This winter’s fashion and beauty trends should come with warning labels on them. Several are positively dangerous to your health by causing upper and lower body strain, bacterial invasion and skin reactions. They can even compromise your immune system, resulting in colds, flu and cancer.
“Women can pay a high price for fashion when it comes to their health,” says Dr. Shazia Khan, co-medical director, Loyola Primary Care Center at Oakbrook Terrace, Loyola University Health System. “Certain beauty and fashion trends can take their toll, if women do not take steps to correct them.”
Among the most harmful fashion and beauty trends coming to a store near you are large bags or purses, high-heeled shoes, nickel jewelry and acrylic nails.
Got shoulder and neck pain? Ditch that mammoth handbag
Large purses or bags are responsible for back and neck pain because they place an undue amount of strain on the shoulders and neck. Take a pass on bags that will weigh more then ten pounds when full. Busy mothers must especially heed this warning. They are often the ones who use their purses to carry everything from diapers to personal digital assistants.
Make it a point to look for small purses made with light materials, or backpacks whose weight can be evenly distributed across the back and shoulders. For women who cannot bear to part with oversized bags or purses, start working neck, back and shoulder muscles into your workout routine to strengthen muscles. Regularly rotate the shoulder used to carry the bag.
Harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus can find their way into big bags and purses fairly easily. “Women carry and set their purses down everywhere,” Khan said. “Placing a purse on the ground can attract dangerous bugs, so women should regularly clean or wipe their purses to protect themselves and others.”
High heels create foot, leg and back problems
Young women today don’t seem to worry about developing foot problems in the future, as they teeter back and forth to work on their stylish stilettos. But they may want to heed the warning that wearing these can lead to long-term foot, back and ankle problems.
High heels put too much unnecessary pressure on the balls of the feet. This leads to ailments such as bunions, plantar fascitis and foot, back and ankle injuries. High heels also may shorten calf muscles and cause knee problems.
If a woman insists on wearing high heels, she should be cautious and limit the time she wears them to prevent long-term damage. Other high-heel wearing tips include:
Alternate the height of heels worn to prevent the Achilles tendons from tightening and shortening.
A wider, more stable heel is a better choice.
Select a shoe that allows ample room for the toes.
Pointed toes should only narrow well past the ball of the foot.
To allow for normal daily foot swelling, shop for shoes at the end of the day
Skin itchy and red? Could be your costume jewelry
The nickel in costume jewelry can trigger an itchy red skin reaction in those who are hypersensitive. This is nickel dermatitis or contact dermatitis, an allergic response. A dermatologist can offer treatment to manage the allergy, but these treatments are only effective for a short amount of time.
Those who are highly sensitive to nickel need to have their jewelry lacquered, coated or plated with palladium to protect the direct contact of nickel against the bare skin. Another option is to wear only stainless steel, platinum or gold jewelry.
Acrylic Nails Can Make You Sick
Covering brittle nails that frequently break with acrylic nails comes with risks. Acrylic nails can ruin the natural nail bed, or cause a fungal or bacterial infection. They can even melt down and catch fire when removing a pot from a gas stove.
But the greatest hazard of acrylic nails may be the chemicals in the nails and adhesives that must be dealt with by the immune system and liver. A better solution is to take care of the natural nails by moisturizing them and using strengthening polish from a company that uses only natural compounds in its nail products.