What to do when you have a skincare emergency
Amazingly, skin is actually the largest organ in our body, shielding us from extremes of temperature, damaging sunlight, and harmful chemicals. It is our protective covering, our first barrier to fight illness and disease, and a passageway to our bloodstream. However, whilst some people are blessed with velvety smooth skin, others struggle with a variety of skin conditions starting from childhood and going into their twenties, thirties and beyond.
There are a large number of skin conditions that can affect the quality of life like dry skin, eczema, acne and many others. Your skin is what the world sees first, so a skin condition can feel extremely overwhelming, especially if your skin breaks out just before an important event.
According to the British Skin Foundation, a staggering 60% percent of British people currently suffer from or have suffered from a skin condition. If you are one of the unlucky percentage, the key is to remain calm and not to stress. You can’t make it magically disappear, but it is possible to make the situation better with some expert ‘quick fixes’. Dr Conal Perrett, Consultant Dermatologist & Dermatological Surgeon at The Devonshire Clinic, University College London Hospital and one of London Medical Concierge’s network of doctors, explains how to manage a skin emergency that pops up at the worst possible moment:
It’s 14th February, the annual celebration of love, but unfortunately this also means that the cold season may still be upon us! Red noses and chapped, dry skin are the norm, due to the harsh winter weather and the drying effects of central heating. Blowing your nose constantly is a sure-fire way to induce red, sore and generally irritated skin in that area. Whilst your health should be your first concern, you also shouldn’t neglect your skin.
To reduce the redness around your nose, Dr Perrett says “If you have a consistently runny nose that has chapped already, tissues with aloe vera can prevent the area from becoming more red and sore. I would also suggest using simple moisturisers and drinking plenty of liquids to help keep dry skin in check.”
You have a date tomorrow night and a huge pimple has appeared overnight. So, what’s the first thing you attempt to do? Pop it! However, Dr Perrett suggests “Don’t pop the pimple unless it’s truly ready to burst- it’s not worth the risk of having a scab that’s uncoverable or worse, scarring the skin. Left alone, a blemish will heal itself in 3 to 7 days. Squeezed harshly, it can linger for weeks or lead to scarring.
“There are many over-the-counter acne products that are available to treat mild to moderate acne or periodic breakouts. For example, benzoyl peroxide creams kill the bacteria that cause acne and helps remove excess oil from the skin, which can clog pores.
“However, if you more prone to black heads and whiteheads rather than pimples, the best way to treat them is to use topical vitamin A creams, although I would advise having a good discussion with your dermatologist or doctor who will help you decide which one is right for you.”
In the lead up to your wedding you will probably be following a strict skin regime so you’re blemish free on your big day. But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, a skin emergency can appear out of nowhere. For example, if you have been unable to get a good night’s sleep due to the nerves, you might have woken up with the dreaded ‘puffy eyes’. Dr Perrett suggests applying something cool to your eyes. “A cool compress or cooled cucumber slices applied for 5 to 10 minutes can constrict blood and lymph vessels reducing the puffiness.”
“However, the easiest way to get rid of puffy eyes is to drink water. When the body is well hydrated, there is less chance of water retention that can cause your under-eye area and other parts of your body to swell. To stay well hydrated I would advise drinking at least 6 to 8 glasses of water each day.”