The Risks we take for Beauty – Are they Worth it?

In high heels - not always a pretty sight. (photo credits from

Vanity is one of the seven deadly sins. Sometimes, the most painful too. There’s no denying, though, that its rewards can be very fleeting. And intoxicating. But are they really worth it? Here are some beauty blunders both men women are willing to overlook for the prize of looking good.

Cutting your cuticles – We always want to have our cuticles snipped away when visiting salons and we willlingly let them because our hands and fingers would look so neat but fact is, we shouldn’t. Our cuticles, or  the eponychium as medically term, is a living tissue that protects the nail roots. When cut, the seal is opened and we are then exposed to possible infection  that can lead to nail-plate damage and at extreme cases, even the loss of the nail itself.  Instead of having them cut, just ask the nail technician to push your cuticles back.

The same principle works with razoring off calluses. Smoothen them with a foot file after soaking your feet because that’s when your skin will be soft. Don’t use a pumice stone. They may not be a pretty sight but calluses protect the underlying living tissue from repeated friction or pressure.  Cutting or removing them may cause skin blisters and infection.

Wearing tight clothes – super tight clothes like girdles and snug Lycra garments can cause nerve damage, abdominal pain, blood clots, back pains, heartburn, acid reflux, headaches, bladder and vaginal infection. If you have experience unexplainable tingling sensation in your thighs, if you’re having a hard time breathing, or if you itching or feeling uncomfortable sensation in your abdomen and genital area, your blouse or or pair of pants are probably too tight.  Loosen up the belt buckle or wear clothes a size up your regular size and ensure that you wear undergarments that allows your “babies” to breathe.

Undergoing hair straightening treatments– Treatment varies from salon to salon and these treatments are not subject to FDA premarket approval. We can’t be sure of the quality control being done and we’re exposing ourselves to unknown level of formaldehyde which is considered as a “probable human carcinogen’ by the Environmental Protection Agency. Formaldehyde is also known to irritate the tissue of the eyes and lungs. According to Macrene  Arkmenakas, a dermatologist-professor from Yale School of Medicine, “Formadehyde  has been shown to cause mutations in cellular DNA and some may be absorbed  through the scalp during hair treatment.”

In high heels – not always a pretty sight. (photo credits from

Donning the “killer shoes”– Everyone knows that those towering heels are irressistibly sexy, but they can also cause bunions, hammertoe, ingrown toenails, and other problems. They look fabulous but if you’re hobbling, tripping, or limping in them, you’re likely to end up with broken ankles and toes, not to mention ligament tears and dislocated ankle tendons.

Know your heel height limits—heels that you can walk in gracefully is much more stylish and sexy than a broken ankle.

Getting inked for tattoos and permanent make up – As tattoos and cosmetic tattooing have become common, so have  the risks of  dermal-pigmentation such as allergic reactions, infections such as  HIV, hepatitis C, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and even skin cancer. Tattoos are thought to cause more than twice as many cases of hepatitis C infections as injection drug use. Some tattoo artist use inks that contain so-called azo pigments, which have been linked to cancer. Should you have a change of heart,  having the tattoo removed through laser treatment removed, most of the time, can be costly.

 Think more than just twice before getting inked  and ensure that you go to a licensed tattoo artist  or medical practitioner.

Overtanning yourself  – Tans are caused by harmful UV radiation either from the sun or tanning beds, and if you have one, you’ve sustained skin cell damage. Your skin may not immediately show it but cumulative damage by UV radiation can cause premature skin aging symptoms such as wrinkles, lax skin, brown spots, and even skin cancer.  You can get that, not only from sun exposure, but even from indoor tanning salons. Indoor tanning beds have the same effect as  the sun’s and sometimes, much more.  Evidence suggests that tanning beds emit UV radiation at levels far exceeding those in sunlight.

If you really want to get that sun-kissed hue, then opt for spray tans.

Getting yourself pierced – aside from  the possible allergic reactions to inexpensive earrings that you can get from get from piercing, depending on where you have the piercings done, you are risking your self to infection. The rim of the upper ear is composed mostly of cartilage, which lacks a good blood supply, which makes it vulnerable to bacterial infections. Most of these are minor and controllable with antibiotics but when left untreated, they can lead to systemic infections that could  include the lining and valves of the heart. Oral piercings to the lip and tongue may also cause infection, tooth injuries and damage to the nerves.

Toting overloaded purses – These days, it’s not uncommon to see purses as large (and as heavy) as microwave ovens, thanks to the influx of designer carry-all and never-full bags. But toting and carrying them around can cause spine and joint problems ans arthritis later on in life. If you’re constantly having neck and shoulder pains, that’s most likely the culprit. Heavy bags can change your posture no matter how they’re carried. If you must carry heavy bags, alternately carry them between your left and right shoulder.

At the end of the day, it’s being healthy and having a sunny disposition can bring out the beauty in you. Don’t work for beauty, make it work for you.

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