One complaint of those suffering from disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP), a rare skin disease, is the rough texture of the skin that the lesions create. These roundish little spots are characterized by a thread-like ridge that surrounds the actual spot, making the skin feel rough to the touch.
A few years ago I was getting a massage in a dimly lit room. The massage therapist, who didn’t speak English, was so surprised by the rough feeling of my arms that he exclaimed something in Chinese (probably in disgust) and proceeded to tell me in very broken English what I should be doing to smooth my skin. And he couldn’t help but pick the spots in between the massage. Tip: always make sure you tell your massage therapist, even if it is in mime, about your condition before your actual massage. And be sure to mention that it’s not contagious!
So what can we do to smooth the texture of our skin? Exfoliation is the obvious answer, and there’s much debate over which exfoliation product is the best. But the one that most say is the hands-down best might surprise you– sandpaper!
I must admit, it does sound extreme, sanding down your skin! But numerous DSAP’ers have tried it and say it’s the way to go especially if you want to use self tanner.
Many with DSAP use self tanner to hide their DSAP spots. But if there are raised ridges around the spots, then the self tanner just makes the lesions more noticeable. So, exfoliation of some sort is a must! The drawback is that the ridges do come back in a matter of days, so you have to keep on top of it.
We’ll start with the straight sandpaper first. Here’s a breakdown of how it works, what you’ll need and the steps you’ll take if you decide you want smoother skin.
- Wet/Dry Sandpaper. You can get wet/dry Sandpaper on Amazon or at any hardware or big box store. You’ll want to get a very fine grade. Most people use a 600 grade, but if you have very sensitive skin, you can go for an even finer grade like 800 or 1000 (the bigger the number the finer the grade).
- A rich lotion, like Amlactin. This product has 12% alpha hydroxy so it further helps to exfoliate, while moisturizing.
How you do it
- Choose which coarseness of sandpaper you want. Note that thicker or less delicate skin can tolerate a coarser grade. So on calves you might be able to get away with a 400 grade, but for hands and feet you’ll need a finer grade, like a 800 or 1000. Through trial and error you will discover which grade is best for which body part, everyone is different!
- Take a warm bath or shower so your skin is more malleable. You can stay in the bath or you can get out for the actual sanding.
- Wrap a very wet piece of sandpaper around your fingers, and rub it ever so gently on your spot, specifically around the ridges (do not use sandpaper on your face!). At first, apply very little pressure until you can gauge how how hard you can press without irritating. If it feels agitating, even with very little pressure, you may need to use a finer grade. DO NOT sand red spots, as it will make them more red.
- Dry off, and apply your body lotion.
- Caress your smooth silky skin, or better yet, have your partner caress you 🙂
- Do one arm and one leg at first to compare to the arm and leg you didn’t do so you can judge the effectiveness of this type of exfoliation.
- Always use a fresh piece of sandpaper each time you follow this procedure. A new piece will be more effective, less friction and less work.
- A gentle touch is key!
Essentially microdermabrasion and hair removal kits do exactly the same thing. There’s a vibrating wand that works crystals into your skin. You get the same results with the added benefit of being able to use it on your face, and it is gentler and more precise. With the wet/dry sandpaper it’s hard be really precise, so that’s where the microdermabrasion kits excel. Remember, don’t use the sandpaper on your face). Here’s a few highly rated and recommended microdermabrasion kits you can try. I don’t recommend the really cheap ones if you want to get any results!
Here’s what people have said about using wet/dry sandpaper on their DSAP lesions
“Tried this for the first time today and it’s BRILLIANT!! Makes my legs feel like normal “
“I have to say that it has been the ONLY thing that actually makes my skin smooth. I mean really smooth, like the skin on my rear end and abdomen”
“I have found that keeping my skin incredibly soft and smooth with the wet/dry sandpaper, and well moisturized, has made a world of difference for me. Simply not shirking away when someone touches me, I feel so much more like my old self.”
“The wet/dry sandpaper thing works enough so you don’t have to worry about someone touching your arms or legs & feeling all the roughness.”
Have you tried wet/dry sandpaper?
Have you tried using wet/dry sandpaper on your DSAP spots? If so, please share your results in the comments section below so others may benefit!