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Today’s beauty trends, tomorrow’s troubles

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Unless you’re a well-known celebrity and the paparazzi catches you wearing last year’s look, trying out fashion trends like wedge heels or skinny jeans is harmless.

However, trends that require you to make a permanent or unusual change to your body can have far greater and dangerous consequences.

Consider these beauty fads and facts:

Circle Lenses
What are they? Circle lenses are similar to colored contact lenses, but the color extends beyond the iris, further than traditional colored contact lenses. These lenses provide a doeeyed effect — popular since Lady Gaga sported the look.

Should you be concerned? “It seems harmless to enhance the appearance of your eyes,” says Virtua family medicine doctor, Elaine Beppel, MD. But the American Optometric Association cites published reports linking severe eye infections to the use of these cosmetic contact lenses. “These infections can lead to cornea damage or permanent vision loss,” notes Dr. Beppel.

Further, circle lenses are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA classifies all contact lenses — corrective or cosmetic — as medical devices.

Try a safer alternative. Change the appearance of your eyes by choosing from the many safe, cosmetic lenses that come in a rainbow of colors and effects. These are available through licensed eye care providers who can safely fit your eyes for lenses and provide follow-up care.

Nose Piercing
What is it? A nose piercing is a puncture made in your nostril by a needle. After the piercing is complete, jewelry such as a ring or stud is inserted.

Should you be concerned? If you do your research and choose a reputable, licensed professional to perform the piercing and you take good care of it afterward, you’ll probably do fine.

“But remember that millions of bacteria live in the nose, so this type of piercing has an increased infection risk,” says Dr. Beppel. “After nose piercing, most people experience mild symptoms such as pain and swelling, and healing takes two to four months,” she adds.

Others experience chronic infection, prolonged bleeding, scarring, allergic skin reaction to the jewelry, and nerve damage. That’s why it’s so important to see a physician.

Always seek out a member of the Association of Professional Piercers to do the piercing or, better yet, speak to your family physician.

Try a safer alternative. Get the trendy look without the permanent commitment of piercing your skin. Buy a small crystal at a local craft store and use a little false-eyelash adhesive to affix it. Show off a faux nose piercing that can come off at night.