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More Skin Questions
Answered by our
Expert Dermatologist

Q. Is there any reason you can think of as to why a sunless tanner works perfectly for someone in their 20's but suddenly doesn't work so well when in their 30's? Specifically, the sunless tanner no longer "tans" my skin. Could it be skin chemistry changes related to the proteins in the epidermis?

Answer: Sometimes as we get older we get more brown spots, also known as lentigos. When you put on sunless tanner the brown spots pick up more tanner and the normal skin picks up less so the skin appears blotchier and less tan. Could this be the problem?

Q. My sister (49) was recently diagnosed with melanoma. At her urging I made an appointment with a dermatologist for a complete skin exam. However, this exam did not include my scalp or any area covered by my underwear. My sister is furious that I did not get a complete exam. Should I be concerned? Should a complete exam have included my scalp?

Answer: Yes, a complete exam means everything including scalp, genatalia, inside the mouth and eyes. Melanoma can occur in any of these places.

Q. My legs have uneven skin tones. When I go out in the sun, I see smooth red spots on my legs where small sores have healed. Also, all my skin pores on the lower half of my leg are red, and I consistently have ingrown hairs. I've tried gentle scrubs, tweezing, etc. but nothing seems to achieve the even tan look I'm going for. What should I do?

Answer: It sounds like you have a couple of things going on. Ingrown hairs, also known as pseudofolliculitis barbae can be easily treated with prescription medications.

If you want to try over-the-counter first I would recommend Aveeno shave lotion to shave with and 1% hydrocortisone cream to use after shaving.

For the smooth red spot you could try a fade cream, like Porcelana, However, I would strongly recommend seeing a dermatologist to make sure these red spots are not cancerous or precancerous.

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Dr. Monique S. Cohn

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