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31 Mar - 6 Apr , 2012
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EXPERT ADVICE
expertadviceHeart TO Heart
For relationship advice and more, talk to your super-smart Sis.

Q: I am a 27-year-old married woman and I come from a middle-class, educated family. When I was in college, I began to learn singing and I fell in love with a musician who accompanied my music teacher. We got to know each other and soon married with the approval of our parents. They agreed that he was a decent man but told me that I would regret it later in life, but I stubbornly insisted on marrying him. Now I live with my husband and my mother-in-law in a two-room house and have a son aged three. We are reasonably happy, but my world has recently been turned upside down. This is because my younger sister has married a very well-off businessman. Both she and her husband are very nice to me and my family, but the difference in their lifestyle and mine has upset me. I have now realised that I have made a mistake. Should I leave my husband and go back and live with my parents and younger brother? After all, I have to think of my son's future. I am not employed. Farah, Karachi
A:
You should have thought about the future before you got married. After all, you knew that you were marrying a man who was not well-off. Now you coldly talk of leaving your husband and going back to live with your parents. How long will you live with them? Or do you think that they should shoulder the burden EXPERT ADVICEof looking after you all their days and yours? You have no complaint against your husband other than that he is not well-off. But why has it not occurred to you to take up a job in order to help your husband and give your son a better life?

Q: My husband's family is a close-knit one and though we do not live as a joint family we all live in the same area and see a lot of each other. A niece of my husband's is the same age as our daughter and since the two girls are very close, she comes over very frequently. All was well all these years, but since she and my daughter joined college, I have noticed that things go missing whenever she visited us. When a gold chain went missing I talked to her. To my shock she told me that it was my daughter who was taking things from home and selling them because she had begun to spend a lot of money in college. She says that she has talked to my daughter but that she refuses to take her advice. She also said that my daughter waited till she comes over so that she would not be suspected. Should I believe her? What should I do? I do not want to cause any rift in the family. Worried Mother
A:
Your niece could be telling the truth but she could also be lying. After all, if she knew that your daughter was waiting for her visits to steal so that she herself would not be suspected, why does she come over? It is also possible that both of them are involved in the matter. It would be best if you got both girls together and confronted them. Start off by telling them that you will not be making the matter public because it would cause a rift in the family. Then demand that they tell you the truth. They may break down and confess the truth. If they blame each other, tell them that they are both to blame because the innocent one should have told you what was happening. Be stern with them but also tell them that you will give them a second chance. But warn them that if thefts happen again, you will not show them mercy. Since they are both young, this will probably work.
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Dermatologist
Dr Shah Hussain

Q: I would like to make my lips look plumper. What would you suggest? Sidra, Lahore
A:
You could take filler injections to make the lips look plumper. Hyalurnic acid-based fillers are extremely safe. The filler substance is injected beneath the surface of the lips, thus plumping and defining the margins. The effect lasts for 8 to 10 months. There is some swelling and redness immediately after the injection, but it subsides within a few hours. The results are seen in just 48 hours. Fillers look unnatural only when excess substance is used. Adequate dosage, given by an experienced EXPERT ADVICEcosmetologist, will give you a natural glamorous look.

Q: I had an allergic break out a couple of months ago. Although the reaction has subsided, my skin has now become dark, flaky and rough. I use home remedies and apply coconut oil on my skin after bathing but it hasn't helped. What do you suggest? Afshaan, Karachi
A:
The allergy may have robbed your skin of its natural moisture. It will help if you keep your baths short and avoid using hot water. You can use mild cleansers like Cetaphile cleansing lotion instead of soaps, which can alter the pH of the skin and make it dryer. Use a thick moisturiser that contains ceramides and squalene at least twice a day. Apply the moisturiser immediately after you bathe while the skin is still damp, in order to retain the moisture in the skin. Apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 on all the exposed parts of the body at least 15 minutes before you step out in the sun. You may take evening primrose oil supplements daily. This will reduce the dryness in your skin, prevent wrinkles and make our skin look young and fresh.

Q: I would like some information on how to get rid of under-eye bags, puffiness and dark circles. Can these be treated by filler materials? If yes, how much time would the procedure take? Huma, Karachi
A:
As facial ageing occurs, the collagen and elastin fibres become lax and the fat pad in your cheek descends to the mid-area of your face, leaving a hollow beneath the eyes. This results in a sunken appearance and dark circles. Puffiness can be caused either by fat descent or due to salt water retention. By using a hyalouronic acid filler under the eye, the sunken area can be filled up. This eliminates the shadows and the dark circles. The puffiness, too, reduces if it is due to fat decent. The procedure does not take more than 10 minutes. There is no downside and it is a safe procedure. On rare occasions, there may be some bruising that may persist for three to four days.

Q: My hair is very soft and silky but also thin and limp! It is a hereditary feature of all the women in our family. How can I give it some "body"? Nida, Karachi
A:
It is not possible to give permanent thickness to your hair unless you wish to consider re-bonding or grafting. This will cost a lot, but, for temporary effects, use special "volume-increasing" shampoos, which will fluff out your hair. There are volume sprays too. Spray at the roots of your hair and then lift and comb gently. This is a great way of showing off a head of bouncy hair as a special do.
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General Physician
Dr Sadqa Gul

EXPERT ADVICEQ: I am a 27-year-old male and have been a smoker on and off for the last 9 years. Recently, I have cut down to 2 to 3 cigarettes a day and have also changed to a lighter brand. But in the last few days I have experienced chest pain. It started on and off so that when I breathed deeply I could feel it but if I relaxed and took shallow breaths for a while then it would go away. Two days back I got it and it lasted into the evening for several hours. Should I get this checked out? Shahid Ali, Karachi
A:
The type of pain you are referring to can happen for a variety of reasons. It could be happening as a result of a chest infection or even a condition affecting the wall of your chest. For example, if you took a bad fit of coughing it is possible you caused a strain in the muscles of the chest wall, which could give rise to recurrent episodes of pain every time you take a deep breath. Maybe you received a minor knock to your chest wall, which could also result in pain while breathing. In other words your pain could be coming from inside the chest or possibly the chest wall itself. I would exclude any possible cardiac cause for this because as a general rule breathing in and out does not aggravate heart related pain. I would suggest that you visit your doctor to have this matter checked out so that you can receive an explanation for the cause of your pain. It is most unlikely that you have suffered any sinister condition as a result of cigarette smoking but perhaps this experience may help to galvanise your intention to stop. However, should you continue to smoke, the cumulative effect of long-term smoking could have irreversible effects on virtually every system of your body. You have made an excellent start by stopping your habit.

If you want to discuss problems related to skin, hair and nails or if you have any health related queries that need to be answered, or if an onerous emotional problem is weighing you down, share it with us at askexpert@magtheweekly.com. Kindly mention your age and the column you have the question for in the subject line.


 
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