To make sure you’re aware of these unknowing skin-damaging habits, we turned to Dr. McKinley-Grant to learn all about them. Below, she shares seven bad habits you’ll want to stop doing.
6 harmful habits for the skin that you should stop as soon as possible
1. Remove the skin around the nails
“Any damage around the nail causes nails to grow crooked,” says Dr. McKinley-Grant, dermatology consultant for her daughter’s skin care line. Namesake. “So if the skin is removed or the cuticles are cut rather than gently pushed back, it can affect the structure of the nail where it will grow out bumps and bumps.”
2. Plucking the hair without squeezing the skin
Other than cleaning her eyebrows periodically, Dr. McKinley-Grant doesn’t like tweezers facial hair because it’s so easy for things to go wrong. But if you’re going to pull it out, be sure to grab the skin right next to the hair you want to remove before you pull it out.
“The hair follicle sinks deep into the oil in the skin. So if you keep the skin taut, it becomes a thinner space for it to come out of as you get the oil out of the way,” he says. . This makes it easier to remove all the hair and causes less trauma to the skin, which can lead to scarring. “Using tweezers incorrectly can cause serious scarring. So waxing is better. Threading is also good, although it’s a way of threading, um, shaving isn’t good, huh, because you end up shaving the hair and then you get more ingrown hairs.”
3. Scratching your head with your nails
If you have an itchy scalp and you itch frequently with your nails, it’s time to stop. “If you dig too deep, you can infect the scalp, and a scalp infection is no fun anymore because it causes hair loss,” says Dr. McKinley-Grant. Also, scratching too hard can cause scarring, and hair cannot grow through a scar. “It’s less harmful to just rub the itch with your fingers rather than scratch it with your fingernail.”
But if your scalp is really itchy, it’s a good idea to get it checked out by a board-certified dermatologist and find a solution. “Let’s say you have scalp psoriasis and you don’t really know you do it, you think it’s just dandruff because you haven’t been to a dermatologist,” she says. “When you scratch psoriasis, it makes it worse. It makes more psoriasis come. So you need to be aware of that and get treatment if you really do have an itchy scalp.”
4. Keep nails round
“People like to round off the edges of their nails and bring out that little end,” she says. “But toenails and all nails really need to be cut straight across so they don’t ingrow. Ingrown toenails can get infected and damage the nail.”
5. Slide hair
Constantly combing your hair into tight styles can cause traction alopecia, which is hair loss from tension. While we often think of this as happening with tight ponytails or braids, Slipping off your edges can also lead to this form of hair loss. “We’re seeing some hair loss from baby hairs sliding down,” says Dr. McKinley-Grant, “because the chemicals they’re putting on those hairs are keeping them so smooth that they have a different texture than the rest of the hair, so it tends to break easily because it hardens with oils and edge creams.”
6. Frequent eye rubbing
“The area around the eyes is the most sensitive part of the skin because it’s so thin. It can abrade very easily,” says Dr. McKinley-Grant. “If you find yourself rubbing your eyes a lot, you may have a allergy to something either environmentally in the air or in nail polish, mascara, eye cream or even eye drops.”
Aggressive rubbing can cause the skin around the eyes to darken “and can cause thickening of the skin, but not in a nice way,” she says. “We call it lichenification of the skin with many wrinkles that look like a kind of tic-tac-toe board with little lines going vertically and horizontally.”
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