Clean and Clear - Dr Kamal Syed talks with You & I

Everyone loves clean, clear skin. Good skin makes one feel and look good, and is in fact a great indicator of good health. Dr Kamal, dermatologist and the founder of Novocare, gives us the low-down on good skin.

Please tell us what your career in dermatology has been like?
The journey so far has been undulating; there have been ups and downs. Sometimes it feels like I don’t fit in this rat race, but I keep pushing and there are miles to go before I sleep (smiles).

What is the best part about what you do?
Seeing patients happy is the best feeling for a doctor.

Can you tell us about some of the most popular treatments offered at Novocare?
The most popular skin and hair treatments are dermapeels, dermabrasion, and mesotherapy. For hair, anti-dandruff treatments are popular.

Everybody wants to look and feel great these days. What are the top five tips that you can give to men and women?
Please pay attention to your dermatologist’s advice. Many patients come with preconceived notions and do not pay attention to what is being explained by the doctor. I have personally come across many patients whose diet lacks vitamins and proteins – each of which are crucial for good hair and skin – but they refuse to include it in their diet. I can see it in their skin and hair. People also need to realise that even moderate smoking and alcohol, and lack of sleep can have a huge negative impact on the results they are seeking, inspite of the best treatments. Using a good SPF sunscreen is crucial, along with proper washing and moisturising.

It’s a myth that only women want to look good. These days, an increasing number of Indian men are equally interested in looking good. What are some of the most popular treatments favoured by men?
Both men and women want to look good; it’s not gender-based at all. There was a time when men were thought to be narcissistic if they looked twice in the mirror. Now it’s a compulsion to look good – not just for yourself, but for you to be successful. It’s your physical, mental and emotional well-being that are all interlinked.

What’s the right age to start with cosmetic procedures to keep oneself looking young and beautiful/handsome?
Proper skin care should start at birth. But in terms of most optional cosmetic procedures, I would advise that people wait till adulthood.

How can one ensure that they get the right results, and what tips would you give to people who are new to dermatology or cosmetology?
To look good after a procedure, please follow the dermatologist’s advice. Limit your sun exposure, use a good quality sunscreen, and keep the skin hydrated with moisturisers, especially after the procedure and after a bath. Consume plenty of citrus fruits to help with healing. De-stress with exercise and meditation.

With the increasing number of treatments and procedures available today, a lot of people tend to get obsessive. Is there ever an end to looking good, and where does one draw the line?
There is an end to everything, and so is the case with cosmetic procedures. One needs to draw the line at some point. Fairness should not become an obsession and youthful appearance can only go so far; one cannot become a teenager in their retirement years. So expectations should be realistic. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be young at heart and mind. Age is no bar to looking good, and with proper care a person can look good and much younger than his/her actual age.    – as told to Suneela