Though we are taught about it even before we inch towards formal education, one is never too old to learn a thing or two about personal hygiene. From brushing teeth twice a day to washing hands before dinner, we learn and imbibe these personal hygiene habits into our everyday routines and our lives as we grow up.
But, oftentimes it happens that some of our everyday habits contribute to bad personal hygiene which leaves us exposed to certain diseases. And no, it’s not as if we knowingly inculcate these habits. This happens because of misinformation or a lack of knowledge. So, to clear the air about these common hygiene mistakes, we prepared this primer of sorts that would give you a refresher course in personal hygiene. Go ahead and give it a read and share it with others to spread more awareness.
While it’s true that exfoliating your face removes the dead skin cells from it, and deeply cleans it, providing it with smooth and clear skin, it’s not something that you should be doing daily. Exfoliation done on a daily basis can cause more harm than good. It can irritate sensitive skin and make your face look more red and inflamed (1).
There’s no bonding experience better for us girls, than spending a day at our girlfriends’ place doing each other’s makeover and checking out each other’s makeup stash. While it may be a wonderful way of spending time with your girlies, you might want to think twice before passing on that mascara wand as sharing makeup is a very easy way of transferring bacteria from one person to another (2).
It’s great that you take your health seriously and that you religiously work out, but you should seriously rethink your policy of lounging around in your sweaty gym gear post work out. The downside of lounging in your sweaty gym clothes is that the bacteria get more time to sit around on your skin, and the sweat trapped in the clothes can also irritate your skin (3). So, shower as soon as you are finished with your workout, and if that’s not possible, change into a fresh pair of clothes.
Let’s just clear this straightaway, putting anything inside your ears is a bad idea. Ears are self-cleaning organs and they don’t require special cleaning. The thing we often seek to remove from ears with the help of cotton swabs is earwax. Earwax is a substance produced by the ears to keep them moist and also to trap impurities. It actually serves a protective function as it operates from the outer peripheries of the ear. The only reason it forms a blockage against your eardrums is if it is pushed that far inside by the Q-tip (4). So, if you really want to remove the accumulated ear wax, we suggest that you seek the help of a medical professional because probing with a Q-tip can also rupture your eardrum.
Most of us pay a lot of attention to our teeth, wondering whether or not they are cleaned properly or are they white enough, but seldom pay as much attention to the products that we are using to achieve that impeccable oral hygiene. I am talking about your toothbrush. Most of us realize that it’s time to chuck our toothbrushes only when we see their frayed bristles, but it may be too late by then. According to experts, you should change your brush every 3–4 months and not when it gives up (5).
If you are wondering how keeping your toenails short and squeaky clean can contribute to bad hygiene, you are not alone. That’s the first thing that came to my mind when I was gathering information for this article, but it seems too much trimming or shaping can put a lot of stress on your toenails which in turn can lead to a host of problems such as ingrown nails or pincer nails (6). So, if you are a big fan of pedicures, go for simple shapes that are easier to get and don’t put too much stress on your nails. Keep it simple and short!
These are items you come in contact with every day, but somehow, they never feature in your cleaning routine. I am talking about objects such as the TV remote, the lid of your rubbish bin, cupboard handles, light switches, etc. However, objects such as your remote or the lid of your rubbish bin are hotspots for the bacteria. In fact, it was found that the remote served as a safe haven for the cold virus, which could survive on it for almost two days, infecting everyone who touches it (7). So, if you want to prolong your healthy streak, you might want to clean these objects more frequently.
We hope we were able to clear some of your misconceptions and put you on the path of good health and prosperity with this valuable information. If you know of any other common personal hygiene misconceptions, please share them with us in the comments. Till then, be clean and be safe!
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