Imagine waking up on the day of your grand, haute event and finding an unsightly facial flaw. No matter the skincare disaster board-certified dermatologist Dr. Rebecca Baxt, who serves the New Jersey and Manhattan area, has a solution to alleviate any condition. Below are various conditions as well as the best ways to get your skin looking flawless again!
Problem: Cold Sore
Solution: Dr. Baxt suggests cortisone injections to patients who want to look better faster. “Very diluted cortisone into the cold sore, this can bring the inflammation down quite rapidly,” she says. If you are afraid of needles, call your doctor and ask for a prescription for Valtrex, Famvir or Acylovir, She says, “You can pick up Abreva, an over-the-counter medication. If you can’t make it to the pharmacy.” You can also try old-fashioned remedies: Visine will help take the red out. You can also use a cold compress and Tylenol or ibuprofen.
Problem: Allergic Reaction
Solution: First and foremost, stop eating or using whatever it is causing the allergic reaction. If the reaction happens a few days prior to an important event or meeting, Dr. Baxt recommends using hydrocortisone cream twice a day and taking Allegra, Claritin or Zyrtec, which last longer and less sedating than Benadryl. Try a whole-milk compress for 10 minutes twice a day.
For allergic reactions the day of your wedding, use the hydrocortisone cream and then cover up redness by canceling it out entirely. The opposite of red is green, so apply green tinted concealer on the red area. The combination will create a flesh-toned hue. A good quality tinted moisturizer naturally has green/yellow undertones and also provides moisture to dry skin. “If this type of reaction is something you have never experienced before, go immediately to your dermatologist,” Dr. Baxt said.
Problem: Cystic Acne Breakout
Solution: A common, but unsafe, routine is using a lancet or small knife to remove the cyst from the pore. “Cutting open a cyst is extremely risky. You not only run the risk of getting an infection, but you also run the risk of scarring, as in a permanent skin indentation or protrusion,” Dr. Baxt explained.
Instead of making a bloody mess, increasing the chance of skin scarring, and prolonging the time it takes the cyst to heal, Dr. Baxt suggests a secret that supermodels and actresses use: a Steroid shot.
Dr. Baxt explains, “When we discuss treating acne with cortisone or ‘steroid’ shots, we are referring to the process of gently placing a very dilute quantity of a ‘glucocorticoid’ steroid into the cyst. Glucocorticoids are a class of steroid molecules that are naturally produced by our bodies and have numerous functions including the regulation of human metabolism, immunity and inflammation. They have very potent anti-inflammatory effects so they are often used to treat inflammatory diseases in medicine. They can be formulated as creams to treat skin rashes or as pills to treat systemic disease. They can also be injected directly into local areas of inflammation such as in arthritic joints and inflamed acne cysts. Within one or two days of injection into a cyst, the steroid will shrink the inflammation producing relief of pain and almost immediate cosmetic improvement.”
Problem: Puffy Eyes
Solution: The key to reducing the swelling of eyes is having something cool applied to them. “A cool compress or cooled cucumber slices applied for 5 to 10 minutes can constrict blood and lymph vessels,” she said. You can also use cool tea bags, which contain tannins that will help reduce swelling. Also, since puffy eyes can be caused by a high salt diet or alcohol, try to cut out both before an important occasion.
Solution: Take a cool bath or shower. Set the water to a cool temperature that’s just below lukewarm, and relax for 10 to 20 minutes. The temperature will ease the pain, and the water will stop your skin from becoming as irritated. Repeat as often as you need to.
To minimize irritation, avoid using soap, bath oils, or other detergents as you bathe. If you have blisters forming on your skin, take a bath instead of showering. The pressure from the shower may pop your blisters. Following your bath, do not rub your skin dry with a towel. Instead, let yourself air dry, or pat the towel over your skin in small, gentle movements. Apply cold compresses to your skin. If you’re not in a situation where you can bathe, or you’d just prefer not to, you can instead apply cold, wet compresses to your skin. Dampen a washcloth or other piece of fabric with cold water, and lay it over the affected area for 20 to 30 minutes. Re-wet it as often as you need to. Apply Aloe Vera to burned skin.
Using the pads of your fingers, gently apply the aloe to your sunburn. Do not “rub it in,” like you might with a regular lotion. Leave it a bit goopy and moist on top of the burn. This will prevent the skin from drying out and becoming more irritated. Reapply as often as necessary. Treat inflammation with cortisone cream (optional). Cortisone creams contain a small dose of steroids that can work to reduce inflammation to your sunburn. You can find low-dose, over-the-counter tubes at your local drug store or supermarket.
Wear loose fitting cotton clothing over sunburned areas. Baggy T-shirts and loose cotton pajama pants are ideal clothing to wear while you’re recovering from sunburn. If you can’t wear that, at least try to make sure your garments are cotton, which allows your skin to “breathe.”
Because sunburns can be dehydrating, it is essential you rehydrate with plenty of water. Aim for eight glasses containing eight oz. of water each day, or even longer. When you no longer have open blisters, or the redness of the sunburn has subsided, treat your damaged skin to some TLC. Liberally apply a creamy, unscented moisturizer to sunburned areas over the next few days or weeks to prevent peeling and irritation.
Problem: Too much filler
Solution: Dr. Baxt suggests doing fillers no sooner than one month prior to your event to allow time for healing and touch ups. One of the reasons Dr. Baxt leans toward hyaluronic acid fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm and Perlane is because they are easily reversed with Hyaluronidase. This product dissolves and degrades the Restylane, Juvederm or Perlane so as to reverse the results of the initial injection. It’s a great insurance policy when choosing a practitioner. Make sure your dermatologist has it his or her disposal.
Removing the effects of a “filler” treatment can be difficult. Make certain an experienced board certified specialist conducts your filler treatment. Hyaluronic Acid based dermal fillers have the additional safety of being partially or completely reversed with time or with the injection of a commercially available enzyme known as Hyaluronidase.
(Photo via She Knows)