Things You Do That Your Dermatologist Hates

December 22, 2017  |  
1 of 15 of a young woman washing her face at the bathroom sink

Is anybody 100 percent honest with their doctor? Probably not. We tell our general physicians the important things (or what we deem to be the important things because we don’t really know since we aren’t doctors). But still, we leave out a few details. We probably report having five drinks a week when it’s more like eight. We say we exercise for 45 minutes a day when in reality it’s more like 45 minutes, three days a week. Since we’re willing to lie to the doctor who we believe treats the most vital parts of our bodies, we are more than willing to lie to specialists who we don’t see as often, like our dermatologists. The truth is that many of us only go to our dermatologists if we think we have a problem. We should go once a year for a skin check, but many of us don’t. Dermatologists rarely get all the information about your habits, but if they did, they’d hate that you did these things.

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Picking at abnormalities

If you notice any abnormalities on your skin—from odd coloring, to something patchy, to something slightly elevated—do not pick it. You alone cannot determine if this is just a temporary thing—like a pimple—or a precancerous growth. And you don’t want to do anything that could alter the cells of the latter, like pick it them.

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Using oil wipes

Hey, guess what? Your face produces oil. That’s okay! Nobody notices the oil on your face the way you think they do. And using oil wipes only tells your pores to produce extra oil.

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Asking your friends to check out abnormalities

Your friend is not a dermatologist. Just because she says something is probably just a sunspot or a pimple doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for a dermatologist appointment.

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Going on small outings without sunscreen

It’s just a ten-minute walk with your dog or a five-minute walk to the convenience store. But if you really think about all of the small outings you take without sunscreen every day, you leave your skin exposed to UV rays for easily a half hour a day.

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Taking pimple advice from friends

Don’t take your friend’s advice to put this odd housecleaning product on your zit or rub this piece of produce on it. And don’t use the aggressive acne product she uses, either, without consulting your dermatologist.

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Splurging on expensive lotion

Seeing patients pay for expensive lotion breaks a dermatologist’s heart. There is really no difference between a $60 bottle of moisturizer and Vaseline when it comes to hydrating your pores.

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Washing your face in the morning

Over-washing your face can strip it of its natural, protective oils. And the truth is that, if you wash your face at night, then in the morning, it doesn’t really need a cleaning. The day is when you put on makeup and accumulate pollution from the air.

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Relying on makeup for SPF

Though your makeup says it contains sunscreen, that sunscreen may not be as effective as a regular sunscreen, especially once it’s mixed with makeup. You should still apply actual sunscreen, along with your makeup.


Using cellulite cream

Dermatologists tend to agree that there isn’t really a cream that can get rid of cellulite. Cellulite is caused by a combination of genetics and excess weight, and no cream can alter either of those.

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Believing the chocolate-acne myth

Chocolate doesn’t cause acne. Dairy and refined carbs do. So go ahead and eat your chocolate. (Oh, and even dairy and refined carbs don’t cause acne in everybody).

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Hanging out in the sun. At all.

Your dermatologist doesn’t want you lying out in the sun—deven if you wear the best sunscreen. If you’re going to hang out outside, she wants you covered up and sitting under an umbrella.


Scrubbing off makeup too hard

You want to get every last black speck of eyeliner off of your eyes, but scrubbing your makeup off too hard is very bad for the skin around your eyes. Be patient and gentle with this sensitive area.

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Only treating your face

Whatever your skin regiment is, you should be doing it to every part of your body that you regularly expose to the sun. This could mean your neck, chest, shoulders, and even hands and feet—but not just your face.

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Taking hot showers

Extra hot showers can dry out your skin. While hot water might have sanitizing effects, warm water does too, and is better for your pores.


Missing your yearly skin checks

Treat your yearly skin checks as important as you do your regular checkups. Skin cancer is more common than lung, breast, or colorectal cancer.

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