Skin Care: Harmful Skin Care Habits

Harmful Skin Care Habits

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Harmful Skin Care Habits

When your mother nagged you growing up each time she caught you picking your skin, there was a reason. The majority of us all have those little habits we’ve acquired that can ultimately cause harm to the skin. Here’s the short list and why mom was right:

Pick your skin! This can lead to infections like staph, temporary discoloration of the area, delay of healing and worse, a scar. If it needs some TLC to heal, then check with your doctor.

Habitually scratch or rub the skin. This can cause the skin to take on a leathery texture that actually may be more symptomatic than the original problem.

Ignore an itching or bleeding mole. This is a significant symptom associated with skin cancer. While not all symptomatic moles are melanoma, better to find out early than too late.

Allow your skin to become dehydrated. Dry skin sounds innocuous, but may lead to such conditions as the “elderly itch”, the itch-scratch cycle that may develop an infection, and also simply gives you a prematurely aged appearance. Drink your 8 glasses of water, daily.

Forget to apply sunscreen. Sunscreen should be worn daily year-round to minimize the chance for skin cancer and slow up your wrinkle formation.

Select skin care products inappropriate for your particular skin type. What good is an acne-flaring moisturizer when you already have oily skin? Look for a non-comedogenic product. On the flip side, if you have chronically dry skin, you need a cream based product, and lotions won’t provide the protection you need.

Excessive washing of your skin. No one requires 2 showers a day unless you are have oily skin and work a construction job. Over-washing usually leads to skin dryness, irritation, and a potential flare of skin conditions such as eczema.

Stop smoking. Nothing leads to a sallow complexion and advanced wrinkle formation the way smoking can, not to mention the host of internal concerns associated with this habit.

Over-indulge in alcohol. Alcohol leads to dehydration of the skin, accentuation of underlying skin ruddiness, blood shot eyes, and drains the glow from your skin. Consider this when trying to look your best during the holiday season.

Shave the back of the scalp. This is one of the leading causes of inflammation of the hair follicles in this region, and may lead to permanent scar formation, especially in African American men. While this may be a trendy fashion statement, the complications arising from it are not!

Pull ingrown hairs out by the root. By pulling out the hair from the root, a new hair must grow that will be even shorter and more likely to become ingrown. By gently teasing the ingrown hair out of the pore and straightening it, you address the problem without creating a new one.

Habitually placing your hands on your face or propping your face upon your hand. This is a terrific way to experience a localized acne flare or develop facial cysts.

Sometimes mom was right.

Thank you for taking the time to read my newsletter. I hope you have found it informative.

Audrey Kunin, M.D.

(Any topic discussed in the this newsletter is not intended as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, please check with your doctor.)

Article posted September 25, 2000.

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