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Are your patients putting their jeans in the freezer?

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Pinterest is a great place to find do-it-yourself (DIY) tips – from housecleaning hacks to food storage tips – Pinterest has suggestions for it all. But when it comes to things that touch or are applied to skin, how helpful these tips are gets a bit murkier. While often creative, these methods are typically not backed by scientifically sound evidence. Patients are likely seeing these DIY recommendations on social sharing sites, so let’s debunk a few well-meaning yet ill-advised DIY tips:

DIY Laundry Care

Are your patients putting their jeans in the freezer? Many patients think this sounds like a clever DIY trick – preserve the fabric of your favorite jeans and kill any lingering bacteria! Nice try, Pinterest, but every doctor knows bacteria are preadapted to survive at low temperatures and can linger on sloughed skin on the inside of denim, so the freezer is a poor substitute for the washing machine. The bacteria and skin cells that remain on jeans can cause skin irritation, especially for those with skin sensitivity. Patients need to be assured there are detergents and fabric softeners that are free from harsh dyes and fragrance; these will ensure their clothing is clean, preserved and gentle on their sensitive skin.

With DIY methods at patients’ fingertips, it is now more important than ever to remind patients of the importance of using methods that have been clinically proven to be safe and effective.