Ever thought about what your largest organ is? If you said skin, you get the gold star for the day! Your skin is your outward appearance to the world. It’s also the way your body experiences the environment around you. That means when it gets irritated, you can be miserable.
There are loads of ways your skin can show its bad attitude: itching, embarrassing flakes, burning bumps. If your skin wants to throw a temper tantrum, it definitely knows how to get your attention.
Fortunately, there are lots of ways you can soothe your sulky skin. If you have any of the temperamental conditions on this list, keep reading for some helpful tips.
It can be blackheads, pustules, or cysts. You can be a teen or a middle-aged adult. It doesn’t matter. When your pores get clogged with oil and dead skin cells, acne can be the bane of your existence. If it lingers, it can cause scarring and lead to emotional distress. What do you do?
Fortunately, you have a lot of choices for acne treatment. Over-the-counter therapies that contain either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide are the easiest to get. Topical retinoids do a great job of simply unclogging your pores.
In some instances, the underlying cause of your acne may be bacteria or your own hormones. If that’s the case, talk with your healthcare provider about an antibiotic or oral contraceptive to clear up your skin.
2. Cold Sores
If you’ve felt that tingling, burning sensation on your lip before, you know what's coming next. It’s a cold sore. Caused by the herpes simplex (HSV)-1 — not the genital herpes virus — cold sores can pop up at inopportune moments. When you feel one coming on, it’s time to leap into action.
Prescription pills or creams can treat severe cold sores that appear frequently. For annoying lip blisters that only show up on occasion, try OTC. Look for ones that contain 10% docosanol, such as Abreva.
Want a chemical-free solution that can clear up your skin in about a week? Apply aloe vera to your lip five times a day; it’s goopy but safe. Or dry the spot out with a paste made of baking soda or cornstarch and water.
Breaking out in hives is no joke. Those red, itchy raised blotches that sometimes sting can make it impossible for you to concentrate on anything else. Typically, they’re caused by an allergic reaction to something you ate, a medication, or an item you touched.
An antihistamine, like Benadryl, can quickly soothe the itch. Just know it can make you sleepy, so be ready for a nap. Don’t have time for a snooze? Try a cold compress or take a bath with oatmeal or a couple handfuls of baking soda. Be sure you’re also using fragrance-free soaps, lotions, and moisturizers designed for sensitive skin.
For stubborn hives that stick around, see your doctor. You might need a prescription steroid.
When you look in the mirror, do you often see a red rash shaped like a butterfly? If so, you’re one of 16 million individuals who deal with rosacea. It’s a chronic condition that comes and goes. When it shows up, it typically brings small, red, pus-filled bumps. Just what you want to see, right?
The best thing you can do for rosacea is to avoid things that trigger a flare-up. Limit spicy foods, cinnamon, tomatoes, and citrus fruits. The jury is still out on the role your morning coffee might play. If you can’t give it up, try to limit it to a cup or two.
Switch to oil-free facial creams and moisturizers and check the ingredient list on other products you use. If the product’s label lists alcohol, menthol, witch hazel, or harsh exfoliating agents, don’t use it. Those ingredients can dry out and irritate your skin.
You might hear this condition referred to as atopic dermatitis. If you have it, your skin is red, dry, and itchy. Usually, it shows up more in kids, but just like acne, it can plague you in adulthood as well. Keep an eye out for how your skin reacts to chemicals in detergents, cigarette smoke, pollen, and certain foods.
Just like hives, catnap-inducing antihistamines can calm your skin when it feels like you’re short-circuiting. Lifestyle changes can also help pacify your cranky skin. Focus on relaxation with yoga, meditation, or acupuncture. Sip away your stress with green, oolong, or black tea.
Switch up shower time, too. Limit your wash-offs to around 10 minutes with warm (not hot!) water. Be sure to apply moisturizer as soon as you dry off. It will help control the itch.
This autoimmune condition involves skin cell growth that gets out of control. It affects 7.4 million people, and there are lots of types. Nearly 90 percent of cases involve the red or silver scaly patches that come with plaque psoriasis. These patches are super dry, so they’re easily irritated and can flake.
For the most part, topical medications work best. Retinoids can reduce inflammation, and vitamin D can control cell growth. Shampoo containing coal tar can clear those extra cells off your scalp (goodbye dandruff!). Your doctor might recommend blue light therapy to make your psoriasis less noticeable.
When a sweater makes you itch, you can take it off; a toxic chemical, you can wash away. Your skin, though, stays put. So you need lots of tools to help your skin chill when it’s in freak-out mode. If you deal with any of these recurring skin conditions on the regular, try these tips. You’ll notice your skin will be much more well-behaved.
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