Amid the pandemic outbreak of COVID-19, we’ve heard health care authorities everywhere urging people to refrain from touching their face. According to the American Journal of Infection Control, it was found in a 2015 study that people touch their faces more than 20 times a day.
This becomes a concern as people run the risk of picking up pathogens with their hands and getting it into the body through the mucous membranes on the face — mouth, nose, and eyes. From turning doorknobs and picking up objects, people are constantly touching surfaces. But it goes beyond just the virus outbreak; this habit should also be refrained on the regular.
Most people are guilty of touching their faces to pop a pimple or squeeze out a blackhead. This can result in more noticeable acne scars and long-lasting skin pigmentation as well as the risk of infection or more breakouts. Your hands can also spread oil, dirt and bacteria to your face, which can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. If you are still in the habit of reaching to touch your face throughout the day, here are some tips that can help keep your hands off your face.
1. Alter your perspective
Allow your thoughts to be flexible instead of punitive to help you change your habits. Rather than thinking “don’t touch your face”, tell yourself that you are going to be more aware of touching your face. Doing this consistently can encourage your brain to make that thought salient so you will be more conscientious of not doing it.
2. Use reminders strategically
It would be helpful to have a constant reminder especially in the beginning. Write on sticky notes and place them in places where you will constantly be around the house or in the office, and on items that you regularly use such as fridge, laptop, and dressing table. You can also set a frequent reminder into your phone to notify you every half hour or so. This can help to build up enough momentum in breaking that habit.
3. Keep your hands busy
This is one of the foolproof ways you can try to avoid face-touching. Keep your hands preoccupied with activities like drawing, typing, knitting, and playing video games. It will lessen the opportunity for your hands to make their way toward your face. Alternatively, you can adopt one of the distraction techniques whenever you get the urge to touch your face. Face-touching habits can also be the result of triggers, such as stress and boredom, so keep a stress ball or small toy by your desk to occupy your hands.
It could also be helpful to create a physical record where you briefly describe each time you touch your face. This helps you understand and identify which part of your face is frequently touched in a bid to reduce all those instances of face-touching. For example, you might pick at the dry skin on your lips, scratch your nose due to an itch, or rest your chin on your palm while reading. Look into changing your environment so you can reduce the urges or address the situations that are associated with your face-touching.
The only few times you can touch your face – with clean hands – are for applying skincare products and makeup. Cleanse your face thoroughly and use an oil-free, hydrating moisturiser to maintain your skin’s natural moisture. Dehydrated skin can cause excess oil production, leading to clogged pores and increased acne breakouts. If you are suffering from acne, refrain from popping them with your fingers and seek an acne treatment instead.
At Aesthetics Central Clinic, we deploy the Q Switch Laser to deliver a beam of energy at the treatment area without affecting the surrounding healthy skin. The laser can be adjusted to different frequencies to provide a customised solution for different skin conditions. The laser helps to kill the P-acne bacteria which contributes to acne, reduce inflammation of affected pores and regulate oil control. You can also look forward to having any unwanted pigmentation on skin reduced and lightened for an improved appearance. Schedule an appointment with our doctors today!