could cause more harm than comfort. Too hot water causes the skin pores to open up exposing them more to the cold air. Hence, go for lukewarm water. Use a detergent-free cleanser, again to avoid dryness.
  • Apply and re-apply a lip balm as and when possible. The thin skin on the lips cracks easily so applying natural protective oils will prevent chapping. The most easily available in this regard is the olive oil. Apply a little at bedtime so the lips too get their share of care.
  • For feet care, apply a thick moisturizer or even Vaseline on those cracked heels, nails, and all over the foot, actually, and wear socks at bedtime. At the salon, opt for a paraffin wax pedicure. Even for hands, for kitchen cleaning, use gloves whenever possible to avoid direct contact with detergents. Also, when you wash hands post some task, pat them dry instead of rubbing hard. For cracked hands and feet, Shea butter creams work wonders. Apply liberally and leave them overnight so they get enough time to recuperate.
  • Sunscreens are a must even during winters. UV rays cause havoc at any point in time and hence, use a broad spectrum sunscreen (for UVA and UVB protection) with minimum SPF 30.
  • If you have access to a humidifier, use one for creating warmth and putting moisture back in the air you are breathing. This also significantly helps in reducing nasal congestions and throat irritations, common due to the dry coldish air. People suffering from sensitive, dry skin completely vouch for the comfort they feel when around a humidifier.

Things to particularly avoid – excessive intake of salt and sugar, and err, alcohol. These will dehydrate your skin and are best to stay away from or at least limit their consumption to a minimal level. Instead, you can drink green tea with natural anti-oxidant properties to stay warm from within.

So get ready for all the New Year celebrations just around the corner. Remember to pamper your skin with all the hydration it needs and let it help you glow in turn.

That bowl of curd is your skin’s BFF. From rash relief to great facepacks…it’s that versatile

image courtesy: biology.clc.uc.edu
image courtesy: biology.clc.uc.edu

It’s summer and curd is one of the most soothing substances there are. We say substance because it isn’t just a food that cools your body and keeps acid levels down in the stomach, it has many other benefits that are not just dietary.

Curd has great skin benefits as well. With the heat increasing, your skin may see a few rashes or may feel irritable. And at such times, you don’t have to look for some expensive skin cream – just go for that little cup of curd, your first aid dermatologist.

When you need quick relief from summer rashes
For quick relief from heat-related skin rashes, diluting curd with water and applying it over the affected area cools the skin and brings relief. This can be used on children as well, as it has no side-effects. This will also hydrate the skin. This is probably one of the best remedial effects of curd. It is really great for babies as well. Issues like nappy rash or other heat-related rashes or rashes caused by insect bites can be dealt with diluted curd or buttermilk.

Continue reading That bowl of curd is your skin’s BFF. From rash relief to great facepacks…it’s that versatile

8 skincare mistakes you should avoid

Are you being mean to your skin without knowing it? Read on to find out
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Image courtesy: blog.zenmed.com
Image courtesy: blog.zenmed.com

Skin care isn’t just about great products. To begin with, it means understanding what your skin is like. Unless you get that, you are going to make some of the mistakes that many around the world make when it comes to taking good care of their skin. You have to not only choose products carefully, you have to use them wisely as well.

Here is a quick list of don’ts that you should keep in mind next time you are in front of the mirror: Continue reading 8 skincare mistakes you should avoid