Do You Wash Every Day? | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Do You Wash Every Day?

Our Sci&Tech Editor reveals the good, the bad and the ugly of our daily washing habits.

Many surveys have been circulating recently, shocking the public on the issue of personal hygiene. Washing hands is an imperative for stopping diseases; many of us will recognise the NHS hand-washing poster, explaining the process with diagrams so that people of all abilities can understand the process. A nice easy reminder, right?

62% of men and 40% of women do not wash their hands after using the toilet
Wrong. In fact, Initial Washroom Hygiene carried out the largest survey on toilet habits, questioning 100,000 people – they found that 62% of men and 40% of women do not wash their hands after using the toilet. It is imperative that these numbers are reduced to stop the spread of diseases in the population.

The same firm also found that on average, there are 200 million bacteria per square inch on each hand of every person that goes to the toilet. Such a high number could be due to touching door handles or tissue dispensers where other people have not washed their hands previously. So washing efficiently means that this number could reduce!

So keeping hands clean after a trip to the loo is extremely important, but is showering your whole body a daily necessity? Could it actually be bad for us to be super-clean?

Another recent study by skincare range, Flint + Flint, found that in the 2,000 women surveyed, over half do not clean daily because the modern world stresses make them too tired. Additionally, one in three women have gone as long as three days without washing at all.

one in three women have gone as long as three days without washing
However, this may not be as bad as it seems, the NHS maintains that as well as washing hands every time after using the toilet, face, genitals and anal area are to be washed daily and teeth must be brushed twice a day. However, when it comes to showering , this only needs to occur at least twice a week. Obviously, if you are active in sports or physically dirty with mud et cetera, then this needs to occur more often.

In fact, showering really frequently can actually dry out and irritate skin, as it washes away all the naturally existing bacteria that do us good. This can then cause cracks in the skin, exacerbating conditions such as eczema and actually making you more prone to infection. If you were exposed to dirt and mud a lot as a baby, your skin will be less sensitive as you age, preventing allergies and illnesses.

Sci & Tech Editor. Biological Sciences student. Keenly interested in the subjects of plant sciences and genetics. (@Rachel_Taylor95)


12th March 2015 at 10:15 am

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