There are many older adults who have, over the past decade or so, been drawn to the culture of consumption which can translate into buying things that will keep you current. Positive aging seems to be the order of the day, yet, there are beauty and fashion-related products/practices that are dangerous healthwise and here are a few that should make you raise a brow:

  • Heavy handbags. The handbag game has gone from small to large. Throwing everything you can find into a handbag can bring on a slew of health issues–back pain, repetitive strain injury of the neck and shoulders, spine misalignment. According to Dr. Karen Erickson, a New York City chiropractor and spokesperson for the American Chiropractic Association, heavy bags can also cause headaches because they place too much pressure on the trapezius muscle in the shoulder, which goes up the back of the neck to the skull. And for you germophobes, here’s another thing to give thought to, if you put your bag on the floor for a period of time, it will pick up germs that can make you sick!
  • Gel manicures. They make your nails durable and oh-so-pretty but Dr. Chris Adigun, a Chapel Hill, N.C. dermatologist offers a few warnings about this popular nail process. “Ultraviolet (UV) exposure during gel manicures should be a concern for everyone because the lamps used in these manicures emit UVA rays that penetrate deepest into the skin. Although these rays don’t burn the skin like UVB rays, she says, they do penetrate the skin to damage DNA and collagen, which can lead to premature aging and may increase skin cancer risk. Some people believe that LED curing lamps provide a safer option, she says, but this is a misconception, as these lamps also emit UVA light,” warns Dr. Adigun. Repeated UV exposure may have a cumulative effect especially in those who have been getting the treatment for years.
  • Body tattoos. The youngins are not the only ones getting these permanent body markings! Sure they might look cute or even sexy but know that with each puncture, you get closer and closer to possibly endangering your health. A skin infection or allergic reaction at the tattoo site can occur upon getting the marking but if it does not happen immediately, it can still come years later down the road. Since Blacks are seven times more likely to keloid (an overgrowth of scar tissue) after a skin injury, there is a risk of this happening after receiving a tattoo. If the equipment used to create the tattoo is contaminated, there is also the risk of contracting bloodborne diseases like tetanus or hepatitis C. In some cases, tattoo pigments can also interfere with the picture quality of medical imaging like MRI’s.
  • Waist trainers. There are quite a number of middle-agers who still want to maintain their girlish figures. Waist trainers made a comeback in a huge way a few years ago and they’re still here. Many swear by this waist-cinching craze offering an hourglass reduction of up to about 7-inches but is the damage they cause to our bodies, worth it in the long run? Besides the obvious, skin irritation, there are the more serious side effects of these constricting garments that include acid reflux, the compression of lungs, rib fractures and crushed organs. Weight loss experts also say that these so-called spot reducing garments do not work because you just can’t reduce the collection of fat in one targeted area of your body, no matter how long it is worn.

  • Permanent makeup. The beauty-enhancing process of permanently tattooing eyeliner, eyebrows or lipstick can cause serious allergic reactions in some people. Besides swelling and bumps, these cosmetic tattoos or micropigmentation procedures that are typically done in salons can cause disfigurement at the site of the process. In addition, there is the risk for serious bacterial or viral infections like hepatitis that can be introduced at the site. Even your own bacteria that live on your skin can be a problem if the skin isn’t cleaned properly.
  • Skin fillers. These dermal fillers help smooth out aging facial problem areas like smile lines, and wrinkles around the eyes (crows feet), lips and cheeks. Folks with certain ailments like bleeding disorders or allergies should steer clear of fillers. The most common complaints from users of these cosmetic enhancers have been bruising, redness, swelling, pain, infections, and discoloration to name a few. There are, however, more serious side effects from dermal fillers like blurred or even loss of vision if injected into blood vessels particularly around the facial area. Allergic reactions to the fillers have been as severe as an anaphylactic shock that requires emergency medical assistance.
  • Wearing last night’s pajamas. Women have to change their pajamas like they do their underwear, every day. Wearing the same pajama bottom sans underwear can bring on a host of vajajay woes—yeast infections, urinary tract issues, and not to mention possible rashes, chafing and a funky odor to boot.
  • Thongs. Yes, there are a few seasoned babes who still want to get their sexy on and wearing thongs is one way to do so. The underwear that slips between your vagina and rectum can play host to rectal bacteria and viruses that can result in a nasty vaginal infection. The thin band of material at the crotch tends to move around, possibly transferring bacteria from one spot to another. If you have a little bacteria — E. coli is the most common bacteria in the colon — in the back part of the fabric and you’re physically active, that material may move. All it has to do is move an inch or two and it’s next to the vagina or urethra and BINGO—nasty infection!