With summer just around the corner, it’s time to embrace flirty skirts, shorts and bathing suits. But is your skin ready? Here are 5 skin problems and how you can fix them in time for that trip to the beach.
1. Skin problem: Keratosis pilaris
Annoying – but harmless – tiny white or red bumps that can appear on your arms, buttocks, face and thighs, Keratosis pilaris develops when keratin (a naturally occurring skin protein) plugs up hair follicles. These bumps don’t itch or cause any problems, but they’re a bit of an eyesore.
The fix: According to Dr. Jason Rivers, a clinical professor at UBC, and medical director of Pacific Dermaesthetics in Vancouver, keratois pilaris (KP) typically improves during the summer. But if you’re not seeing a natural reduction in its appearance, a dermatologist can provide assistance. “I tell people to use a buff puff or loofah sponge to exfoliate the skin,” he says. Rivers also recommends the topical use of salicylic acid, vitamin A (retinol) creams, and moisturizers to soften the skin and help diminish the skin’s bumpy appearance.
2. Skin problem: Stretch marks, or scars
If you’ve lost or gained weight quickly, experienced rapid growth, or had a baby, you might have stretch marks.
The fix: “Creams are ineffective for changing the appearance of stretch marks and scars,” says Rivers. “Depending on the type of scar, it may improve with time.” If you’re looking for a little assistance in making your stretch marks or scars less noticeable, see a dermatologist about laser treatments. For best results, Rivers says you should undergo laser treatments before you get a tan – the laser can remove skin pigment, so it’s best to start your appointments before warm weather arrives. Multiple treatments will be required, and prices can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars depending on the type, and size of the scar.
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