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The Health-Damaging Effects of Vanity

In recent years there has been a notable shift towards healthier living. But for a lot of people it is centred on vanity, and the things they’re doing in the name of looking healthier are actually hurting their health.

Of course, this has always existed to a degree. A few hundred years ago women in high-society tortured themselves with corsets, intentionally avoided sunlight and used makeup loaded with lead to give themselves a paler, “healthier” complexion. These days we like to think that we’re wiser, but the only difference is that we tend to be aware of the damage we’re doing and continue to do it anyway.

Here are a few of the oddities and the paradoxes that exist in the health industry right now.

All Muscles, no Fertility

The Independent newspaper recently wrote about an “evolutionary paradox” whereby men are using steroids to increase muscle size and to effectively boost their status as males, but in doing so they are reducing their fertility levels (https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/steroids-infertile-gym-muscle-mossman-pacey-paradox-study-a8934296.html) which is turning them into “evolutionary duds”.

Experts estimated that as many as 90% of users are at risk, which is concerning when you consider that steroids are more prevalent than ever. There was a time when steroids were used by athletes, bodybuilders, and a select few men and women sweating in powerlifting guys up and down the country.

These days, they are being used by men of all ages, all body types and across all demographics—older men working in offices and looking to lose some body fat; younger men keen to pack on size to look good on Instagram. This is the main preventable cause of male fertility and its use is spreading at a great pace.

Another driving force behind the rise of anabolic steroids is availability and price. They are being produced in huge quantities in Chinese factories and are then shipped all over the world. They have gone from being sold by dodgy-looking, muscle-bound guys in gyms, to “normal” people on Facebook marketplace. Everyone who wants them can get access to them and everyone who has ever been tempted will have to stare that temptation in the face at some point.

It’s a serious problem and a concerning a paradox.

Tanning for Cancer

Skin cancer has always been a big issue with users of sun beds, but this is actually not as big of an issue as it once was. The use of tanning lotions has helped to phase out the obsession that some countries, the UK included, has with tanning beds. However, there is a new issue: tannin injections.

As with anabolic steroids, these are being produced in huge quantities in China. They are unregulated, incredibly dangerous, and many of them don’t even work, yet young men and women across the UK and other countries are using them in large quantities. They believe that they will get a natural tan by using these products, even though it requires them to inject unknown chemicals daily.

Some of them do get the tan they desire, but they also suffer from all kinds of issues, ranging from infertility to cancer and more.

Weak but White Teeth

There is nothing wrong with the teeth whitening industry on the whole and when used sparingly, the products can also be very safe. This is especially true of at-home whitening products like SNOW, which use safe ingredients to achieve their desired results. However, some of the products on the market are being used to excess and they are causing all kinds of damage.

This is true even of the kits that you can find at your local dental clinic. Dental surgeons are licensed to use concentrated bleach formulas that strip the outer layer of enamel from the tooth and also hurt the gums and lips if they come into contact with them. In many cases dentists are over-using these, giving repeated doses to patients who have become obsessed and simply can’t say no.

The biggest issue that this industry has, however, are the unlicensed beauty technicians using concentrated bleach formulas without the experience needed to use them safely and, often times, without the license needed to use them legally. Countless patients have reported gum, lip, cheek and teeth issues as a result of this improper use.

On the other side of the coin you have veneers. These are great when they are being used to restore some natural whiteness to damaged and black teeth, but they are increasingly being used by celebrities and influencers who are effectively destroying their real teeth to cap them with fake ones.

If the procedures go wrong, they have a mouth of traffic-light bright teeth that are either too big, too small, or completely unnatural. Even if they go right, they have a temporary porcelain cap covering teeth that have been whittled down to pins.

Be careful which teeth whitening kits you buy and avoid veneers unless the teeth you are replacing actually need replacing.

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