Skin Care: Summer Skin Makeover (cont.)

While there are no proven ways to make a shave last longer, Kunin suggests trying a shave-minimizing moisturizer after you shave. "If you start now, you may find that by summer you are growing less hair in all those areas that will be bare."

A good shaving strategy also helps. Shave in the opposite direction from which hair grows. In places where hair grows in different directions and in hard-to-reach areas such as underarms and the bikini area, try pulling the skin slightly, making it more taut and easier to shave.

Nothing can ruin the look of a clean shave like ingrown hairs.

"If you are prone to ingrown hairs, choose a specialized product that incorporates aspirin into its base," she says. Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory. When applied to the affected area, it decreases the likelihood of shaving bumps caused by ingrown hairs. Several treatments are available in drug stories to help eliminate bumps, ingrown hairs, and razor burns from waxing, shaving, and electrolysis.

You could also try waxing, Kunin says. "Waxing will buy you more time than shaving. But remember that when you go to rewax, you have to let hair grow to minimal length first," she cautions.

Treat the Skin on Your Feet

Don't forget your feet this summer, says New York City-based podiatric surgeon Suzanne Levine, DPM.

This starts with getting rid of "fugly" (fungal, ugly) toenails, she says. "For anybody who has fungus on their toenails or discoloration of nails, there are topical whitening and antifungal agents you can try. If you have major discoloration, we can even use a laser to whiten the nails similar to how we whiten teeth," she says.

Oral antifungals are also available but they take awhile to work and you may not have time with Memorial Day just several weeks away, she says.

"Many people complain of dermatitis, peeling, or callous on their heels," she says. "I use a peel on the skin to peel off all of the callous material for baby-soft skin," she says. Some exfoliating callous creams are available at drug stores.

When getting your presummer pedicure, make sure that your toenails are cut straight across. "Make sure the manicurist does not cut into the sides or you will get ingrown toenails," Levine says. To cut down on germs, make sure the manicurist cleans out the whirlpool with Clorox.

"Bring your own instruments if you can," she says. And "never let anyone use razor blades on your feet," she says.

As for polish, "Go with beiges and lighter-color polishes that don't stain nails such as light pink." The good news is that this is one of the trendy colors this year.

Published May 2005.

SOURCES: Steve Fallek, MD, plastic surgeon, New York City and Englewood, N.J. Rhoda S. Narins, MD, dermatological surgeon, New York City, and president, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. Audrey Kunin, MD, dermatologist, Kansas City, Mo. Bruce E. Katz, MD, medical director, JUVA Skin and Laser Center, New York City. Suzanne Levine, MD, podiatric surgeon, New York City.

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