Chances are, you have a complaint or two about your skin – whether it’s age spots on your cheeks or varicose veins on your calves.
All women want to put their best skin forward, but it’s hard when you’re coping with acne, varicose veins, age spots, moles and more. Having healthy, naturally glowing skin from head to toe isn’t out of reach.
How it happens: You thought you left breakouts behind when you graduated high school, but now acne is popping up all over, including your back. It is a common problem. Adult acne on your face, back and other embarrassing places is brought on by several factors:
- Bacteria called P.acnes, which cause redness and inflammation
- Sticky skin cells that clog up pores
- Excessive oil production
- Too much of the hormone androgen in your body
- Compression from pressing the phone against your chin, for example, or wearing tight clothes (often the culprit behind tush acne)
What about body acne or “bacne”?
It’s caused by the same bacteria as facial acne but can be aggravated by sweat during exercise.
And the pockmarks left by a bad bout of acne? Try Fraxel® lasers and injectible fillers, such as Restylane®, which stimulate collagen production to help fill in depressed areas. In some cases, they can be surgically removed by a plastic surgeon.
Age or Liver Spots
How they happen: Those annoying flat brown blotches have nothing to do with your age or liver. They’re really sunspots caused by ultraviolet damage. Melanocytes – the cells that produce melanin, which gives skin its color – get damaged over time and produce more and uneven pigment. The result? Spots that crop up on sun-exposed parts of your body.
How it happens: Can you still see the scars from a childhood bike accident that gouged your knees? Here’s why: Scars are the result of damage to the skin’s collagen and elastin. The trauma can be caused by surgery, injury, and even severe acne.
If the scars are old, you’ll probably have to just live with them. But you can diminish them when they’re new.
How it happens: Birthmarks are an overgrowth of pigment cells, although some fade and disappear over time. Most are harmless and don’t require treatment, although you may wish to remove them.
How it happens: Moles occur when skin grows in a cluster, rather than spreading out. They tend to be more common in people with light skin. Although most moles aren’t dangerous, some can develop into melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer.
Let Dr. Swengel, and his team, evaluate your mole. If it is asymmetrical (half of the mole is unlike the other half); has an uneven or scalloped border; is two-tone (such as tan and black); is larger than the size of a pencil eraser; or has changed in size, shape or color.
If skin cancer is suspected, a dermatologist may shave off or cut out the mole (using a local anesthetic) to get a tissue sample. A biopsy helps determine if it’s cancerous or harmless.
Not all moles are precursors to skin cancer and may not need to be removed.
Spider & Varicose Veins
How it happens: Veins have valves that prevent blood from flowing backward. When the valves weaken, they allow blood to flow backward and pool, causing the bulges.
Varicose veins are often blue, appear twisted and stick out from the skin’s surface. Spider veins are often red or blue, small and look like branches right under the skin. Both tend to crop up in the legs; spider veins sometimes appear on the face.
They’re caused by heredity, sun damage, hormonal changes (such as during pregnancy) or adult rosacea.
How it happens: Blame the sun here, too, for those uncolored spots that crop up on your legs, arms and hands. White spots are a sign of sun damage that has killed the cells that produce color (melanocytes).
White spots may also signal a more serious skin disorder called vitiligo, which is marked by white patches that slowly grow larger. With vitiligo, experts believe the body produces antibodies that attack and kill pigment cells, causing the gradual sapping of color.
How it happens: Rapid weight gain – for example, during pregnancy − or weight loss stretches the skin to the point of breaking, just like a rubber band that loses its elasticity. The result? Pinkish, reddish or purplish grooves that appear on breasts, hips, stomach and rear.
How it happens: The cause of this annoying skin condition isn’t known, but it can show itself in several ways: facial flushing (including redness on the cheeks and nose), acne-like bumps, small, dilated blood vessels near the skin’s surface, and swollen bumps along the nose and eyes.
How it happens: The culprit is shaving and waxing. Shaving cuts hairs to a sharp point. When it starts to grow in, the hair shaft pierces the skin surrounding the follicle. In other cases, it curls and grows back into the skin rather than breaking through it. As with acne, bacteria can infect it, causing soreness, redness and pus.
How it happens: A wart is a non-cancerous skin growth that occurs when a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV) infects the surface layer of the skin. In most cases, warts have a roughened surface and a clearly defined boundary. They most commonly occur on the fingers, hands, and arms, but can occur almost anywhere. Warts on the bottom of the feet are called plantar warts, and those that occur in the genital area are called genital warts.
Dermatitis is a very common condition. It means inflammation of the skin. It can cause an itchy rash or patches of dry irritated skin commonly in areas like the scalp, ears, skin around the ears, eyebrows, lid margins, and folds along the sides of nose.
The earlier dermatitis is diagnosed and treated, the better. Without treatment, dermatitis often gets worse.
There is no need to be embarrassed by your eczema. You are not alone. Eczema is a general term. It’s usually used to describe skin conditions that can cause the skin to swell and discolor. The skin is often dry and itchy. Many people have it on their elbows or behind their knees. The exact causes of eczema are unknown.
A chronic (long-lasting) disease. It develops when a person’s immune system sends faulty signals that tell skin cells to grow too quickly. New skin cells form in days rather than weeks. The skin cells pile up on the surface of the skin, causing patches of psoriasis to appear. (source)
Nail Fungus often is unwelcomed because of its appearance. A fungal nail infection occurs when a fungus attacks a fingernail, a toenail, or the skin under the nail, called the nail bed. Most commonly, a group of fungi called dermatophytes (such as Candida) is responsible for nail fungal infections. However, some yeasts and molds also cause these infections. Over time the nail thickens and can become painful due to pressure from shoes pushing on the nail.