Let the holiday season begin with glowing skin

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It's that time of year when we all want to look our best, but for many of us, there's a good chance that our skin conditions may worsen over the holidays. Stress, cold weather, overindulgence and winter viruses come hand-in-hand with the holidays, but, fortunately, treatment and lifestyle tips can help.

Q: What can I do about psoriasis flares up over the holidays?

A: Between the physical discomfort of your skin lesions and concern about camouflaging your condition or handling people's remarks and stares, holiday stress can cause your psoriasis symptoms to worse. Stress-reduction therapies, like massage or yoga may be beneficial. Despite the temptation, avoid going overboard with holiday indulgences.

Q: What can I do to quickly get rid of pimples? I get impatient and end up popping them.

A: We've all done it - popped the pimple then regretted it when we saw the red blotchy mark it left. Popping a pimple can make things worse, irritating it further, spreading the bacteria and even leaving a permanent scar. Instead, wash the problem area with a gentle cleanser. Avoid irritants such as oily or greasy cosmetics, sunscreens, hair styling products or blemish concealers. And, try to avoid resting your hands or objects (like cell phones) on your face

Q: My rosacea always flares up over the holidays. Is there anything I can do to help manage it?

A: The holidays can pose some hurdles for rosacea suffers. The changing weather, combined with a heavy social calendar can wreak havoc on rosacea. Here are a few suggestions to navigate the holiday season successfully.

Now more than ever is the time to use your rosacea medication.

A hectic schedule can lead to stress inducing flare-ups. Get plenty of rest, eat right, maintain a daily exercise routine and above all - don't over-commit yourself.

Holiday cooking can quickly heat up the kitchen and lead to a rosacea flare-up. Keep a damp towel nearby to pat your face, and take a break to a cooler part of the house when you can.

Q: Once the cold weather arrives, my lips stay chapped. Help!

A: Chapped lips are always a problem in the winter because your lips do not have hair follicles or oil glands to protect them like the rest of your skin. Try moisturizing your lips daily. Carry a lip balm or lipstick - and remember, licking your lips only makes it worse!

There are steps you can take, which don't include hibernating through the holiday season, to help your skin look its best. If you need aggressive treatment for any skin condition, call a dermatologist and schedule a consultation.

Dr. Oswald Lightsey Mikell, certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, is the owner of Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry.

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