An estimated two-thirds of Americans bathe daily. If you are one of them, you may be lathering yourself too often.
Excessive exposure to soap and water, especially very warm or hot water, can remove the acid mantle, a thin layer of fatty acids and sebum (oil) that helps protect the skin from external impurities and prevents it from drying out, flaking. and Itching. … This can be especially troublesome for people with skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema .
Plus, showering too often can disrupt your skin's microbiome, a colony of beneficial organisms like bacteria and fungi that play a role in the immune system to help ward off infectious germs .
Overuse of antimicrobial soaps and cleaners can contribute to antibiotic resistance.
Clean daily, but shower less often
For many people, a full-body shower every other day or even every three days is sufficient. Proper personal hygiene can be maintained by wiping the armpits and groin area with a clean cloth every day and putting on clean underwear.
However, it is important to wash your face every night to remove dirt and makeup or sunscreen that can clog pores. And of course, frequent hand washing, especially when you are sick or in contact with other sick people, and after every bathroom visit is vital to preventing the spread of infection .
Who should shower daily?
People who work with hazardous chemicals, corrosive or radioactive materials often need to shower immediately after each shift. An after-work shower is also recommended for farm workers, gardeners, construction workers, and others who literally get dirty on the job or are exposed to pollen and other allergens.
The same is true for anyone whose daily activities involve physical activity and who sweats a lot as a result, such as athletes, personal trainers, and fitness instructors.
It is also important to note that shower and bath needs can change throughout the year. If you live in an area with extreme temperature fluctuations (very hot in summer and cold in winter), you may need a daily shower in summer, but not in fall and winter.
Dangers of frequent bathing
Staying too long without bathing will ultimately lead to body odor and allow dead skin cells, sweat, and oil to accumulate on the skin's surface and clog pores. It can cause breakouts in people prone to them .
Wearing damp and sweaty sportswear for prolonged periods can also increase the risk of bacterial or fungal infections, such as athletes itch .
In the most severe case, months without bathing can lead to negligent dermatitis (DN), a condition in which brown patches of dead cells, dirt, sweat, and soot form on the skin. This condition, also known as unwashed dermatosis, is more common in people who cannot properly cleanse their body due to injury or physical disability.
For those who are able to care for themselves, DN can develop around the incision after surgery because the patient is afraid to clean the area or finds it painful. Whatever the cause, DN is easy to cure simply by rinsing the affected skin regularly, which will bring it back to normal .
Helpful Tips for Taking a Shower
No matter how often you shower, you can take steps to keep your skin healthy.
- Use lukewarm water . Hot water can strip your skin of its protective oils.
- Be concise . Five to ten minutes is enough.
- Use a soap that does not dry . If you prefer a liquid or liquid body cleanser , choose a moisturizer.
- Use soap only on specific areas of your body . Only use foam on people prone to odors: in the armpits, groin, buttocks, feet, and between the toes.
- Be gentle . If you are using a body scrub or loofah, don't squirt too much. The same goes for towel drying: pat, don't rub your skin.
- Hydrate after showering . If your skin tends to be dry or sensitive, generously apply a fragrance-free moisturizer, mild body lotion, or oil to your body while your skin is still damp.
- Keep beanbags and loofahs clean . Damp sponges, loofahs, and shower poufs are breeding grounds for bacteria and mold. Allow them to air dry outside of the shower and replace or sanitize them in the dishwasher at least once every two months.
Frequently asked questions
Ideally, shower (or bathe) once a day for five to 10 minutes. This will add moisture to your skin. To trap this moisture: As soon as you get out of the bathroom, gently pat your skin dry with a towel to absorb excess water, apply the medication to the affected skin, and apply moisturizer all over your body, all for three minutes.
At least once a week. More importantly, allow towels to dry completely between uses, as bacteria can grow in humid conditions. Set the towels to dry on a towel rack instead of hanging on a hook to speed up the process.
If they have reached puberty, the ideal is a daily shower. Children this age should shower after swimming, exercising, or sweating a lot. They should also wash their face, where excess oil and dirt can contribute to acne, twice a day.