We're delving into some of the more unpleasant body and hair issues to which none of us are immune. Dr. Diane Berson, dermatologist and Olay Professional Alliance member, has tips, tricks and at-home solutions for the 10 common beauty issues no one wants to talk about (or have in their Google search history).
"If you get cold sores regularly, get a prescription for an oral medication that can be started at the first sign of a cold sore," Dr. Berson says. "To reduce swelling, apply a mixture of antibiotic and cortisone ointments." Carmindy recommends the following to mask a healing sore: "First, mix a little dab of Abreva Cold Sore Medicine ($15.29, Soap.com) with some of your foundation and apply it to the area using a Q-Tip. Dab another disposable Q-Tip dipped into a little yellow-tinted loose powder on the area to set the makeup."
Try at-home treatments that contain a high percentage of salicylic acid--brands like Compound W make pads ($7.67, Drugstore.com) and bandages with the solution pre-applied. "There are [also] procedures that can done by your dermatologist including freezing, burning and putting on medicated solutions," Dr. Berson adds. And, of course, to draw attention away from warts on your hands, nothing works better than a colorful nail polish!
"Dandruff, also known as seborrheic dermatitis, is a skin condition that causes flaking and redness above the eyebrows, on the chest, underarms, the corners of mouth, as well as the scalp," Dr. Berson says. She adds that although dandruff is an inflammatory condition, yeast can also play a role. Look for medicated shampoos like Head & Shoulders Itchy Scalp Care ($6.49, Drugstore.com), which contains the anti-inflammatory ingredient zinc, or products with anti-yeast ingredients like ketoconazole. The popular shampoo now comes in with a sweet green apple scent!
If you're troubled by monthly hormonal breakouts, a dermatologist will prescribe a treatment like birth control pills and a regimen that should be used all over the face, like a topical retinoid cream, Dr. Berson says. At home, you should use an effective skincare regimen regularly, like the Olay Pro-X Clear Acne Protocol Kit ($47, Ulta.com), to help prevent breakouts and unclog pores.
Don't worry, you're not becoming Teen Wolf. "These moles shouldn't cause you any alarm," Dr. Benson stresses. "You are usually born with them, and they are merely a deep mole that formed over a hair follicle. You can pluck the hair(s) out with a strong pair of tweezers, like Sally Hansen's Bushy Brows Be Gone ($5.44, Dr ugstore.com). Reminder: You should have your moles checked annually by a dermatologist."
"Lots of things can be contributing to bad breath: What you eat, poor hygiene, bacteria or genetics," Dr. Berson says. To combat halitosis (the medical term for chronic bad breath), remember to floss and brush your teeth twice a day and also rinse with mouthwash. Keep hydrated--a dry mouth is more prone to bad breath. And, to state the obvious: Avoid eating or drinking things that can make breath worse like coffee, garlic and onions." A whiter smile will also help detract from any malodorous breath, so try Colgate's new Optic White line ($4.29, Drugstore.com), which whitens teeth from the inside out.
Fight body acne in the same way you would cystic acne and ingrown hairs. "First line of defense: try to prevent flairs by using medicated cleanser. You can also make lifestyle changes such as switching to cotton bras and underpants; wearing looser gym clothes (if you are susceptible to this, avoid tight spandex workout clothing because it doesn't allow the skin to breathe); and showering right after you workout to remove sweat from the surface. Use an anti-inflammatory sulfur mask, which will remove impurities while reducing redness." We love Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions Clarifying Toner ($6.99, Walgreens.com)!
"An ingrown hair is essentially a clogged pore with irritation, usually caused by shaving," Dr. Berson explains. "Use a toner or cleanser containing salicylic acid, which will help unclog the pores and prevent future breakouts. If it is more severe, go see your dermatologist, who will prescribe an antibiotic." To avoid ingrown hairs, use a razor like the Schick Intuition ($9.49, Drugstore.com), which has a built-in Skin Conditioning Solid, you don't need shaving cream. Also, shave in the direction the hair grows, not against it.
You're headed to a cocktail party and want to rock some strappy sandals, but some trauma to your toes have left some nails bruised and battered. "This is caused by bleeding under the nail. There is nothing you can do to treat it; you just have to let it grow out. If you want to camouflage it, you can also wear nail polish," Dr. Berson suggests. We love this metallic in "Seal" by RGB ($16, Beauty.com).
"Dark armpits are the result of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation due to irritation from sweating, shaving or rubbing/friction in this area. To prevent this, be gentle when shaving and use a lot of shaving gel to reduce friction. Make sure to shower after you've perspired," Dr. Berson recommends. Also, try Rebalance ($4.79, Drugstore.com), the newest addition to the Dove gofresh line. Not only does it offer 24-hour clinical-strength wetness and odor protection, it has a succulent plum and bright, floral sakura blossom scent.
They may be called "love bites," but you don't want your boss seeing evidence of last night's hookup. You could go the turtleneck or scarf route, but that just draws attention to you when it's hot out. Dr. Berson explains, "They're sort of suction phenomenon...so ice packs to reduce swelling and camouflage to cover (there is some bleeding under skin) and patience! It will fade in time."