Every month I get a few pimples and after they are squeezed, a dark mark remains on my skin. These marks can last for two or three months. What should I do?

Sometimes when the skin has become inflamed, pigmentation cells increase. Depending upon your skin type, they may never go away. If a pimple or “blind” pimple (one which is very deeply situated in the skin) has destroyed skin cells, the pigmentation may remain. You will have to avoid sun exposure as this will increase pigmentation. Sometimes bleaching or skin-lightening creams that contain hydroquinone will help. You should apply the cream ONLY to the scarred or pigmented area at least three or four times a day for several weeks. Check with a skin specialist. Skin can sometimes be lightened with liquid nitrogen or a mild peeling.

I am 15 and would like to try electrolysis, but my mother thinks I am too young. Do I have to be a certain age? Is it better than waxing? Does it scar?

Age is no barrier to electrolysis. But if you have diabetes or have had hormone treatments, you should get written consent from your doctor. Electrolysis is a method of hair removal and it is permanent, whereas waxing, shaving, depilatories, bleaching etc. are not. The hair can be removed from the upper lip, bikini line, eyebrows, chin, breasts, stomach etc. Electrolysis is done by inserting a needle into the hair follicles. The needle travels along the hair, past the root, and as far as the papilla. This is the area that generates a new hair. A very slight tingle and warmth is felt in the skin as that area (papilla) is destroyed. If the procedure is done with the proper-size needle and by a trained technician, there should not be any scarring or bruising. Skin should be cleansed first and then, after the session, a soothing or desinfecting solution or cream should be applied to keep the skin from becoming irritated.

Are tanning creams harmful to the skin? Can they be used as a sunscreen?

 The self-tanning products on the market help give the skin a natural- looking tan by tinting the surface layers of skin. Some use nut extracts for the brown coloring. Some of the advantages of using them are: Sun damage is lessened.

You can even out the skin coloring.

You can deepen your tan by using the product more often.

They can be used on just about every skin type.

A tan can be achieved in a matter of hours.

Most tanning products contain moisturizers.

Some have sunscreens; be sure to check the label. But sure to wash your hands after applying the product or they will be stained.