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Beauty regimens may have dangerous pitfalls

February 28, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Americans spend about $7 billion per year on cosmetics, and more than $10 billion on cosmetic surgery and other procedures. But some of the most common beauty-boosting regimens could also be the most dangerous.

We apply, spray, inject, glue and wax - all in the name of looking good! But your beauty routine may be dangerous and even deadly.

Nancye Swanson picked up Hepatitis B from a pedicure.

"My liver was shutting down," described Swanson.

Dr. Stacy Chimento says other infections like staph and MRSA can spread during a visit to the salon.

"You have some of these various bacteria that grow within the actual pedicure bowls," explained Chimento.

That bacteria can enter the body through openings in the skin.

Spray tans are a popular beauty trend, but new research shows they may not be all that safe. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania exposed live cells to DHA, the key ingredient in spray tans. They found the chemical caused genetic changes in the cells.

"So, we're still not exactly sure how this affects the human body," said Chimento.

Waxing can also be a danger if the wax is too hot.

"Burns, permanent scarring, discoloration," warned Chimento.

Also, double-dipping the stick can spread bacteria in the pot and cause infection.

Laser hair removal is a popular treatment, but the numbing cream can be a danger.

"It can sometimes cause some particular side effects that can be deadly," Chimento said.

Most women don't realize how much bacteria is lurking in makeup. For example, in an Oklahoma College of Optometry study, experts tested mascara wands and found that 33 percent had bacteria, including staph. Because the bacteria can easily enter your eye as you apply it, experts advise getting rid of mascara wands after three months.


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