Take care of 6 tricky skin issues

Liver spots. Also known as age spots, these dark, flat spots appear on the face, hands, arms, back, and feet of many people as they age. Often bigger than a mole, a liver spot can be confused for a potentially problematic skin growth. If you're unsure, don't hesitate to consult a dermatologist. Though benign (not cancerous), you may be able to have your liver spots removed by bleaching, freezing, chemical peels, or laser surgery. For many people, liver spots are an inherited trait; but for others, liver spots can indicate a lifetime of sun overexposure. To prevent future age spots, diligently apply sunscreen.

Skin tags. Some people (more often women, people with diabetes, or those who are obese) will notice little, flesh-toned growths cropping up on the neck, eyelids, and in folds of skin like the armpit and groin. Called skin tags, these growths are harmless, but they can be irritated by shaving or by getting snagged on jewellery or clothing. A doctor can easily remove skin tags, or you can try one of the do-it-yourself removal kits that work similarly to freeze-off wart treatments.

Easy bruising. As we age, our skin inevitably thins. And as it thins, we lose the fat and connective tissue support system that protects the blood vessels beneath our skin. Thus, when we're injured, a bruise will be more likely to show through. For some people, medications or supplements make for easy bruising, including corticosteroids (which thin the skin) and blood-thinners like acetylsalicylic acid and warfarin, as well as the natural supplements gingko biloba and fish oil. Clear your home of floor clutter to minimize risk of trips, slips, and bumps. And if you suffer a bump or fall, apply a wrapped ice pack to the area to prevent bruising.

Red blotches. You may have spotted red blotches on your nose, cheeks, chin, legs, or feet. What you're seeing might be telangiectasia. Sometimes called "broken capillaries," these spots aren't really broken at all. Usually it's a cluster of dilated blood vessels that have become visible through the skin, like spider veins. Though harmless, the blotches may worsen after alcohol use, sun exposure, and as you age. Makeup can mask the blotches, or your dermatologist may be able to remove them.

Tweezed brow bumps. Over-exuberant plucking or errant hair growth can irritate the follicle and lead to red, irritated skin bumps. Wait to tweeze until after you've had a warm shower, which makes hairs easier to pull out. Always use a firm but gentle pulling motion in the direction of hair growth. If an ingrown hair forms a pimple-like bump, lift the hair above the surface of the skin with a sterilized needle or tweezers and gently pull out. Clean the area around the ingrown hair with a gentle soap to prevent infection.

Razor burn. Shaving also goes a lot more smoothly if it comes after a warm shower. Freshly cleansed and lubricated skin will more easily yield to a sharp-bladed razor. While shaving in the direction of hair growth might allow you to avoid irritation, it could keep you from getting the smoothest result. If you're shaving against the direction of hair growth, work shaving cream or lotion into your skin and give it a few minutes to soak in, and don't shave the same area more than twice to avoid irritation. End with a rinse and pat dry with a clean towel. You may also want to apply moisturizer to prevent dry, flaky skin.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Healthy-Skin-by-the-Numbers