BEAUTY

The Most Terrifying Skincare Issues, According to the Experts

They’ve seen it all–and this is what they fear most.


Having a stomach of steel is pretty much a prerequisite for being a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Although these experts have mastered the art of administering needles, pimple popping, major surgeries and just about every other face and body fix—there are still some things that make every expert wince. Here, 7 pros reveal the skincare issues that they fear most.

1. Scalp Issues

With the exception of a bizarre time that a patient got completely naked without request, nothing grosses out Dr. Dennis Gross more than doing hair regrowth injections and lice checks. “There’s a scalp condition that causes a circular pattern of hair loss. The incredible treatment that restores hair growth requires injections into the scalp. Although it wouldn’t be a disaster if this occurred, my phobia is inserting the needle too far and hitting the skull bone,” he said. “I would simply find that repulsive. I also examine the skin for lice for those with severe itching. On the occasions I’ve found that, it’s made my skin crawl.”

2. D.I.Y. Disasters

When you want something done right, most times you have to do it yourself. At least that’s Dr. Josh Zeichner’s philosophy. His biggest fear is having someone other than himself apply botox and fillers…to his own face. Even though the DIY approach hasn’t always turned out well for him. “I am very particular about where Botox and fillers are placed on the face,” he explains. “A patient’s outcome is a direct result of the injector’s aesthetic. Because of this, I’m really cautious about allowing anyone besides myself to inject my own face. While I can give myself Botox easily, fillers have been a bit more challenging for me. The last time I gave myself fillers, I ended up with a huge bruise covering half of my face. When I had a colleague inject me, despite my faith in her, I was so nervous that I marked my own face and watched her every step of the way in a handheld mirror!”

3. Bugs!

Most people can agree that bug bites suck. Bug bites suck for pretty much everyone involved. In some cases, the bug its larvae can get stuck under the skin, leaving the task of removal to a dermatologist. It’s no wonder this procedure topped both Dr. Michelle Henry and Dr. Amy Wechsler’s lists of their least favorite procedures.

“I absolutely hate removing insects of any kind,” says Dr. Henry. “I had a lovely patient return from Belize with odd sensations and multiple bumps on her scalp. After incising the bumps, I found a writhing insect that literally fought against me to stay in its new home. After a bit of a battle, I removed four bot fly larva and it was one of the most harrowing experiences of my life. They look otherworldly. I remove massive skin cancers without batting an eyelash. I have removed entire noses riddled with cancer without fear; however, I almost succumbed to tiny (albeit mean) bot fly larva.”

Dr. Amy Wechsler agrees. “The only thing that has ever weirded me out it removing bugs from people’s skin,” she says. “I have to wear my magnifying glasses and act calm (as always) but bugs look like monsters under magnification and I hate most bugs!”

4. Everything to do with Eyes

Even with tons of blepharoplasties (eyelid surgery) under her belt, Park Avenue plastic surgeon, Dr. Melissa Doft, still gets a bit weirded out about this sensitive area of the face. “When I first started operating as a resident, I was always nervous to work around the eyes,” she explains. “There was something that bothered me about touching them and putting in eye shields. I also never liked the texture. Luckily I have not had to wear glasses yet, but I think I might still be afraid of putting in contact lenses on myself.”

5. Too Many Fillers

No one wants to clean up someone else’s mess. Especially when that mess is too many fillers injected by another doctor. “One of my least favorite things to do is having to reverse a filler placement or a poorly done job by another office,” says Dr. Harold Lancer. “Poor filler placement can accumulate toxicity, so having to fix that while remaining diplomatic in explaining why the patient needs to always see a trusted and of course board-certified dermatologist.”

Dr. Robert Anolik agrees, adding that it’s a recurring problem. “I have new patients come in for consultations and they walk in looking artificial. Too pulled or with dreaded chipmunk cheeks and too big lips,” he says. “I find it upsetting that a patient may not realize the artificiality or that a doctor would do this to someone. I always say I’d rather look older than artificial.”

10 Celebrities Who’ve Quit Botox and Fillers Throughout the Years

Cameron Diaz is no stranger to aging and beauty, having penned two books on the subjects of health, wellness, and living your best life. However, when promoting her first title, The Body Book, in 2014, Diaz told Entertainment Tonight that she had tried Botox and it had changed her face—not for the better. “I’ve tried [Botox] before, where it was like a little tiny touch of something. It changed my face in such a weird way that I was like, ‘No, I don’t want to be like that,’” Diaz said. “I’d rather see my face aging than a face that doesn’t belong to me at all.”

However, Diaz doesn’t judge anyone who wants to go under the needle. “They’re to help people feel a little better about themselves,” she told the Huffington Post in May 2016. “If they do feel better about themselves, then those procedures have worked. I have no problem with that. And [in] a lot of instances, it does make you look like you’ve taken a nap … or that you might be a little younger than you looked maybe the day before.”

