…You don't wipe after you pee
We've all used the ol' drip-dry tactic on occasion. (Hiya, campers and concertgoers!) No big deal — just don't do it often. Aside from the icky feeling, staying damp down there can up your odds of a yeast infection or other irritations (itching, burning), since fungi and bacteria love moist environments, says Leah Millheiser, MD, a clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford's School of Medicine. Air-drying is your best bet — at least until you can get to some TP.
…You yo-yo diet
As many as two-thirds of dieters regain weight after losing it, says research from UCLA. Though frustratingly common, this scenario probably takes a bigger toll on your confidence than your body; some studies have found an association between weight cycling and conditions such as heart disease, but no cause-and-effect connection has been made. "My biggest concern is the emotional trauma of regaining," says registered dietitian Linda Bunyard, RD, of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center. "I would rather see patients lose fewer pounds if they can do it sustainably." Pros agree that making permanent changes for a healthy lifestyle beats short-term dieting. Also key: getting support during your weight-loss journey, whether from a nutritionist or a friend.
…You "tweak" your knee
One minute you're walking fine, and the next — zing — there's a sharp pain in your knee. You may have moved in a way that irritated the cartilage between your knee bones, says Jordan Metzl, MD, a sports medicine doctor at New York's Hospital for Special Surgery. Other times, the pain can mean something worse, like a ligament tear. If you heard a pop, feel unstable, or swell up immediately, get to a doc stat. If not, try to walk it off, apply some ice, and wrap the area if it's sore. The inflammation may cool off on its own. If it's still throbbing after a few days, see an MD to make sure nothing else is going on.
…You wear heavy earrings every day
Over time, skin loses elasticity, and hefty ear candy can stretch pierced holes or even split your lobe, says Stephen S. Park, MD, president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. So alternate big danglies with lighter studs, or go bare half the time.
This story originally appeared in the December 2015 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.