How often do you really need to shower and wash: opinions of doctors
Until a hundred years ago, not all Swedish houses had bathrooms - such a luxury was reserved almost exclusively for wealthy people. Today the situation is completely different. But how often do we actually need to shower and wash? Tells "Inosmi".
Until a hundred years ago, not all Swedish houses had bathrooms - such a luxury was reserved almost exclusively for wealthy people. It was only in the 1930s that the bathroom became a standard, and in new houses it was included in the layout of even small apartments.
Today the situation is completely different. But how often do we actually need to shower and wash?
It won't surprise anyone if I say that washing primarily affects our skin. How does it work, and how is it affected by the fact that we often shower and wash diligently?
Here are three things everyone should know about how leather works.
1. Skin barrier
Frequent washing primarily affects the epidermal (skin) barrier. This function is mainly provided by a very thin top layer of skin, much less than one tenth of a millimeter thick. True, on some parts of the body, for example, on the feet, it is still somewhat thicker and can reach half a millimeter.
“It can affect the skin if a person washes very intensively. Also, due to soap, the acid-base balance can change. When the epidermal barrier is weakened, the skin becomes drier and subsequently eczema can develop, ”says Cecilia Svedman, chief physician of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Dermatology at Skåne University Hospital.
If a person washes too much and damages the skin barrier, it becomes easier for foreign microorganisms to penetrate through it. And this, in turn, can cause the disease. Chris Anderson, Professor Emeritus of Dermatology at Linkoping University, talks about this.
“Too frequent and prolonged washing with hot water and soap, together with environmental factors such as dry air in winter, causes the barrier to break easily. It becomes easier for accidental microorganisms to penetrate the inner layers of the skin and provoke a focus of infection, ”says Chris Anderson.
2. Skin microflora
Also, there is microflora on the skin, which we acquire pretty soon after birth. All people have it, and almost does not change throughout life. But sometimes bacteria that are not very good for the skin settle on us, and then, for example, skin diseases can develop.
“But if you are healthy and live in constant habitual conditions, then, most likely, your microflora is stable - and it should be so. We must have bacteria on our skin, there’s nothing strange about that. ”
Even if you shower every day, the microflora of the skin still remains with you.
“Many people shower several times a day, such as in the morning and after exercise. But it is absolutely known that in order to save from infections, this is not at all necessary. So often we shower more for our own pleasure, ”says Cecilia Swedman.
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Chris Anderson says that the microflora of the skin lives in symbiosis with the rest of the body, which has learned to cope with bacteria and even benefit from them.
So the microflora of the skin for our body is something completely normal and familiar. However, not so “friendly” microorganisms can get on the skin. Therefore, it is so important to wash your hands, for example, during periods of flu. If you use a hand sanitizer, most of these viruses and bacteria are killed immediately. There are also more powerful products that also leave a kind of film on the skin. These are used, for example, by doctors before surgery.
According to Chris Anderson, it is better not to use such drugs outside of medicine.
“If we start using these disinfectants on a massive scale, it could cause some of these bacteria to develop resistance to them,” he says.
Some people have more dry skin than others. But if your hands become dry and cracked, it could be a sign that you wash your hands too much and too often, ”says Chris Andersson.
“Or that you are using too few restorative and emollients. Then it's time to start using a softer soap or wash-off cream - a washable, cream-like product that doesn't foam. ”
The same principle holds true for the body.
"If you wash with too hot water, shower for very long periods of time, and use frequently foaming soaps, this can cause dryness, which then turns into eczema."
A helpful tip is to try not to let the shampoo drip all over your body when you wash your hair. The shampoo washes well oily hair, but the lather can be too aggressive for sensitive skin.
Besides, Sweden has such a climate that our air is often very dry. Dry skin is also not good for this.
"If you want to take a shower every day (and many do), you'd better live in Sicily or somewhere else where winters are not so dry."
The dry climate is not particularly conducive to the restoration of skin moisture levels, and many notice this during the winter months.
If you have dry skin and are at risk of developing eczema, you can answer the following questions:
- Do I take a shower every day?
- If so, do I usually shower for a minute or rather 20 minutes?
- Do I use a foaming soap?
“If you take a shower every day, then one minute is normal, but 20 is not. It is better to change the lathering soap for shower oil. "
The body is most receptive to moisturizers right after a shower, says Cecilia Swedman.
“We recommend that you shower less frequently for those with atopic dermatitis or dry skin problems. Well, if you don't have any problems, then, of course, you can take a shower as much as you want. We wash ourselves in order to be clean. However, it is also important to remember that when we take a long hot shower, we may be using more water than necessary. "
On the subject: How not to wash and why it is better not to use a deodorant in the morning: dermatologist's advice
Facts. From wells to bathrooms
In Greek palaces, sewers and bathrooms have been around since antiquity. In Sweden, water pipelines began to be built not earlier than the 1860s - in Stockholm. Before that, water was taken from city wells.
The bathroom was not a standard for Stockholm apartment buildings until the 1930s. But even after that, it took a long time for everyone to have their own bathrooms and toilets. The last dry outdoor toilet disappeared from Stockholm only in the 1970s.
The material is published for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and does not replace medical advice. ForumDaily Woman is not responsible for any diagnosis made by the reader based on the site's materials, as well as for the consequences of self-medication, and may not share the point of view of the author or expert.