What can be worse than the onset of an unsightly skincare emergency the day of a big event such as a wedding, reunion, business interview, or first date? Have you ever cancelled a first date because a cold sore erupted? How about an acne breakout the morning of your sister’s wedding or worse… your own? Board certified dermatologist Margarita Lolis, M.D., of Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists of NY and NJ, shares her tips and insights to help you handle these common emergencies within 24 hours.
- Problem: Hives, Redness and Allergies
Solution: When you realize a certain food, beverage, cream or cosmetic triggered an allergic reaction discontinue use or consumption. As for treatment, Lolis suggests using hydrocortisone cream which can be purchased at the drug store and should always be on hand. Also, take an allergy medication such as Claritin or Zyrtec. Try a cotton compress of apple cider vinegar which is an anti-septic and anti-fungal that pulls any toxins out of the skin. A compress with whole milk is also very soothing.
- Problem: Puffy Eyes
Solution: Cool tea bags or cold cucumber slices work wonders to constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling when applied for 10 minutes. You don’t need to see a dermatologist for any kind of treatment for this beauty issue, however be sure to invest in a good eye cream and keep it in the fridge. Applying eye cream morning and at bedtime will help.
- Problem: Cold Sore
Solution: “Most dermatologists will offer cortisone injections to tame a cold sore given its ability to rapidly address inflammation,” Lolis says. “This doesn’t take very long to do so many dermatologists will tell you to come in the same day. If you can’t get an appointment get your doctor to issue you a prescription for Famvir, Acylovir or Valtrex. Also, applying a lemon tea compress, applying witch hazel oil or peppermint are some natural ways to treat a cold sore.”
- Problem: Cystic Acne Breakout
Solution: Resist the urge to squeeze and soak in rubbing alcohol. “This is such a common response and people end up making the pimple worse not to mention scarring their skin,” Lolis says. “Cystic acne is deep and if treated correctly beneath the surface it could remain a bump and not a red, scabbing mess. The secret to destroying a deep cystic pimple is to get a steroid or cortisone shot. What the dermatologist will do is inject a diluted glucocorticoid right into the pimple. You’re basically getting a concentrated dose of steroid molecules that are naturally produced by our bodies responsible for regulating metabolism, inflammation and immunity. 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.” If you cannot get to the dermatologist, apply a paste of baking soda with water then remove it within 20 minutes. Natural clay can also work very well as could a sea salt compress. Sea salt, especially directly for the ocean only takes 20 minutes to dry up skin.
- Problem: Chapped Lips
Solution: “Use lip balms not waxes and go natural with ingredients such as almond oil, vitamin E or A and make and at home paste of sugar and honey to use as an exfoliator. You want to exfoliate lips in the shower when temperature is warmer,” Lolis says. Dry lips are always a beauty bummer especially when they crack and bleed. If chronic chapped lips are an issue, you may experience flare ups when lips are especially sensitive. “Your lips lack a tough outer skin layer which is why they are a darker color from the rest of your skin. Plus, there are enzymes in our saliva made to break down fats and proteins which is why when we lick our lips it makes matters worse,” she adds.
About Margarita Lolis: Margarita Lolis, M.D. is a board-certified cosmetic, medical dermatologist and a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon with over 20 years of experience. In her practice, she addresses common skin concerns such as acne prevention and treatment in both teens and adults, sun-damage, skin discoloration, wrinkles, changes to skin texture, and loss of volume. On the medical side, she is a trusted expert in melanoma and over-all skin health. Dr. Lolis prides herself in honoring facial symmetry to deliver a natural look to her clients. She always recommends a healthy skin care regimen plus lifestyle habits that are aligned with her holistic approach to beauty. Sheis a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Mohs Surgery, and the American Society of Anti-aging. Her practice, Skin, Laser, and Surgery Specialists is in New York City and Bergen Country, New Jersey.