Summer is here, so are you ready for beaches and bikinis? Getting your legs looking poolside perfect has never been easier.
Perfect, sun-kissed legs don’t need to be exposed to direct sunlight without protection! The most important skin care concern you should have in the summer is sun damage. Sun damage is responsible for most signs of aging on the skin. Though wrinkles and pigmentation changes can happen to anyone as they age, sun damage from UV rays greatly accelerates the process. Even your legs aren’t immune to wrinkles and age spots, so keep yourself protected from sunlight with a good, high-SPF, waterproof sunscreen. In addition to aging your skin, sun damage can cause skin cancer. Skin cancer is often highly treatable when detected early, but even the smallest excision runs the risk of scarring.
If you want your skin to have a natural, tan look, do not tan in sunlight or artificial light. Tanning beds and the practice of tanning itself are responsible for the surge of skin cancer cases today. Instead, opt for skin-safe artificial tanning creams or spray-tans. It’s important to note that a tan is your skin’s direct response to damage. Regardless of whether it’s the look you want, sun tanning any part of your body is unsafe.
Another common concern in the summer is leg veins. Whether they’re varicose veins, spider veins or reticular veins, they’re unsightly and can keep you in jeans all summer long. Leg veins crop up for a few different reasons, including pregnancy, age, weight gain, trauma, or genetics. Physically, most types of leg veins are visible but do not change the surface of your skin. Reticular veins are larger, blue-green veins that often appear on the backs of legs and knees. Spider veins are small, thin, red lines that appear on the legs. Finally, varicose veins are the largest, and are dark in color, usually blue or black. Varicose veins can actually bulge the skin that they’re beneath.
The best way to treat most leg veins is with sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy treatment uses an injected medication to help erase leg veins. It works best for reticular and spider veins, but it also gets the job done with mild varicose veins. Since varicose veins can impact your health and circulation, your dermatologist may suggest consulting a vascular surgeon for treating them. The procedure is simple, your dermatologist will inject a serum containing hypertonic saline directly into the problem veins. There is usually some discomfort at the injection site, but with hypertonic saline there is virtually no chance of allergic reaction. Treatment doesn’t take long, but you’ll need more than one session to get the intended results. These sessions are usually spaced out and performed roughly once a month.
Shaving your legs is not a blast, and getting your legs in ship-shape before hitting the beach is necessary, but frustrating. Thankfully, laser hair removal has come along to bail you out from spending too long in the shower. With laser hair removal, you’ll no longer face razor burn, nicks or cuts. Laser hair removal uses lasers to target and destroy hair follicles to prevent new hair from growing in its place. It works best with dark hair and fair skin, as the laser can target contrast most effectively. Changes to technology are enabling people with dark skin or light hair to get better results, however. Before the session, you’ll want to shave your legs one last time, usually in the 24 hours leading up to laser hair removal. In many cases, especially on larger surface areas like legs, your doctor will apply a cooling gel to your skin first. This will help prevent pain during the hour-long process. There can be some discomfort during the process, but it’s short term. Your skin after laser hair removal will look a bit like it’s sunburned and may be raw for a day or two. You may need a few sessions to effectively keep hair from growing back, but ditching the frustration of shaving is well worth it.
Your legs are on full display most of the summer, whether you’re poolside or keeping cool in shorts. If you want help getting your legs to their full summer potential, reach out to Northeast Dermatology Associates today for a consultation.
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