Monday, March 24, 2008

3 Beauty No-Nos

by Dr. Stuart H. Kaplan
kaplanMD Skincare

While there are obvious beauty tips, such as wearing sunscreen even in overcast days, Woman_applying_moisturizerand taking care not to over-tweeze your eyebrows because the hair there has a tendency not to grow back, here are three tips that everyone should practice:

1. Cuticles are on our nails for a reason. They act as a protective barrier to keep dirt and bacteria from collecting under the skin at the base of your nail. Do not have them cut off or pushed back too far, or you risk a very painful infection called paronychia. I see this happening often, even after expensive manicures. See your dermatologist for a prescription ointment and antibiotics.

2. Pimples should not be treated like bubble wrap. Do not pop them, even if they are blinking and screaming, "squeeze me!" When you squeeze a pimple, you push stuff out the top, but also push more stuff deeper inside the skin. This causes more inflammation, which leads to more pimples. By squeezing and picking, you also create a scab that takes 2 weeks to heal, instead of the three days it would have taken, had you not picked.

3. Avoid drinking fruity beverages outdoors. If the peels or juices of lemons, limes, and some other citrus fruits come in contact with your skin while you are out in the sun (think lime margaritas) you can get a blistering sunburn in those areas. These fruits contain compounds called psoralens that dramatically increase your sensitivity to the sun. Affected patients don't realize the cause, and think they have developed brown age spots, or even worse, herpes. So take precautions when enjoying your citrus beverages outdoors.