Dermatologist PSA: Please Don’t Pick Your Face Right Now

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Dermatologist PSA: Please Don’t Pick Your Face Right Now featured image
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By now, you’ve probably heard the official recommendation to not touch your face during this fight against coronavirus. The CDC and World Health Organization are not fooling around with this one—stating that respiratory infections enter the body via the mucous membranes on the face and, even if you don’t think you’re guilty of doing it, scary stats estimate that we touch our faces about 23 times an hour.

If you still swear you’re not part of that number, consider this: The not-so-distant bad habit of picking your face tends to pop up when we’re under stress or anxious, according to East Greenwich, RI dermatologist Caroline Chang, MD. 

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So, it’s times like these that we might be latching on to an almost “nervous habit” that we might not have had before.

“A lot of people also tend to scratch or be itchy during times of stress,” she adds.

“We all touch our face,” says Santa Monica, CA dermatologist Ava Shamban, MD. “It’s almost like we check to see if it’s there—it’s a reflex. What’s bad is that our hands are a mini-vector.”

The good news is, if stress is making conditions like acne or eczema flare up and contribute to the “pick,” Dr. Shamban says your dermatologist can help: “So many offices are ramped up for telemedicine right now, you’re not marooned on a desert island. Make an appointment! You are not alone thanks to the magic of technology.”

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