Sharing is caring, except when it comes to germs!
JARS OF LOTION
Many of us can recall the famous argument on Seinfeld where George Costanza was confronted for double-dipping. He was at a funeral, dipped a chip in a bowl of dip, took a bite off the chip, and then dipped it back in the bowl. Germs—bacteria and even fungus—can be transferred from our hands into these jars on the first “dip.” And the thick consistency of these items are similar to that of a Petri dish. Some solutions to allow our loved ones to moisturize include transferring the product into a pump dispenser, spooning a small portion into a travel jar and washing it regularly, or using a spatula or spoon to share.
This is an absolute NO-NO! Our mouths are dirtier than a toilet in terms of the number of bacteria per square inch as well as the types of bacteria. It is estimated that our mouths contain 600-some different species of bacteria! Herpes simplex virus—the organism responsible for those pesky cold sores can also be transmitted through lip gloss. Additionally with flu season in full swing and the common cold always a clear and present danger, we want to stay away from lip gloss, lip balms (including chapsticks), drinking after someone, or sharing utensils. The solution: just say no!
Our lashes were meant for more than batting our eyes. They were designed to keep debris and germs out of them. Sharing mascara can lead to the transfer of a number of germs, including those that cause pink eye and keratitis, an inflammation of the cornea. It can even cause herpes simplex virus. Although it usually clears without any permanent problems, in some instances it can cause scarring to the transparent front part of they eye (the cornea) which can lead to
permanent loss of vision. Solution: DON’T DO IT. No one ever got hurt from not having killer lashes.
This may surprise some: when we pluck a hair, bleeding may occur. As we know, blood contains bad bacteria such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, to name a few. We should never share personal items such as tweezers, razors, or nail-cutters. The solution is to pick up some disposable razors the next time you are at the store. If you are at a salon, make sure that they observe proper disinfecting techniques.
This reminds me of a quote by Denis Waitley: “A smile is the light in your window that tells others that there is a caring, sharing person inside.” Let’s share a smile often, but when it comes to sharing toothbrushes: “fuggedaboutit.” A reminder: our mouths are dirtier than a toilet. So if you think you want to clean your mouth, do it, but not with someone else’s toothbrush. The solution: pick up a few extra toothbrushes the next time you are at the store. And in general, make
sure to get a new toothbrush every 2-3 months so we can keep our pearly whites shining.
Ann Landers stated: “Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, SHARING and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” Let’s choose to smile, forgive, love, and share… while keeping our personal items, personal.
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Dr. Nina Radcliff is dedicated to her profession, her patients and her community, at large. She is passionate about sharing truths for healthy, balanced living as well as wise preventive health measures.
She completed medical school and residency training at UCLA and has served on the medical faculty at The University of Pennsylvania. She is a Board Certified Anesthesiologist and a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists where she serves on committees for Young Physicians and Communications. Author of more than 200 textbook chapters, research articles, medical opinions and reviews; she is often called upon by media to speak on medical, fitness, nutrition,
and healthy lifestyle topics impacting our lives, today.