The Body Beautiful

Spider Veins

These web-like clusters of red, blue, and purple streaks, each about the width of a hair, affect about 50 percent of women. Spider veins, or telangiectasias, are dilated capillaries that become visible because they're situated so close to the skin's surface. Though the exact cause is unknown, risk factors include hormonal changes from menopause and trauma to the skin, such as bruises. Women who spend a lot of time on their feet are prone to getting them (the pressure on the legs forces the capillaries to fill with blood), as are those who habitually cross their legs or are even a few pounds over their ideal body weight.

At Home

DIY solutions include covering spiders with heavy-duty concealer (a quick fix if you only have a few to hide) or applying self-tanner to minimize the contrast between your skin and the colorful vessels. To prevent them, avoid prolonged periods of standing or sitting. Another smart move: wearing tight-fitting support stockings, which decrease pressure that accumulates throughout the day.

In Office

A dermatologist can exterminate spider veins with a simple "lunchtime" procedure called sclerotherapy, during which a solution is injected into the vein via a very fine needle. The solution irritates the lining of the vessel, causing it to swell and stick together and eventually collapse in this closed position. Over a period of weeks, the vessel turns into scar tissue that's absorbed by the body, becoming barely noticeable or invisible. Though not an instant fix, sclerotherapy, -which doesn't require anesthesia, -usually clears 80 percent of spider veins in three or four monthly treatments, Duffy says. Discomfort is minimal and includes some stinging at the site of injection and possible muscle cramping that subsides after about 15 minutes. Cost: $250 to $750 per session, depending on how many squiggles you have.

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Ingrown Hairs

After shaving or waxing, the curly hairs in your bikini area sometimes get trapped inside the follicle or grow back into the surrounding skin, causing painful, red, pimplelike "bikini bumps."

At Home

Gentle use of a body scrub or washcloth every other day will help dislodge trapped hairs and prevent their return. For a chronic case, try a product such as Tend Skin, which contains an exfoliant that keeps bumps at bay by eliminating the dead cells that hinder hair from growing out of the skin. Then dab on a pimple medication containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to reduce inflammation and stave off bacteria that cause infection, says Cindy Barshop, owner of Completely Bare, a New York City-based spa that specializes in hair removal.

In Office

If ingrown hairs become infected, ask your doctor for a prescription-strength antibiotic lotion to kill bacteria and a steroid cream to quell swelling and redness. If you're especially prone to bikini bumps, consider laser hair removal, which makes them a thing of the past.

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More from Prevention:

Eight Simple Tricks To Look Young and Feel Younger in Seconds

100 Ways To Look Younger

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PHOTO: Zac Efron seen at BBC Radio One, April 24, 2014, in London.
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