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It’s something every woman fears: waking up on the day before/of a big holiday party with an unsightly skincare emergency. While a cold sore or an eruption of cystic acne is not “life threatening,” it can still feel like social-suicide. Don’t fret, Dr. Manish Shah, a Denver-based Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and father of daughters, sympathizes and shares some simple solutions.

Problem: Cold Sore

Solution: Dr. Shah offers 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,” he says. If you are afraid of needles, he recommends calling your doctor for a prescription of Valtrex, Famvir, or Acyclovir or the over-the-counter drug, Abreva. If you are unable to make it to the pharmacy, you can try some old-fashioned remedies: Visine, a cold compress, and Tylenol or ibuprofen.

Problem: Allergic Reaction

Solution: The first thing one should do is cease eating/using whatever is causing the allergic reaction. If the reaction happens a few days before an occasion, Dr. Shah recommends using hydrocortisone cream twice a day and taking Allegra, Claritin or Zyrtec which are longer-acting and less-sedating than Benadryl.  Another option is a whole-milk compress for 10 minutes twice a day. However, “If this type of reaction is something you have never experienced before, go immediately to your dermatologist,” says Dr. Shah.

To conceal an allergic reaction, apply hydrocortisone cream and then cover up redness by canceling it out entirely. The opposite of red is green, so apply green-tinted concealer to the red area, which will create a flesh-toned hue. A good quality tinted moisturizer naturally has green/yellow undertones and also provides moisture to dry skin.

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