Question: What would be the best way to care for razor bumps?
Dr. Lightbourne: Razor bumps or pseudofollicullitis bar-bae, are small bumps/pimples that occur after shaving. It is more common in persons with coarse curly hair follicles which tend to curl and grow back into the skin…i.e. ingrown hairs
Tips: – wash with warm water to soften the follicles before shaving – use a thick moisturizing shaving cream – shave in the direction of hair growth – stop shaving! Yeah right, Doc! Ok…how about a close trim instead, using sharp scissors? – More permanent solution: Laser hair removal or electrolysis – meanwhile topical OTC creams such as hydro-cortisone and antibacterial may help soothe irritation.
Question: I have been suffering from the unsightly occurrence of skin tags. What can I do?
Dr. Lightbourne: Skin tags are common, acquired, benign skin growths that look like a small piece of soft, hanging skin. They are harmless but can sometimes be cosmetically unacceptable. Weight gain/obesity and heredity are factors that may contribute to their development. The neck and armpits are common locations as well as under breasts and within folds…so friction plays a role as well.
Skin tags may be removed by cutting them off with scissors, freezing or burning them. Either way, it should be done by the appropriate skin professional under sanitary conditions to avoid complications such as infection and scarring.
Skin cancers like basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma may rarely mimic skin tags, so your doctor will decide if a skin tag is suspicious and warrants being sent to the lab for analysis. Further-more , if you are overweight with many skin tags your doctor may need to screen you for endocrine disorders such as diabetes.
Question: I am a 25 year old female and I am embarrassed about the facial hair that I have. What can I do besides plucking, waxing or shaving? I think it grows back more when I shave and I suffer from razor bumps sometimes when I shave?
Dr. Lightbourne: Facial hair can be a huge source of embarrassment and insecurity for women of all ages. Add razor bumps and dark spots to the mix and we have an aesthetic night-mare! Be aware that some cases of unwanted facial hair in women may be due to an under-lying hormonal abnormality. Your doctor may need to investigate for such. The best approach for getting rid of unwanted dark hair is laser hair removal which achieves permanent reduction of the hair follicles. It is available and safe in all skin types and well worth the investment. However, it doesn’t work on grey or blonde hairs without pigment (color). Electrolysis could be used to knock out the white hairs. A topical cream is also available by prescription which stops hair from growing….for as long as you use it.. So stop procrastinating; stop hiding, seek professional help and get your self-esteem back! Always remember though, that it’s not always just skin deep….the skin often gives us a hint that something more may be taking place beyond the skin..
Dr Lightbourne is registered by the TCI Health Practitioner’s Board for General Prac-tice/Dermatology. She is a UWI and Cardiff University Grad and a member of the Caribbean Dermatology Association as well as an International member of the Ameri-can Academy of Dermatology. She is the founder of Dermamed Ltd here in the TCI and operates her Skin Clinic out of Menzies’ Building on Leeward Highway. She can also be found at Accu Diagnostics in Cabot House, IGA Plaza. Her popular Dermamed line of skin care products may be found at Island Pharmacy in Menzies’ Building. See her for a skin care consultation and choose the products that are right for you.
by Dr. Deon Lightbourne
If you have any questions concerning your skin that you want answered, please email them to [email protected]