This might come as shock but apparently over showering is a thing. Needless to say, in 2018 scientists from the University of Utah deduced that westerners suffer most from over showering. It originates from the normalized routine of showering twice a day, which ends up affecting the population of microbes. In case you are wondering what microbes are, they include fungi, bacteria, algae or viruses that cause infections, diseases or decomposition. Microbes live in and outside the body and compose the body flora. They do not cause us any harm. In fact, they protect us from harmful microbes that cause diseases, which are also known as pathogens. Therefore, let’s look at the hazards of over showering.
- Affect microbes
As mentioned the above microbes are both harmful and beneficial to the human body. The number of normal bacteria that live outside the human body consists of over 100 million bacteria, which is 10 times the number of bacterial cells making up the human body. Showering twice everyday overtime affects the safe microbes heightening an individual’s risk to infection. In fact, scientists acknowledge that showering daily isn’t necessary.
Ever heard that showering with hot water ages your skin, unlike showering with cold water. Now add the effect of over showering which also strips away the oils and moisture from your skin causing it to crack. According to Dr Elaine Larson, an infectious disease expert from Columbia University, when the skin loses hydration and cracks it allows germs to enter hence infections. Showering twice a day/over showering, not only does it remove body odour, but it also accelerates the risk of infection by disrupting the good bacteria. The doctor recommends showering daily only if your skin feels healthy and hydrated. Check out how to maintain good hygiene during the hot weather.
- Lung infection
As much as most microbes are not harmful few are. Research published in the journal Mbio by the University of Colorado registers that a shower head is a home to mycobacteria since they thrive well in water. These mycobacteria are not harmful but some are pathogens, which cause lung infections. It is worth noting that these mycobacteria are most abundant in residential showerheads although they are also found in public toilets. This poses an increased threat to public health.
The quantity of these mycobacteria also differs as these bacteria are resistant to chlorine. Make sure you clean your showerhead every month to get rid of residue and also to disinfect it.
- Lowers immune system
By now, you know the effect of stripping away moisture from the body and the oils which help with body hydration. Over showering destroys the good microbes which boost the immune system. See also 6 immune-boosting foods you should eat more.
Dr Larson recommends washing your hands and feet frequently as opposed to washing the whole body. Since clothes collect dead cells wash them regularly to reduce the risk of infection. Find out the tips on how to be a well-groomed man
That said, the optimum times a person should shower remains a mystery. Nonetheless, the doctors who carried this research recommend not lathering the entire body. Instead, concentrate on the smelly regions like armpits and feet.
Check out how to smell good throughout the day
Featured image via mpasho