Worst timing:
Katie Holmes' cold sore

Actress Katie Holmes is no stranger to skin-centric characters. She has been seen with a prominently pierced nose in "Disturbing Behavior." And the few that witnessed her provocative moisturizer scene with Robert Downey Jr. in "The Singing Detective" will never forget it. Yet it's one thing dabble in a dermatological film role , quite another for your skin issue to make the rounds of the web.

It should have been the dream moment in a actress' life. Love develops with a childhood crush who also happens to be an international celeb. With this coupling comes the potential for emotional and physical support, companionship, and...incredible amounts of publicity. By stepping into the spotlight with Tom Cruise, katie holmes, former TV teen, became KATIE HOLMES, media sensation.

The timing could not have been worse to undergo a flare of the pesky virus that causes cold sores.

Not only did some photog snap an unflattering pic...
..but she doesn't even look like she's getting a good cell signal.

As a rule, posting paparazzi pics are not the policy of skinema.com, but these images of Holmes have been so downloaded, dissected, and discussed that they are practically public property. The starlet sports dry, crusty, chafed skin around the mouth with an inflamed blemish on her lip. Despite the immediate tabloid diagnosis, this is not the classic appearance of herpes. It could merely be irritation, possibly due to canoodling with an unshaven cinema stud. Herpes, however, does not always fit the textbook picture of grouped water blisters encircled by redness.

Also, Holmes herself admitted to a tendency to facial fever blisters in a 2003 interview with the illustrious journal Allure magazine:

"Holmes does have one less-than-glowing memory of her childhood: recurrent cold sores. Not the little kind on the lip, but the large, festering blisters that sometimes would invade her throat and even her eyes. 'I'd get them everywhere--I'd just walk around eating ice cream.' Even today, she says, 'If I break out in a million zits I'm so excited it's not a cold sore.'"

Presuming this is the reactivation of the herpes virus, Holmes is not alone. Some estimate that 50-80 % of Americans have to handle this type of oral herpetic hassle. So despite the online outcry about Holmes' condition, the days of fever blisters causing a near suicidal stigma should go the way of Hawthorne's "Scarlet Letter." It's the 21st century people: Get over it.

Or treat it. Outbreaks can be safely controlled with antiviral medicines. Topical salves like Abreva and Denavir may soothe the inflamed skin. But like an action movie hero, oral meds like Valtrex, Famvir, and Zovirax have been shown to temporarily vanquish the virus. How this medical intervention fits with Tom Cruise's belief in Scientology is beyond the scope of this humble site.

Runner up, worst timing:
Evangeline "Lost" Lilly's cellulite
Stunning Evangeline Lilly of TV's "Lost"...
...has not Lost...
...her cellulite.
Not only was Lilly's crinkled thigh exposed as just TV's "Lost" became a major hit, but this exposure also occurred in an era with no straightforward, universally effective treatment for cellulite. Lack of great intervention for this condition is almost as frustrating as what those "Lost" numbers mean.


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