7 Weird Things That Could Be Damaging Your Skin
Article from The Huffington Post | by Chanel Parks | Posted: 03/21/2014 2:14 pm EDT
There’s always some new research telling us to do this and not that when it comes to our skin. Whether it’s how we should actually moisturize our faces or the amazing healing powers of some strange natural oils, it’s kind of hard to keep up with the newest trends in skincare.
But when it comes to what our bodies should avoid, there are some things that could be hurting us all of the time — and we don’t even know it. So, we reached out to a few dermatologists who gave us the lowdown on potential skin dangers that we could encounter on a daily basis.
Find out some surprising contributing factors to your skin issues.
Your snuggly kitten or playful pup might be the reason you’re getting a weird rash. “They can harbor infections including staph and MRSA,” says Dr. Joel Schlessinger of LovelySkin.com, adding that if you see some strange irritation, make sure to get yourself checked out as well as your pets, as they might have mites that transferred to your skin.
Who knew that this nourishing drink might be the cause to your skin flare-ups? Dr. Schlessinger and Dr. Adrienne M. Haughton of SUNY Stony Brook’s Department of Dermatology, both spoke of milk, especially skim. Although there isn’t sufficient evidence that milk directly affects acne, there have been reports of patients having clearer skin after decreasing or cutting all milk consumption.
Dr. Haughton adds that if you try experimenting with whether or not milk is taking a toll on your skin, keep a diary to track certain behaviors. “If [milk] is determined to be a trigger it is important to get vitamin D and calcium from another source,” she advises.
3. An Overuse of Topical Medication
If you’re treating a rash or skin ailment, you’ve probably been prescribed an anti-inflammatory steroid cream that will get rid of your issues. “Many patients will continue to use the medication even after the rash is gone,” says dermatologist Dr. Charles E. Crutchfield III, who is a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. But, using these ointments after your doctor tells you to stop can be harsh. “Using it long-term can cause the skin to get very thin, bruise easily, tear, bleed and have superficial wrinkles,” Dr. Crutchfield says.
You know when your jeans are a little too tight and you get those red marks on your stomach? Well don’t worry, you’re in the clear. But, if you notice that there are bumps, then you should probably be attentive. “There are many, many patients who have skin rashes, especially on their lower abdomen from the nickel on the snaps and buttons on their jeans,” Dr. Crutchfield explains. Nickel could also be found in jewelry like earrings and watches, so be careful of those items, too.
With spring break happening and the warmer weather coming up, people are more likely to be outside indulging a good margarita … or two. But, be cautious with those limes, as they might turn your good times bad. “When people are drinking a lot of margaritas and they squeeze the lime juice into their drinks, the lime juice itself often splashes onto the backs of their hands,” Dr. Crutchfield says, who says he weirdly gets a lot of patients coming to him with this problem. “When the sun hits the hands with the lime juice, there is a phototoxic reaction that occurs — this reaction is called phytophotodermatitis,” and causes a rash that can “last for weeks, if not months.”
If that doesn’t convince you, last year there was a reported case of five young girls who were diagnosed with phytophotodermatitis after they spent a day outside working with limes. Although it might take a lot more limes (or other citrus fruits, for that matter) than it does with a casual margarita to have the reaction, if you’re drinking a lot of margaritas in the sun, you’ll likely end up with several health complaints (dehydration and excessive alcohol among them). Keep hydrated and hands clean, just in case!
At first, we thought the culprit would be the light coming from the screen, but that’s not the case. Dr. Adrienne M. Haughton warns that lounging with our computers could contribute to unwanted coloring of the skin. “Resting your laptop on your lap for long periods of time can cause a reddish-purple (brown, after repeated exposure) rash on your thighs,” she says, making us think we should rethink our next Netflix binge. “This is caused by prolonged exposure to infrared radiation,” Dr. Haughton explains, and you can prevent this by using a lap pad or object that comes between you and your computer.
7. Sports Equipment
Golfers and tennis players, beware, your equipment may be a little dangerous. Dr. Haughton specifies golf clubs and tennis racquets as some tools that contribute to hemorrhaging. “The sheering force of the racket or club can cause small hemorrhages resulting in dark purple spots on the palm,” she says, also mentioning that “longitudinal dark streaks are seen in the fingernails of golfers who hold their clubs too tightly.”
From this roundup of items, there are some precautions to take before and after you interact with them. Wear sunscreen, pay attention to any changes in and on your skin and if you are really concerned about about any irritation that pops up, consult a doctor.