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From Manicures To Contact Lenses: The Everyday Items You Should Avoid

According to medical professionals, there are a number of ways our daily health and beauty routines could be putting us at risk.

The coronavirus pandemic has taken a sledgehammer to what was once our normal, everyday life.

Drastically minimising our contact with others and maintaining thorough hygiene practices are, of course, imperative right now in order to keep ourselves and others safe.

But there are several small, unassuming habits we have that could be putting us at risk of infection.

10 daily spoke to Australian doctors Darrell Baker and Muhammad Mohsin regarding what we should avoid, and how we can make simple, conscious swaps to maintain our good health throughout the pandemic:

Contact lenses

Now is the time to go for glasses. Image: Getty

Perth-based optometrist and President of Optometry Australia, Dr Darrell Baker advises that now may be the time to switch from contact lenses to glasses.

"There is the potential to be infected with the Coronavirus via the eyes," he explained.

"It is the mucous membranes that line the cavities in the body that are the most susceptible to the transmission of the virus. The cavities are how COVID-19 enters the body."

Dr Baker notes that while our face-touching habits put us all at risk, this applies even more so for contact lens wearers.

"To reduce the risk of contracting the coronavirus, people should wash their hands with soap and water for about 20 seconds and should avoid touching their mouth, nose and eyes."

Those who wear contact lenses tend to touch and rub their eyes more often, hence the recommendation to switch to glasses during the virus outbreak.

While contacts are essentially safe, you should be extra vigilant with hygiene. You can switch to daily disposable lenses, and be diligent when disinfecting and storing your lenses as per your optometrist's instructions.

Manicures

Image: Getty

As part of Australia's shutdown measures, manicurists and nail salons were one of the many non-essential services ordered to shut their doors. And for the time being, this may be for the best.

Research indicates that our fingernails can harbour germs, and this risk is exacerbated when our nails are painted with polish or covered in acrylics or gel.

Dr Mohsin, founder of online medical service PrimeMedic.com.au, reinforces that "the best practice is to always keep nails short and clean."

Long and acrylic nails can be a coronavirus risk because viral particles might become trapped underneath the nail and between or underneath the acrylic.

Dr Mhosin continued, "Viral particles can move through the air and land anywhere, which is why it is important to avoid the risk of this happening. The main way for the virus to enter our body is through our mouth, nose and eyes. If viral particles are on or under our nails, nails can come into contact with the face."

Rings and jewellery

Kate Middleton is no longer wearing her engagement ring. Image: Instagram

One subtle move by Kate Middleton this week alerted the world to the potential risks of wearing rings and hand jewellery. The Duchess of Cambridge was photographed self-isolating at home, not wearing her iconic engagement ring that once belonged to Princess Diana.

Royal watchers believe this is due to the research that suggests that rings provide a protected space on the skin that allows bacteria to flourish.

Dr Mohsin recommends you remove jewellery before thoroughly washing and sanitising your hands.

Bacteria can survive in the nooks and crevices of whatever you’re wearing.

"Once removed, you can go about washing your jewellery separately, using soap and warm water. Washing your hands and using quality sanitiser regularly to protect yourself and others is vitally important," he said.

Featured Image: Getty

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