Last weekend, the inaugural Project Wellness panel session that aims to connect doctors to the public was held at the co-working space Trehaus.
The Doctors on the panel – Dr Goh Seng Heng, pioneering laser treatment expert; Dr Marlene Teo, periodontology specialist at TP Dental Surgeons; and Dr Livia Teo, oculoplastics consultant at the Singapore National Eye Centre – discussed the effects of sleep, stress, and sugar on the skin, eyes and teeth.
The Beauty Gazette reports on their tips.
Dr Goh Seng Heng: When you lack quality sleep, you get dark eye rings, bags and pigmentation around the eyes because the skin in the area is very thin; blood flow is sluggish, and the active pigment cells there go into overdrive to produce melanin. And as the skin is tired, it will lack clarity, smoothness, and glow. Eczema may be triggered too.
For those with serious pigmentation around the eyes, try non-ablative lasers that could lighten the darkness by 50 per cent over three weeks of 20 to 30 sessions. Choose competent doctors for this treatment as lasers can blind the patient if the doctor is not skilled and careful.
To treat crow’s feet, which are really expression lines, Botox offers 70 to 80 per cent effectiveness. In comparison, lasers and eye creams can smoothen lines by just 10 to 20 per cent.
Dr Livia Teo: When you notice heavy eye bags over a prolonged period, check with a doctor to ensure that it is not a sign of deeper pathological problems such as thyroid, heart or liver diseases. And as the skin ages and loses elasticity, the drooping fat could bulge under the eyes. As with droopy eyelids, there are surgical options for eye bags if you prefer invasive treatments.
Twitching can also result when the eyes are tired, strained, dry, or after you have downed a caffeine shot. If the twitching persists for weeks and involves the corner of the mouth, see a doctor.
To prevent frown lines, rest your eyes. And that includes closing them or looking into the distance after staring at devices for 20 minutes. When your eyes burn as you close them; it is a sign that you have been concentrating so much you’ve forgotten to blink.
Dr Marlene Teo: Fruits contain good sugars, but pick only fresh fruits. Dried fruits and juices contain too much sugar with very little or no fibre.
When you consume too much sugar, you’d end up with an excess of acid on the teeth, causing it to rot and turn yellow. Sugar can also make the white fillers in your teeth look obvious as the yellowness stains the fine lines.
Coupled with an unhealthy lifestyle that can lead to an imbalance between your immune system and bacteria, you’ll end up with gum disease.
Rinse your teeth after a meal; but don’t brush immediately. Let the saliva in your mouth neutralise the acids from the food, before brushing. But generally, brushing twice a day is enough. Sugars get stuck between the teeth, flossing is a must. Asian skin and gums are generally thinner; so pick a toothbrush with soft bristles that can clean just as well.
Dr Livia Teo: A high sugar diet can lead to diabetes and related eye diseases such as corneal clouding and diabetic retinopathy. Regular eye screening is a must if you have diabetes.
Dr Goh Seng Heng: Diabetic skin looks aged and yellow; and there is no way to get rid of the glycation in the skin. Although lasers can help with the clarity and smoothness. Diabetes also affects wound healing.
Dr Marlene Teo: In recent years, I’ve seen cases of night grinding caused by stress go up by a third amongst my patients. Teeth grinding is not always audible. If your sleeping partner has not heard you grind your teeth in your sleep, you may be a silent grinder.
Teeth grinding is caused by unconscious stress. Here’s how to tell if you are gnashing your teeth at night: when you run your tongue over the edges of your teeth, it feels like chipped porcelain with ragged and sharp edges. You could also possibly be a teeth grinder if your molars look totally evenly flat when you smile. A mouth guard prevents unconscious teeth grinding.
Dr Goh Seng Heng: Stress can lead to pimples, larger pores, oily skin, and wrinkles. It also aggravates melasma as the pigment cells are affected by stress hormones. Lasers can treat these persistent problems.