Halloween Health Tips from Texas Tech Physicians

Updated: Oct. 29, 2020 at 9:42 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - If your Halloween costume includes a look that gives you spooky or cat-like eyes or just a different color altogether, that could end up scaring you long after Halloween.

Dr. Kelly Mitchell, an Ophthalmologist and Texas Tech Physician, says never buy a contact lens from a costume shop. He warns, “You’re really exposing your eyes to a significant risk because those are basically curved pieces of plastic that may have the external color that allows you to appear like a zombie or maybe a cat or, or some other type of Halloween character that you’d like to you’d like to portray, but they’re not made in the same careful sterile way, clean way FDA approved way that contact lenses that your optometrist or ophthalmologist will prescribe for you.”

Dr. Kelly Mitchell, an Ophthalmologist and Texas Tech Physician
Dr. Kelly Mitchell, an Ophthalmologist and Texas Tech Physician(KCBD)

Dr. Mitchell says a costume lens that is not properly fitted for the eye could lead to a small infection like pinkeye or a major problem like an abrasion of the cornea and severe vision loss.

Dr. Richard Lampe is a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist who says a good scare is fun for Halloween, but let’s not bring it home with coronavirus.

Pointing to his own mask, he says, “To keep it from being scary about Covid, we should follow the rules. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC say the costume mask is not adequate. you have to wear this mask and a costume mask.”

Dr. Richard Lampe, a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist
Dr. Richard Lampe, a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist

The CDC explains that a costume mask is not likely to be tight around the mouth and nose and could leave gaps where the virus can spread. So a Halloween themed protective mask is recommended.

Dr. Lampe also suggests the best way to keep a Halloween party safe is to keep it virtual, maybe using zoom to show your costume to family and friends. It’s not traditional.... but then, what is normal this year?

And now, our final Halloween tip from a Texas Tech Physician.

This time, Dr. Michelle Tarbox, a dermatologist, says you may be able to reuse a costume from one year to the next, but that’s not a good idea when it comes to your Halloween make-up. She says, “The first step in safe application of any makeup is not letting it get old enough to grow bacteria. So if you had some makeup last year for your costume, and you didn’t use all of it, it’s been sitting there growing bacteria probably the whole time since last year. And it might actually cause you some significant irritation if you try to reuse it this year. I’m all for recycling, but this is your face we’re talking about. So go ahead and treat yourself to a fresh palette of makeup.”

Dr. Tarbox adds that if you are also using a wig, remember that there are skin adhesives that work great in securing wigs. That is important to know. She says some people have used Krazy glue. That is something she calls a crazy idea because it can cause a lot of damage when you try to remove the wig after the party.

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