Bring Sexy Back: Flaunt a Hot Rear View
Get Smooth Arms
You do a gazillion triceps dips for sexy arms, yet you've got stubborn red bumps.Red Bumps
The cause: Why do you have "chicken skin" on your arms but your friend doesn't? Genetic roulette. But you're not alone: About half of women have what derms call keratosis pilaris, or KP. "It's a common skin condition that is actually a type of eczema," says Jeannette Graf, MD, a dermatologist in Great Neck, New York. "Excess old skin cells build up around hair follicles, creating bumps that turn red as the follicles become inflamed and raised, causing the skin to become rough. The drier your skin, the worse the problem gets."
DIY solution: Daily buffing. Look for gentle exfoliators that have fine granules and hydrators like glycerin and hyaluronic acid. Also effective are chemical skin smoothers such as urea and salicylic, glycolic, and alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids. We like AmLactin Moisturizing Body Lotion ($16, drugstores). "These products break down dead skin on the surface, clearing the hair follicles," Dr. Graf says. Once the bumps are gone, switch to a retinol-based cream, such as Roc Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 ($20, drugstores), and apply it to your arms three times a week. "Retinol will help keep cell turnover at an even, healthy pace," Dr. Fusco says.
In-office treatment: If your KP is out of control, over-the-counter creams might not cut it. Dr. Frank suggests a stronger approach: three to four sessions, at about $400 each, with a Medlite laser. "The short pulses of light increase cell turnover, cleaning the hair follicles much more efficiently than exfoliating creams can," he says. Or you can ask your derm for an in-office peel, about $100, to kick-start cell turnover -- and finally kick KP to the curb.
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