Skin Damage Control from Neck to Knees

Sun, smoking, yo-yo dieting — these sins take a toll on skin. We’re savvy about what to do from the chin up. Now, here are the best, newest fixes for everything else.

By Christine Fellingham
Ab muscles need to be worked from all directions and in all ways, pulling, twisting, stabilizing.Do a mole patrol: If you notice any with irregular borders or colorations, or any larger than a pencil eraser, see your dermatologist. (Skin tags and cherry spots are programmed to appear with age, but can be removed.) A dermatologist can… Laser off spots and marks: Lasers (typically ones used to treat pigment or vascular problems) can zap them in a single session ($300-$600).Mask stretch marks: The Xtrac Excimer laser temporarily repigments skin for about a month. (Cost: $100.) Tighten, tuck-free: Doctors are reporting success with radiofrequency options like Thermage for firming. It takes up to ten treatments to see whether Thermage is working. (Cost: $2,000-$2,500.)Aging AdvantagesPhew! Some things actually improve with age.
  1. Cellulite: While no one has actually quantified it, menopause often brings about a reduction. "Cellulite is more prominent in estrogen-sensitive areas (hips, thighs, butt)," says University of Miami dermatologist Deborah Price. "As women get closer to menopause, they often find that the dimples become shallow and much less noticeable."
  2. Back and chest acne: Body breakouts start to decrease when oil production slows down and skin becomes a bit drier. Acne becomes increasingly infrequent and, eventually, disappears.
  3. Body hair: With age, body hair becomes finer, thinner, and slower-growing. Many women find that by the time they reach menopause, they only need to shave every few weeks. And waxing may become something done only a few times a year.
  4. Excessive perspiration: Like oil production, perspiration peaks in adolescence and then starts to decrease. As you age, you’ll notice less sweat and, consequently, less body odor.

Originally published in MORE magazine, May 2005.

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