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Pimple breakout? Itchy skin? Here's what to do

July 30, 2014 17:17 IST

Pimple breakout? Itchy skin? Here's what to do

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Dr Rashmi Shetty

For those of us who are aren't genetically gifted, a glowing, problem-free skin is something we can only watch on television...

Or so we thought.

As it turns out, we aren't the only ones that face everyday problems such as pimples and acne and ageing issues like wrinkles.

Dr Rashmi Shetty is the skincare consultant to the stars.

And now she has published a book -- Age Erase: Your Ultimate Beauty Bible to Ageing Gracefully.

In the book, Dr Shetty not only lists out the various skin ailments but also offers solutions and reveals the secret to nurture a damage-free skin.

Have you read it yet? You totally should!

Celebrity doctor and health expert in non-surgical aesthetic medicine, Dr Rashmi Shetty has been working in the field of skin care for many years now.

Age Erase: Your Ultimate Beauty Bible to Ageing Gracefully

Her patients are as young as 13 and as old as 80.

In her recently-released book Age Erase: Your Ultimate Beauty Bible to Ageing Gracefully, the author talks about the most common skin problems people face and offers solutions to fix them early on.

We bring you an excerpt on on Skincare Emergencies from the book. Read on...


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.

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Image: What's the secret to a glowing, damage-free skin? Find out


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Itchy skin

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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.

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Image: A quick head shower will help you clean your scalp from any infection.
Photographs: Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters
Tags: Allegra

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Sudden breakage of zits

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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.

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Image: Do not poke a zit if it is too big; use a sterile needle instead.
Photographs: Keystone/Getty Images

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A tan that burns

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After long sun exposure, you must take special care.

So first wash your skin with cold water, and then apply plenty of moisturiser and calamine lotion.

It is important to calm the skin first.

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.

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Image: After a sun bath, it is important to let your skin cool down.
Photographs: Darren Staples/Reuters
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Sandalwood: The one-stop magic cure

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Products to keep

  • Calamine lotion with moisturizer
  • T-bact, Sofradex ointment
  • Desonide ointment -- a mild skin healing steroid.
  • Rich creamy moisturiser
  • 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.


Image: The paste of sandalwood does wonders for your skin.
Photographs: Sjschen/Wikimedia Commons

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