The human body is spectacular with the way so many systems work together, and every cell just seems to know its job. But let’s be honest – sometimes the body can be downright nasty.
We all have embarrassing questions about our skin from time to time, and I’ll readily admit that I’ve had my fair share over the years. Luckily for me, I also work in the skin care industry, so I’ve learned a lot about those types of issues and I’ve always had resources to turn to.
Today, I’m laying it all out there and answering some of the most common embarrassing skin care questions people ask.
I have a flimsy, tiny flap growing on my skin. What is it?
Usually, when someone describes a growth like this or shows me something like this, it’s a skin tag.
Skin tags may not be the most glamorous things on the planet, but they’re harmless and incredibly common. There’s still somewhat of a mystery surrounding them.
Skin tags are benign growths of blood vessels and skin cells, and doctors aren’t entirely sure why they happen. They seem to run in families and they also tend to pop up in areas with a lot of friction, especially areas with skin-on-skin friction like armpits, eyelids, skin creases, and sometimes crotches.
Even though a skin tag is harmless, it’s always a good idea to make sure that’s actually what you have. Pay a visit to your friendly neighborhood dermatologist to make sure you’re in the clear.
If you want to get rid of your skin tag for cosmetic reasons or because it gets irritated and uncomfortable, it’s also better to have a doctor or skin care professional do it because there can be a surprising amount of bleeding.
I blush way too easily, even when I’m not feeling embarrassed. What gives?
We all have tiny blood vessels in our faces, and in some folks, those blood vessels are more susceptible to dilating and making you look flushed.
You could just have sensitive skin that gets irritated easily. You could also have a condition called rosacea, which causes excessive facial redness.
Rosacea is a chronic condition, but it does go in a cycle of flare-ups and dormant stages. Flare-ups usually stem from certain triggers like intense exercise, heat, or sun exposure. Drinking alcohol and eating spicy foods are common triggers too.
So what can you do about your natural rosiness? Start by incorporating more soothing products into your skincare routine. My skin seems to respond well to the Avene Antirougers Calm Soothing Repair Mask.
If this doesn’t do the trick, it’s time for a visit to your dermatologist. They’ll be able to tell if you have sensitive skin or rosacea and help you get control over whatever the problem may be.
My skin itches. It itches all the time. It itches everywhere. What could be wrong?
Itchy skin can drive you absolutely bonkers because it never stops. If you’re dealing with itchy skin, your first test is to look for signs of a rash.
Wait until you’ve stopped scratching for a while, like when you first wake up in the morning. This way, your skin won’t have irritation from the scratching itself and you can get a clear view.
If you don’t see any redness or bumps, your itchiness could just be a matter of dry skin. This is especially likely if your itching is widespread instead of in one specific area, and if you live in a dry climate.
Dry skin tends to flare up even more when the weather suddenly changes to fall or winter (you know, like what’s happening right now).
Start using a dry skin cream once per day or more. Apply it as soon as you get out of the shower to lock in the temporary moisture in your skin. Exfoliating your skin with a body scrub can help too, because it clears away dead skin cells that can irritate the surface of your skin.
Of course, if none of this helps, it’s time to call the dermatologist to take a closer look.
I have some seriously stinky feet. Where did this come from and what can I do about it?
Foot odor can come from a long list of possible culprits. Maybe the sweat glands in your feet are overachievers. Perhaps you just need to start a routine of deep cleaning your feet to fight off any bacteria and fungi that are trying to take hold.
Start by wearing more breathable shoes and socks whenever possible. Along with that, put yourself on a strict regimen of DIY pedicures. A set of tools like the Clarisonic Pedi Sonic kit can give you everything you need to exfoliate, cleanse, and hydrate.
If those steps don’t help, it’s possible that you have a bacterial or fungal infection. Those are very common, especially if you use swimming pools or locker rooms where your feet touch the same warm, damp surfaces as other feet. They can often be cleared up with an antibacterial or antifungal cream.
Listening to Your Skin
There is no limit to the number of potentially embarrassing skin care questions people find themselves asking. There’s a reason I chose these four in particular: because their spectacularly common.
The point is this: don’t be embarrassed about your skin. No matter what issue you’re having, you aren’t alone. Someone somewhere has had the same problem before, and chances are that there are more of those “someones” than you think.
The tips above can help you take the first step toward solving your skin mystery and loving your skin for the majestic beauty it is.