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The Dos and Don’ts of Cold Season

The first full week of fall is here, and though the crisp autumn air feels awesome during morning runs, the sudden temperature change could bring on a miserable cold. I recently chatted with Dr. Anthony F. Jahn, an otolaryngologist (an ear, nose and throat specialist), on how to prevent a cold, plus, ways to erase any telltale signs of one should you come down with one.

-Prevent: It’s not the sexiest advice, but Dr. Jahn suggests using a nasal rinse such as Ocean Saline Nasal Spray ($5, drugstore.com) every day. It has a saline solution that is non-medicated so it’s safe to use often. It’s also great for children and expecting moms who are unable to take medication. Just rinse your nasal passages with it to flush out any harmful germs or viruses. Fun fact: You have 15-minutes from the time you contract a cold virus until it reaches your system, so if you are diligent about using a saline wash, you could dodge a cold.

Hydration is key during cold season.

-Cope: If you start feeling under the weather, the best thing to do is consume plenty of liquids. You should call in sick from work to prevent spreading the cold and to give you time to rest, which is key to recovery. It can be tempting to lace up your sneakers for a workout (especially if you’re sitting at home all day), but you shouldn’t exercise since it puts your body under additional stress and can stall your recovery. Dr. Jahn also suggests upping your intake of vitamin C and zinc to boost your immune system.

-Conceal: When you do have to return to work, cover up the signs of your cold by using a rich balm to soothe your chapped nose and mouth like Blistex Cold & Allergy Lip Soother ($2, drugstore.com). Then apply a yellow-based concealer to cancel out redness like Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer ($23, bobbibrowncosmetics.com). A pop of pink cream blush (try Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Fresh Pink, $8, maybelline.com) on your cheeks will let you fake a healthy flush until you're feeling better.

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