We don’t inherit varicose veins but we do inherit a tendency toward developing them. Most doctors agree that exercise, a balanced diet, proper weight control, wearing support hosiery, avoiding crossing your legs while sitting and not wearing constricting clothing can all help to prevent or delay them. On the other hand, obesity, pregnancy, lack of exercise, prolonged periods of standing can increase their formation.

Veins transport the blood back to the heart and lungs from the body to be re-oxygenated. They have valves along their length that act like locks on a canal to prevent a backflow. The movement is helped by muscular contraction as the walls have no muscular layer and can exert little pressure on the blood flow. The valves open to allow the blood to flow upward, then close to prevent back seepage. If the valves have been weakened they may collapse, the blood begins collecting in the vein, stretching the walls out of shape. Most varicose veins occur in the surface of the legs because the deeper veins have more support from the fat and muscle. (Varicosing of the deeper saphenous vein usually requires surgery.)

If you have a job that requires you to stand for prolonged periods, take a break any chance you can to sit down. Once home, elevate your legs above the level of your heart to allow gravity to speed the transportation of the blood back to your heart.

Varicose veins are a complex problem but fortunately there is much you can do to prevent the condition and if you already have them, preventive measures can ease the discomfort.

I have quite a few pimples on my chest, upper back, and shoulders. I have tried using scrubs and cleansing creams from the dermatologist but they keep coming back. I haven’t had any acne on my face since my teen years and I am now 28.

There is a high concentration of oil glands in the face, upper back, chest and in lesser amounts on the rest of the body, so it is not unusual to have acneic problems in these areas as well. Acne does not necessarily begin and end with adolescence, it may persist uncontrollably into the 30s and longer. The condition may be worsened by hormonal changes or environmental conditions such as being in a tropical climate. The disorder can also be a signal of a more serious systemic disorder such as a problem in the immune system.

Before switching treatments, be sure that you have tried the full recommended course of treatment with the products suggested by the dermatologist. These must be given time to work. If you have done this, look to diet and lifestyle changes, such as avoiding fried foods, shellfish, eating fewer dairy products, oily nuts or other foods you have noticed increases the problem. Get regular outdoor exercise, plenty of rest, avoid becoming constipated. Try cleansing the area with soaps containing sulfur or antibacterial agents, using sea salt as a gentle scrub or a mild exfoliating cream to help unplug the pores. Use these products gently as over-stimulating through vigorous scrubbing can actually increase the oil production. Some exposure to sunlight can have a clearing, anti-bacterial effect but avoid over doing this due to the dehydrating effects of the sun.

There is no single cause for acne and no single cure, only a treatment program to help control it, and this will require perseverence and patience.

Do the creams for the bust area really firm up the bust?

The creams designed for the breast tissue may strengthen the skin covering the area over and around the bust but there are no creams that can firm the actual breast itself. The breast is made up of connective tissue, glands, and subcutaneous fat. They are supported and attached to the body by suspensory ligaments (fibrous strands of tissue) that insert into the pectoral muscles on the chest wall. Exercising the pectoral muscles can make the bustline seem more firm but the breasts will not in themselves be strengthened.

Because the skin of the bust is often thin and dry, these creams are meant as preventive measure against premature aging of the tissues by providing moisture, nourishment and some elasticity on the level of the skin.