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In an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians that aired in 2010, Kim Kardashian tried Botox. “I had some bruising around my eyes after the procedure, which is totally natural, but because I hadn’t looked into the side effects, I freaked out. Botox just wasn’t necessary for me at [that] age,” the reality mogul reportedly said.

Just a few years later, when pregnant with her second child, Saint West, went on the defensive after filming a makeup tutorial, when many of her fans believed she’d had some work done on her face. “No I don’t do fillers or botox when pregnant like some tabloids are reporting, you would have to be really sick to endanger your child like that,” she reportedly wrote on her site, KimKardashianWest.com. So at least that issue’s open and shut.

Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Full Picture

Nicole Kidman is arguably one of the most famous Botox users, but after many years of injections, she too bid adieu to the Botox. In her quest for staying youthful and healthy. She admitted to German magazine TV Movie in 2011 that she’s “also tried Botox.” But she “didn’t like how my face looked afterwards, which led to her quit going under the needle. “Now I don’t use it anymore—I can move my forehead again,” she joked.

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Naomi Watts likes to keep the matter of injections close to her chest. (Face?) “Personally, I feel for me it’s tough to do Botox — but it’s also tough not to! Sometimes, I think I need the help. Whatever anyone else chooses is fine with me, no judgment,” she told New Beauty Magazine in 2016. “Of course, I want to look the best I can, but I am playing characters that should match my age and the women and the material that I am interested in are usually going through something. I have to be able to live in my face and tell the story of the character I’ve taken on. But…I’ll never say never.”

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The seemingly ageless model and actress has a balanced outlook when it comes to Botox and fillers, preferring the latter over the former, according to People. And when talking with New Beauty Magazine, Brinkley believes that “if you want to look refreshed, [Botox] has to be [administered] with a light hand.”

Because what’s most important when it comes to beauty, Brinkley says, is looking like yourself. “Don’t change your face; maybe just change a wrinkle or two that’s bothering you,” she said. “You still should look like you.”

Gary Gershoff/WireImage

The Revenge Body host may be fitter than ever these days, but that never stopped her from being interested in dabbling with some fillers and Botox in the past. However, after Khloe Kardashian tried ’em, she reportedly knew they weren’t for her: “[Facial fillers] did not work for me. I looked crazy, and I still think the effects are in there — I went to have it all dissolved like three times,” she said, according to MTV UK.

Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

The OG Baywatch babe may be a portrait of plastic surgery in excess, she’s admitted that Botox and fillers may not have been her best decision. In 2015, Pamela Anderson opened up about her decision. “I am the last person to try Botox but I did,” she told People. “I felt like my eyes sunk into my head so far that I didn’t look look like me anymore! I’m not into all that stuff.”

Yet she does admit that trying to look youthful is not necessarily a bad thing. “I think a little bit of maintenance is good. There are things we can do to perk ourselves up. Some people go to far. I’m not obsessed,” she said.

David M Benett/Getty Images

The singer-cum-fashion designer may be known for her blonde hair and those famous Daisy Duke shorts, but Jessica Simpson has admitted to falling under the spell of injectables. After having Restalyne injections for fuller lips for a few years, she recanted from the cosmetic procedure. “[The injections] went away in, like, four months,” she told Glamour back in 2006. “My lips are back to what they were. Thank God! It looked fake to me. I didn’t like that.”

Andrew Toth/Getty Images for Fashion Footwear Charitable Foundation

Kelly Ripa may be the perkiest morning show host around, but even Ripa’s been enchanted by the proverbial fountain of youth. After being told by her a.m. colleagues her face was looking angry, Ripa reportedly joked that she knew it was time for Botox. But in 2016, the pint-sized star confided to Megyn Kelly (on-air…). “I got bad Botox about … what was it, a year ago? And it was bad. It did something to my good side, so then I had two bad sides,” she joked, according to People. “I’m starting to look myself again, but there was about a six-month period where people were like: ‘What’s wrong with Kelly? She doesn’t smile anymore.’ And I was like: ‘I am smiling!’” Needless to say, that’s when Ripa decided to put the needle down.

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Actress Dana Delany had arguably the scariest experience with injections, Botox, and fillers—a story that could probably swear off even the most ardent of filler fans. “[My dermatologist] injected my forehead, hit a nerve and created a huge hematoma,” Delaney told Prevention in 2010, as reported by the New York Daily News. “The nerve has been dead ever since. It affected the muscle in my right eye, so my eye has started to droop a little bit. I notice it more than anybody else, but I was symmetrical before and now I am not.”

Enough to make you think twice, right?

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Nantucket Film Festival)
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