Dermatologists share the worst beauty tips they’ve dealt with
“A new patient sought medical attention at my office after self-injecting hyaluronic acid serum into her cheeks at home. She had watched a video on YouTube explaining how to do it,” she says. “She caused infection, inflammation and scarring on her skin. We had to treat her with antibiotics and oral prednisone.” And to make matters worse, this patient used topical hyaluronic acid for her injections, which is very different from injectable hyaluronic acid.
“Injectables [hyaluronic acid] is a sterile product that has been tested and approved by the FDA as a medical device and is specifically manufactured by pharmaceutical companies for injection,” says Dr. Casey. [hyaluronic acid] is not subject to these same FDA regulations, and a hot topic [hyaluronic acid] serum in a vial is not a sterile product.”
Although she was able to treat the infection and inflammation, Dr. Casey notes that the patient had permanent scarring.
Staphylococcal infection due to home dermaplaning
In the hands of a skin professional, dermaplaning can do wonders for the skin. Using a razor or surgical scalpel to shave the face “removes the fine vellus hairs on the face as well as a small amount of the stratum corneum (the top layer of your skin),” explains Sheilagh Maguiness, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Minneapolis, MN. “It can give the immediate appearance of clearer, more radiant skin, like you’ve just had a chemical peel.”
While Dr. Maguiness explains that dermaplaning is “probably safe to do at home for people with normal skin, using a new, sterile dermaplaning razor,” not everyone’s skin is suitable for this technique. She wouldn’t recommend home treatment for anyone “who is battling acne, rosacea, eczema, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or other conditions that can lead to comedones, pustules, inflammation or bumps on the skin”. In such cases, dermaplaning can backfire and lead to long-term effects.
Dr. Maguiness has observed several cases where dermaplaning has backfired, “resulting in inflamed acne-like bumps, ingrown hairs and secondary bacterial infection. These types of complications can take months and different topical therapies to manage and can lead to hyperpigmentation.”
For those with acne, rosacea, eczema, or those prone to hyperpigmentation, Dr. Maguiness points out, “Dermaplaning can cause a lot of problems… Close shaving can traumatize hair follicles and leave microabrasions in the skin, which can be one for infections and ingrown hairs, or the worsening of acne.”
A squeeze of lemon juice gone bad
The use of lemons is a popular ingredient in at-home skincare “hacks” shared on social media (looking at you, pinterest). The line of thought is that vitamin C is good for your skin and lemons contain a lot of vitamin C. Therefore, lemons = great for your skin. Sure, lemons can be a great addition to your diet, but not so much for topical application.