Summer temperatures and more time spent outdoors – a combination that for many of us means less clothing and more attention paid to parts of our body. Upper arms, elbows, thighs, and knees can suddenly get center-stage when trying on the dress for an upcoming wedding or shorts for the golf game you are about to enjoy with friends. We all know that some trouble spots can be addressed with exercise to tone the muscles, but what if the problem is loose, crepey skin? Legs can also be especially susceptible to spider and varicose veins also. These are things that all the squats and all the walking in the world cannot fix. The good news is there are things that can be done (of course, squats and walking are great ways to stay healthy and strengthen muscles!). Let’s take a closer look at options for treating these areas that can be bothersome to some. Because legs are the main attraction during warm weather, here are some ideas to care for your pair.
The Role of Water and Skin
Let’s talk skin first. Two areas on the legs can be particularly prone to skin laxity and looseness, the thighs and the knees. Just like the neck can add years to our appearance if it is showing more lines and wrinkles than our face, a toned, healthy pair of legs can show age through crepey skin on the knee and thigh areas. One of the easiest things to try is to up hydration. Drinking more water helps skin by helping the body to flush toxins and reduce inflammation. Although this will not “plump” skin and erase the look of loose skin, it does give our immune system the help it needs to ward off flare-ups of things such as eczema and psoriasis. Working towards healthier skin by upping water intake is always a good start; it couldn’t hurt and may also have benefits beyond skin improvement.
Sun and Weight Fluctuation
If hydration is the easiest thing to try, adding a daily sunscreen habit to your health and beauty routine, is probably one of the smartest things to do. UV light has been shown to accelerate the skin’s aging process. This exposure, including unintended and brief moments of sun shining through a car or house window, has been shown to cause damage. Not only does this damage cause a higher chance of skin cancer, it speeds up the breakdown of collagen and elastin and may cause discoloration in the form of brown spots. All things most of us are thinking of when we protect our face, but other parts of the body are as vulnerable. Weight loss can also cause the skin on the knees to become looser. Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent the fluctuations that make the skin above the knees, which is already loose to allow us to bend the knees, from becoming the kind of skin laxity that bothers some people. Treating loose knees can also be done with a laser. Titan® Skin Tightening Laser is one option that Hollywood dermatologists rely on to treat this area for celebrities getting Red Carpet ready. This laser is also available at Vanguard Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics where you can schedule a one-time treatment or as a series to treat knees.
Spider and Varicose Veins
Varicose and spider veins tend to be present most often on the legs and ankles. For this reason, this can be part of the concern with how we feel about how our legs look. Women and people that work on the feet are more prone to this visible, and sometimes painful in the case of varicose veins, condition. Treating these veins through sclerotherapy, injecting the veins with a solution to collapse the vascular structure that is visible, or with heat or laser based treatments are options. Laser treatment for spider veins is the treatment available at Vanguard Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics.
Summer Leg Checklist:
Drink more water
Wear daily sun protection and reapply
Look into treatments or products to fade discoloration and brown spots
Investigate options for vein treatments
Consider lasers to improve skin laxity