The term medical cosmetics refers to products used for care as well as for therapy of skin diseases. This is an ample array of products which can only be found in pharmacies, and recommendations should only be taken from doctors or pharmacists.
They can be divided according to the purpose of the product:
- form normal skin care
- for problematic skin types -for therapeutic purposes.
They can also be dividedaccording to the structure of the product:
- semi-solid (ointments, creams, gels, pastes)
- powders and pastes
Herbal oilsprovide care and nourishment for the skin. They are used either alone or in combination with etheric oil. The best are those that come from cold press an unrefined, which preserve their healing properties after the processing. Such as:
Avocado: used in scars, stretch marks, and for regeneration of the skin.
Almond oil: for dry, sensitive skin, prone to itch and irritation, and also for child skin care.
Ivy oil: against cellulite
Fennel flower oil: apart from its influence on the immune system, its positive effect on the skin is exhibited in eczema, psoriasis, burns, and it also calms and regenerates skin.
St John's wort: has local effect on stretch marks, scars, burns, and nerve and muscle inflammations, rheum and inflamed veins.
Hazelnut: fast absorbed oil, used in widenedveins and broken capillaries.
Olive oil: for dehydrated, inflamed and sensitive skin, prevents occurrence of stretch marks.
Pot marigold: incites regeneration of cells and healing of wounds and scars, has anti-inflammation action, and is used in haemorrhoids. Evening primrose oil: regulates secretion of oil and moisturises the skin, and is therefore used in eczema too.
Walnut oil: in eczema and dandruff
Wheat germs: have a high content of vitamin E; used in therapy of eczema, wrinkles, strechmarks, dry, damaged and cracked skin.
Castor oil: to protect hair and skin care, for rejuvenation of scalp follicles, as well as for protection and moisturising of the skin.
Sesame oil: in all skin conditions, inflammation processes, against cellulite, widened veins.
Shea butter: has ample use, in dry and ripe skin, in lip and skin care products.
Etheric oils must not be used undiluted, as they can damage skin. They can commonly be mixed with herbal oils and be part of external use products, but only in allowed concentrations.
Synthetic substances mainly have therapeutic action, and become part of therapy only upon doctor's or pharmacist's recommendation. Some of them are: Peroxides:benzoilberoxide, can be part of acne therapy; it makes skin more sensitive to sun, so during the day, a high protective factors must be used too. Erythromycin, clindamycin: recently chloramphenicol: mainly in the form lotions for skin cleansing during acne therapy (only upon doctor's prescription). Azelaicacid: antimicrobial action, in the form of cream for acne treatment Anti-micotics (nistatine, chlotrimazol) in the form of ointment, cream, solution, powder, shampoo used to treat skin fungi, seborrheic dermatitis, dandruff. Salicylic acidis a ceratone, it removes dead skin cells and thereby precludes deeper penetration of substances under skin; reduces blackheads and comedones. Glycolic acidenhances production of collagen and fills in the small wrinkles and unevenness. It has an effect on inflammatory skin processes, and is therefore used in acne and hyperpigmentation spots. Pregnant and breastfeedingwomen must not use it, nor oversensitive people.
UV filtersare necessary for protection of skin and body against harmful effects of sunrays. They can be found as lotions, creams, gels, emulsions and foams. Ihtiol(gyrodal) smells strongly of oil, it is rich in phosphor, sulphur and fish oils. It increases blood circulation in skin and is used to treat rosacea, psoriasis and acne, but one should be careful when using it as it can cause irritation.
Vitams A, C and E,as well asdexapanthenolare vey important ingredients in creams for severally damaged skin. They play a roll in skin epithelisation, they solidify it and prevent its aging. Urea is embedded in skin moisturising products, for wound healing, and for extremely dry skin. Hyaluronic acid has become an unavoidable ingredient in anti-age creams. It is an integral part of connective tissue. They prevent drying, and retain moisture.
Solutions contain one or more therapeutic substances dissolved in an adequate solvent (alcohol, glycerol, oil) as covers, rinsing solutions and sprays.
Creams consist of the greasy and the watery phase. They are recommended for care of normal, as well as dry skin. They are more adequate than ointments, because they are more easily applied and spread over skin.
Ointments have one phase in the substrata where therapeutic substances can be suspended. They are recommended for the treatment of extremely dry skin.
Gels are easily applied, rinsed and create a pleasant cooling feeling during evaporation.
Emulsions are in the form of a cream, but with a small percentage of the grease component. For that reason they are used in greasy skin care and therapy. As of recently, there are greaseless products, as well as cream-gels for greasy skin treatment.
Shampoos are liquid or semi-solid skin products, rinsed after use.
Powders and pastes contain solid substances, in a high percentage (paste) or only them (powder). They are used in lesions, eczemas and psoriasis, as well as for prevention of contact between two surfaces.
Regardless of the skin issue, or if normal skin care is needed, it is very important to identify the right therapy. Even though the choice of a face cream, body bath or lotion may sometimes seem trivial, mistakes can be made and cause stress to our body. That is why we need advice from professional and competent people, particularly about medical cosmetics.