Skincare 911: Your Quick Fix For Puffy Eyes, Acne Spots, Filler Overload & More

Close up of good looking young man half face looking at camera while standing against grey background

New job, hot date, milestone birthday…it really doesn’t matter. Because when your face decides to deliver an emergency skincare problem, dollars to donuts it’ll happen when you least expect and want it. Still, you don’t need to call in sick, ghost your friends or stay indoors until 2022. Rather, take Dr. Manish Shah, a Denver board-certified plastic surgeon’s advice on dealing with unwanted pimples, skin irritations and more instead.

Challenge: Puffy Eyes
Solution: This quick fix is as easy as opening your refrigerator door and grabbing a cucumber, a chilled wet washcloth, a bag of froze corn…you get the idea. “A cool compress or cooled cucumber slices applied on top of the puffy eye area for five to 10 minutes can constrict blood and lymph vessels,” explains Dr. Shah. Additionally, cool tea bags, which contain tannins can also help reduce swelling, while avoiding salt and alcohol can help to prevent it.

Problem: Cystic Acne Breakout
Solution: For starters, know what cystic acne is, because it’s not your everyday pimple. Otherwise known as nodulocystic acne, these painful and often red lumps sit on top of your skin yet can be clogged deep down into your pores. And since you never can tell where the spot’s root may begin, avoid squeezing, piercing or cutting into the cyst. “Cutting open a cyst is extremely risky,” affirms Dr. Shah. “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.” Instead, ask your dermatologist to inject the cyst with a very dilute quantity of a glucocorticoid steroid. “Glucocorticoids are steroid molecules that are naturally produced by our bodies and have potent anti-inflammatory effects. 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: Allergic Reaction
Solution: Feeling itchy or maybe your skin is looking a little red and irritated? This is more common than you think and typical culprits can include a new skincare, shampoo or soap-based product, something you ate or even, your laundry detergent. So think about what may be new to you and stop using or eating.  Applying an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream twice a day and taking an antihistamine such as Reactin, Allegra or Claritin can help reduce the redness and itchy sensations. “If this type of reaction is something you have never experienced before or persists, go immediately to your dermatologist,” advises Dr. Shah.

Problem: Cold Sore
Solution: If you want to look better faster, a shot of “a very diluted cortisone into the cold sore, this can bring the inflammation down quite rapidly,” says Dr. Shah. If needles aren’t your thing, your doctor can prescribe a cold sore drug or you  Valtrex, Famvir or you can pick up an over-the-counter medication such as Abreva or even try drop a little visine on the sore to eliminate redness.

Problem: Too much filler
The Solution: Book your filler appointments at least one month before a big event to allow time for healing and touch ups. When you do, ask for a hyaluronic-acid filler, such as Restylane, Juvederm or Perlane, as any adverse effects (too plump, too obvious, too unnatural looking, and so on), can potentially be lessened and/or partially reversed with an injection of Hyaluronidase. And when you’re considering going to your sister’s boyfriend’s mom’s yoga instructor who administers fillers on the side, don’t. “Filler treatment needs to be done carefully, conservatively and a doctor, nurse or medical aesthetician,” says Dr. Shah.

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