Your Makeup Could Give You These 5 Nasty Infections

by Dr Jonathan D'Souza
Makeup does enhance physical appearance, but if you're not mindful, it can cause infections, leaving you with irritated, inflamed skin.

These infections are mostly due to the use of expired makeup products. Any makeup product that is kept past its expiry date has preservatives that have little or no effect, making the products decompose. The compounds in the makeup separate and become a new breeding place for bacteria. It is these bacteria that can cause skin infections.

Here are six nasty infections makeup could put you at risk of.

1. Stye
If you’ve ever had a stye before, you’d probably know how painful and clearly visible it is. A stye is an abscess or a pimple that forms on the eyelid as a result of bacteria blocking the oil duct. Contaminated eye shadow or mascara can allow bacteria to grow that can cause inflammation of the eyelids. So, double check the expiration date before using eye makeup.

2. Bacterial Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis (pink eye) is a highly contagious infection that gets passed quite easily by sharing mascara with others. As a rule, never ever share makeup. The mascara tube is a moist, dark place—the place for bacteria to grow. If you’ve shared a mascara with your friend and are showing signs of red eyes accompanied with itching, you may need to visit the doctor for prescription eye drops.

3. Allergies
Rashes, burns or hives are an allergic reaction to anything the skin comes in contact with, even the bacteria that’s growing on the makeup. If you notice a burning sensation, itching or redness after application of makeup, it could be an allergic reaction. A dermatologist will prescribe medicines that could help decrease inflammation and promote healing of the skin.

4. MRSA (Staph Infection)
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), commonly known as a staph infection, can also be transferred from makeup products containing the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. A recent news story talks about a 27-year-old Australian woman Jo Gilchrist, who contracted a staph infection on Valentine’s Day 2015 after using her best friend’s makeup brush that left her immobile for life. This highlights the importance of not only using makeup carefully but also how makeup tools need to be kept clean and discarded after about a year of use.

5. Acne
Makeup that is contaminated, especially moist makeup such as primers or foundation, can cause acne to develop when the pores become blocked with bacteria, oil and dead skin. Make sure to clean your skin of makeup thoroughly every night to avoid cystic acne breakout.

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