Allergies, long days spent in front of the computer, habit… There are plenty of reasons to rub your eyes. However, it is absolutely necessary to refrain from doing so. Because this innocuous gesture at first glance can have serious repercussions, as listed by the HuffPost, both on your health and on the appearance of your skin.
“The skin around your eyes is the thinnest on your body. Each of the times you rub your eyes can be imagined as the aggressive rubbing of a rose petal”, compares Tara Adashev, a plastic surgery nurse. Besides, touching our eyelids can damage the cornea. “This causes micro-scratches on the cornea which can, over time, thin it and deteriorate our sight. This progressive deformation is called “keratoconus”»precise dermatologist Snehal Amin.
Finally, if you really need to touch your eyes, it is imperative to take the time to wash your hands beforehand. However, very few people do it, while our hands are important vectors of transmission of micro-organisms which do not spare our eyeballs from the risk of infection. “Germs can enter the body through the mucous membrane. This concern was highlighted during the pandemic.notes the dermatologist.
No friction is good
From an aesthetic point of view, the repercussions are obvious: bloodshot eyes, dark circles, wrinkles, etc. Rubbing your eyes can even be the cause of the tired look you have, as Snehal Amin explains: “When you rub your eyes too regularly or too harshly, the capillaries can be broken and your eyeballs will therefore be bloodshot.”
In addition, this bad habit can cause dark circles by accelerating the production of skin pigments and exposing the skin to a risk of lichenification – thickening with accentuation of striae – which promotes the appearance of wrinkles.
“No rubbing is good: if you do it more than twice a day, it’s too much”, warns dermatologist Nava Greenfield. To relieve tingling on the area, specialists recommend using a cold water compress or eye drops if dry eyes are the cause. Nevertheless, in case of intense and repeated itching, a visit to an ophthalmologist is still recommended.
Finally, if this gesture has become a habit, certain therapies can help you. “Rubbing the eyes, scratching the skin and licking the lips are tics that can be reduced with cognitive-behavioral techniques. Simply telling a person to stop is pointless when it’s ingrained habits.” informs dermatologist Claire Wolinsky. Although the effects only show up over a long period of time and may not be noticed immediately, Nava Greenfield advises “break this reflex to preserve our health and the appearance of our skin”.