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Disastrous DIY Dermatology

Pandemic lockdowns have inspired a DIY revolution. From Facebook feeds filled with homemade banana bread to Instagram stories highlighting lockdown-inspired bathroom renovations, Americans have responded to COVID 19 with creativity and ingenuity. While hobbies are fun to try out, some things are best left to the professionals. Pinspired skincare fixes are particularly troubling.

Pore Strips

Even over-the-counter pore strips can be harsh on sensitive skin or damaging for those with chronic conditions like rosacea and psoriasis. DIY strips containing milk and gelatin are especially concerning. Without appropriate product testing, it’s impossible to know the power of these homemade adhesives. Add to this the risk of an allergic reaction, inflammation, and infection (from unsterile products and microtears in the skin), and it’s a recipe for disaster.

Peanut Butter as Shaving Cream

Fragments in peanut butter - even smooth - can cut the skin and increase infection risk. Not to mention peanut butter will clog your razor and make a complete disaster of your bathroom. For a smooth shave, ditch the Jif and reach for the conditioner if you’re out of shaving cream.

Popping a Pimple with a Pin

First and foremost, pimples should not be popped at home. When broken, bacteria spreads from the infected pore to the surrounding tissue, creating a more prominent blemish. Popping a pimple also slows healing time, meaning that lager, more noticeable spot will now be around even longer. In fact, it might never completely go away. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is more likely when acne pustules are intentionally broken by untrained hands. The darker skin marking a former zit is part of the skin’s inflammatory response.

Adding a needle to the situation escalates an already lousy idea. Inserting an unsterilized metal object into an infected area pushes bacteria even deeper into the skin. (And no, holding your needle to a lighter does not sufficiently sterilize it.) Not only is that bacteria pushed deeper, but it also opens up the skin to infections like MRSA that can require strong antibiotics to cure. Resist the urge.

And what if a situation has already escalated to a DIY disaster?

Our doctors are here to help, not judge. Don’t be afraid to reach out to one of our board-certified dermatologists to solve even the most embarrassing skincare mishaps. Our HIPAA secure platform means that submitted pictures and health information are safe and secure. The sooner you seek help, the faster your skin disaster can be solved.