Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Price We Pay for Neat Eyebrows

It's tough being a woman.

In order to meet society's standards of feminine aesthetics, we must bleach, wax, pluck, exfoliate, blow-dry, condition, moisturize, curl, spray, lacquer, conceal, highlight, and for those of us that use mineral makeup, let us not forget swirl, tap, and buff. We do this mostly without thinking about it. Until our own beauty regimens come back to bite us in the butt.

For years, I've read scary articles about the millions of bacteria that thrive in our face brushes, clippers, razors, and tweezers, and how careful we're supposed to be about keeping things clean and sterile. As with many things in life, though, I figured it could never happen to me. So when I saw a stray eyebrow hair, I just plucked it. No alcohol. No sterilizing. Just pluck and run.

No more.

Yesterday afternoon found me sitting in the doctor's office, feeling like an idiot, nursing an extremely red and sore upper left eyelid. The diagnosis? Cellulitis, a skin infection, caused by bacteria entering a hair follicle after a rushed eyebrow-plucking session last week. The cure? Ten days of strong antibiotics.

I am a compulsive plucker. You have to when you have eyebrows like mine, which on a good day are Brooke Shields-ish and on a bad day are more Alf-ish. If I didn't pluck the strays on an almost daily basis they would get out of control and form their own ecosystem. When I see an errant hair, I immediately reach for my trusty tweezers that stay out in our bathroom. I don't take time to use alcohol. More often than not, I do this after a workout while I still have gym germs on my face. I see the folly in that now.

My infection is pretty mild, and already has responded to the antibiotics, so I guess I am pretty lucky. Even though it's mild, it still caused me a lot of discomfort for a couple of days and it made me look like I was a fan of red eyeshadow, but only had the urge to apply it to one eye. My doctor said they've seen a lot of multiple antibiotic-resistant staph skin infections in the office lately, and I can't imagine stressing through that right now simply because I couldn't take a few extra seconds to run some alcohol over my tweezers.

I've learned my lesson. Ladies, please learn from me. Don't pay for your good looks with a course of Bactrim.

3 comments:

Shan said...

OMG...this is horrible. I just plucked my eyebrows last week...next time, I will be more careful!

Laura said...

yep i just got back from the doctor and i have the same thing you had! my eye is so uncomfortable and yes i look like a fan of red eye shadow too. the doc told me to boil my tweezers in hot water so that i wont have to worry about bacteris

Anonymous said...

yep i just got back from the doctor and i have the same thing you had! my eye is so uncomfortable and yes i look like a fan of red eye shadow too. the doc told me to boil my tweezers in hot water so that i wont have to worry about bacteris