Men and women throughout the world suffer from a number of common skin problems as they age, including cellulite, skin discoloration, spider veins and stretch marks. Several global skin care companies manufacture a variety of different creams, serums, oils and topical lotions to treat and eliminate, or reduce, the visible appearance of these conditions, through both all-natural and pharmaceutically manufactured formulations.
Although many of these skin and beauty products are highly effective at obtaining their intended goals, the most efficacious skincare products can also be quite expensive. According to University of Miami dermatology professor Dr. Shasa Hu, there are often equally effective alternative approaches to treating stretch marks, spider veins, skin discoloration and cellulite without breaking the bank.
Approaches to Reducing the Effects of 4 Common Skin Concerns
Spider veins, which commonly appear on the legs and especially on the ankles, are a result of poor circulation. Spider veins occur when blood accumulates and remains static in the capillaries, stretching them and causing them to show through the skin. People who work long hours on their feet commonly acquire spider veins as a result of gravity – the blood remains static in the legs instead of returning to the heart.
One of the most effective ways to treat spider veins is to catch their appearance early and take preventative measures to keep them from getting worse. This may include performing frequent calf exercises, ensuring that your legs are elevated whenever possible, and wearing stockings or support hose.
Although specialized creams and lotions can mask the appearance of spider veins, a spray-on tan can often achieve the same results. This is especially convenient for those who plan to receive a spray-on tan for beach season regardless of their spider veins. There are ways to permanently remove the appearance of spider veins, including sclerotherapy (a topical injection) and laser treatments, though these procedures can be quite costly.
Stretch marks appear when a portion of the body grows faster than the skin covering it, such as during a period of rapid weight gain or during pregnancy. Although many people associate stretch marks with aging or obesity, they also commonly occur in teenagers during a growth spurt.
On a more scientific level, stretch marks can be defined as a permanent distortion of the collagen in your skin. They initially begin as a red streak before fading to white, and they’re most commonly found on the breasts, stomach, hips and buttocks.
Although it’s virtually impossible to remove the appearance of stretch marks completely, there are a couple of ways in which you can maintain a body free of them. The first is to prevent them in the first place. When you become pregnant, it’s a good idea to invest in a cream specifically designed to make the skin softer and more pliable, which will allow it to stretch more naturally and without damage as your abdomen expands. Implementing a solid health and fitness regimen that includes a nutritious, low-fat diet and regular exercise can also prevent rapid weight gain, one of the more common causes of stretch marks.
For treating existing stretch marks, the good news is that many of the aforementioned skincare creams are highly effective. Be sure to carefully read reviews and testimonials of specific products to determine their effectiveness before placing an order, and pay close attention to the company’s return policy. Many of the best skin and beauty companies will allow you to return a product that doesn’t produce the expected results.
Many individuals suffer from skin discoloration, the result of a skin yeast infection known as tinea versicolor. The condition, which appears most commonly during the summer and in hotter climates, typically appears on the back and chest as an uneven coloring in the skin. Skin discoloration breaks down into two categories, include hypo-pigmentation and hyper-pigmentation, meaning too little and too much skin pigment, respectively.
Dermatologists recommend that those suffering from skin discoloration wear sunscreen with a high SPF (at least 30 or 45) before heading outdoors, especially during peak sun hours in the summer. Skin discoloration is often barely noticeable until getting a tan, which highlights the difference between the affected and unaffected skin.
Unfortunately, those with both skin discoloration and spider veins are left deciding between which to treat, as tanning exacerbates the former while disguising the latter. However, high quality concealing makeup is often enough to blend the appearance of discolored skin into normal skin.
Cellulite is the result of lumpy fat cells that gather in a column-like formation just below the surface of the skin, creating the appearance of cottage cheese. Cellulite is actually very normal, even occurring in babies in addition to women and sometimes men. It’s more noticeable depending on how a specific person’s fat is structured and stored.
Cellulite is traditionally very difficult to treat, and even considerable weight loss is often insufficient for removing its appearance entirely. Although a number of companies sell high-dollar creams specifically designed to remove the appearance of cellulite, the reality is that an inexpensive moisturizer from a department store is often just as effective. This is because one of the best ways to treat cellulite is to keep the skin hydrated and subsequently more plumped up. In this state, the skin effectively thickens and lifts off the fatty structures, hiding their appearance.
Common Skin Problems: The Bottom Line
According to Dr. Hu, those with common ailments such as cellulite, spider veins, stretch marks and skin discoloration need not spend a fortune to disguise, if not eliminate, their cosmetic blemishes. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, a cardiovascular routine and regular strength training can prevent stretch marks and cellulite, and even reduce the appearance of existing cellulite.
Cheap moisturizers can also disguise cellulite, while a spray-on tan is an excellent quick-fix for spider veins. Wearing sunscreen can prevent outbreaks of skin discoloration, and concealing makeup will often hide skin discoloration that’s already present.