How often do you rub your eyes, rest your chin on your hands or scratch your brow? Between typing on our laptops, opening doors, giving coins to the cashier, and tying our shoes, our hands come into contact with millions of germs. So does this mean our mere fingertips are the secret cause of our skin's problems?
Heal Your Skin author, Dr. Ava Shamban said "Bacteria, viruses and allergens transfer from fingertips onto the skin. Also, repeatedly rubbing the skin can do some real damage [...] Rubbing the eyes, for example, can actually create microscopic tears in the tissue (making the eye area look older faster), break the capillaries in the eyelids (causing little thread-like veins called telangiectasia) or break the capillaries under the eye (intensifying dark circles)."
When touching your skin causes disaster
Dr. Shamban also told Huffington Post that "Touching doesn't cause the following but most definitely worsens acne, contact dermatitis and herpes simplex,[...] In the case of herpes, for example, if you have a breakout either on your lip or genitalia and you inadvertently touch your eyes, this can lead to herpes keratitis, which in turn can lead to blindness. And it's very easy to transfer genital herpes to the lips if you're not careful."
Face touching is especially a no-go for the acne-prone
"If you are acne-prone, absolutely face-touching can lead to breakouts. Rather than the word 'cause,' however, think 'trigger.' Acne is caused by the confluence three factors: excess oil, excess skin shedding and p. acnes bacteria," said Dr. Shamban. "What touching can do is spread existing p. acnes -- the culprit behind red inflammatory acne papules, pustules and cysts -- on the surface and beneath the surface of the skin. Beneath the skin is where it does the most damage because it can spread to other pores and manifest in yet another pimple."