The 9 Most Dangerous Beauty Trends
We all want to look good, and sometimes we are willing to pour extraordinary amounts of money and time into our quest for beauty. However, some of the most popular ways of enhancing our looks carry with them some concerning health hazards that clearly outweigh all of the benefits. Read on to learn about the nine most dangerous beauty trends that can damage your body and even put your life at risk.
Applying skin-lightening creams:
Skin-bleaching creams are popular for their ability to lighten skin and create a uniform complexion, but most of them contain alarming levels of mercury. Mercury is a highly effective ingredient in these products because of its ability to interfere with the production of skin pigment, but exposure to mercury carries with it a wide range of health risks. It can damage your kidneys and your nervous system, and if you are pregnant it can even prevent your unborn baby’s brain from developing in the proper way.
Many people worry that they cannot look healthy and attractive without tanned skin, but it is hard to maintain a bronzed look during the winter months (or when you live in a cold climate). As a result, it is common to resort to creating an artificial tan. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that a staggering 28 million people in the United States choose to tan using sunlamps and indoor tanning beds. Unfortunately, however, these methods of tanning can be extremely bad for your body. Sunlamps and tanning beds cause premature aging, burned skin, and eye damage. Worst of all, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has placed ultraviolet tanning devices in a group with the most dangerous cancer-causing substances (along with plutonium and cigarettes). Using indoor tanning devices dramatically increases your likelihood of developing skin cancer. For example, it is thought that as many as 25% of all cases of early-onset basal cell carcinomas would not occur if the relevant individuals did not use sunlamps or tanning beds, and that people who use tanning beds are up to 2.5 times more likely to develop at least some form of skin cancer during their lifetime.
Although thongs are very practical when you want to make sure your underwear is discrete, these seemingly innocuous strips of material actually promote vaginal and urinary tract infections. This health hazard comes from the fact that the thinness of thongs helps to move rectal bacteria to your genitourinary area. In addition, some thongs can even cause chronic anal lacerations. These fissures are extremely painful and infamously difficult to heal.
Recent studies show that the more tattoos a person has, the more likely they are to contract Hepatitis C. This result is explained by the unfortunate prevalence of tattoo needles that are contaminated by infected blood. Hepatitis C involves serious liver inflammation, often leading to liver cancer or liver failure. Further, it is worth noting that getting tattoos also increases your risk of developing a skin infection, which may put your life at risk if the infection leads to blood poisoning.
Using hair straightening products:
Straight hair is currently very fashionable, and many people favor the convenience of chemical straightening treatments over hot straightening irons. However, hair-straightening products can contain shockingly high levels of formaldehyde. The dangers of formaldehyde are well documented, and range from severe respiratory distress to skin rashes and migraine headaches.
Wearing skinny jeans:
Although skinny jeans can highlight a slender figure and look great with boots, if they are too tight then they can cut off a nerve in your thigh and cause a condition called meralgia paresthetica. This medical problem results in uncomfortable numbness or painful burning in your upper leg.
Getting a weave or braids:
In 2011, a study conducted on over 300 African-American women discovered that those who had a weave or braids were 60% likely to exhibit signs of central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia. This condition is a form of advanced hair loss that begins around the crown and often spreads across the scalp.
Having Botox injections:
Botox is becoming more and more popular due to its ability to minimize fine lines and wrinkles without the need for an invasive surgical procedure. However, Botox can cause pain and bruising at the injection site, intense headaches, muscle weakness and nausea. Further, although the use of Botox is approved, the FDA notes there is a risk of the toxin spreading throughout your body and causing symptoms that mimic those of botulism. In most cases, this toxin spread can cause respiratory distress and problems with swallowing. In more severe cases, there is a risk of death.
Wearing circle lenses:
Circle lenses are special contact lenses that are designed to help you create the illusion of having bigger and wider eyes. They are extremely fashionable in Japan and can be bought online for relatively low prices, but their sale is banned in the United States. Their illegality is a result of experts cautioning that these non-prescription lenses can lead to a range of visual problems, including serious eye injuries and blindness.