When I opted for aesthetic skincare as my speciality in medicine, I never thought I’d have a ‘real emergency’ to deal with. Remember times when your skin breaks out into a huge red zit just a day before your most important function? It’s panic, panic, panic. It’s a skin emergency! Some skin emergencies that most of us have to deal with at some point or the other are:
Super sensitive skin
This happens when your skin gets extremely dehydrated and dry—chapped, burning, and red. All you have to do is a quick cold water face wash. Use a creamy variant. Then on slightly damp face apply a cold cream—a really thick layer of rich and creamy cold cream. Make sure it has no active ingredients in it, which means it should not be a skin lightening or an anti-ageing cream. When you apply the cream, it might cause slight irritation. But don’t worry, keep it on. It will calm your skin down.
If the condition is really bad, use desonide lotion, which is a very mild steroid, safe even for baby’s nappy rash. Mix that with a calamine lotion that comes pre- mixed with a moisturizer. It will ensure that your face does not dry up. Apply that and it will calm your skin. You can use this same solution if your skin goes red.
It could be a reaction to a new cosmetic that you have applied, or an old, expired cosmetic, an infected brush, a moist make up sponge which tends to gather bacteria, something in your food, the dust around you, or a mite bite. First, rule out the reason which could have given you the condition. Take an antihistamine like Allegra or Cetirizine, which calms your skin from the inside. Go take a good head shower so that your scalp is clean. Then wash your face with a soothing face wash so that your face feels clean. After this, apply a mixture of desonide and calamine lotion. That will take care of itchiness for the moment; if the condition does not improve, then rush to your doctor immediately for medical help. If you have itching in your tongue or throat, or if you notice puffiness around your eyes, lips, or have difficulty breathing, leave everything else and rush to your nearest doctor.
Sudden breakage of zits
Firstly calm down, because the more you stress, the more they are likely to occur. Wash you face with cold water, and keep a couple of ointments handy like Bactroban and Safrodex (which is a mix of antibiotic and steroid).
Dot it on top of the zit and it will most likely calm down. However, if it looks little red and flushed, like it will not go down in a day, use Benzoyl Peroxide gel or cream. But make sure you don’t apply too much of it as that can make the skin red around the acne. Just dot it on the acne.
If the zit is too big, and there’s pus in it, then buy a sterile needle from a chemist and very lightly poke it right on top, and let the pus ooze out. Don’t push too hard, and make sure you don’t use your nails to scratch it out. If you squeeze it, you might drive the pus right into the zit and may end up with an abscess. Apply ice to calm it down.
A tan that burns
After long sun exposure, you must take special care. So first wash your skin with cold water, and then apply plenty of moisturizer and calamine lotion. It is important to calm the skin first. Then after a couple of days, use special treatment creams that lighten the skin like glycolic acid, kojic acid, apply it at night so that the tan slowly comes off. You can have a slightly long shower, and then use a towel against that natural grain of your skin to slough off dead skin. You will see the dead skin literally come off, and with that the tan comes off to pretty much a large extent. Do not use a scrub immediately after sunburn because it will make your skin further flushed and reactive.
Products to keep
> Calamine lotion with moisturizer
> T-bact, Sofradex ointment
> Desonide ointment—a mild skin healing steroid.
> Rich creamy moisturizer
> Ice cubes—the wonder tool to deal with all skin issues like redness, burning, and even acne
> Kojic acid or Glycolic acid cream to take off pigmentation
> Anti-histamine like Allegra or Cetrizine
> Sandalwood paste
> Cold milk
Help at home
My mother’s favourite recipe to all skin woes is sandalwood paste. Get a piece of sandalwood, which most of us South Indians have at home. Rub it on a rough wet stone and use tender coconut water as the medium. Mix that with milk or milk cream and turmeric. Apply on your face or body. It will soothe, calm, heal, and lighten the skin. It is a one shot cure-all for your skin.
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