A lot of people – myself included – start the day off with a nice shower, keeping clean and fresh for the upcoming day, and washing away any grime from the previous one.
According to a new study courtesy a team of infectious disease experts from Columbia University, those daily showers aren’t as effective as you might think.
In fact, study co-author Dr. Elaine Larson of Columbia’s School of Nursing says washing hands regularly may be even more helpful in keeping people protected from illnesses.
Going back to the showers: while they do get rid of the smelly odors that’ve piled onto your body all day, they don’t get rid of bacteria as well as we believe. Taking baths and showers frequently can make a person’s skin susceptible to health issues due to the skin becoming dry and cracked. That leaves other paths for harmful bacteria to enter the body.
The researchers pointed out this more applies to older people because their skin becomes especially less hydrated and thinner.
Too much shower exposure all removes all the natural oils from the skin, and even helpful bacteria. Using too much antibacterial cleanser when you wash piles onto the problem.
Now, this is where you may not agree with the study, but this is what they say: in terms of people’s health, taking a shower once or twice a week would be enough. Focusing on the ugly areas – you know where they are: armpits, groin, butt – are the places you should spend the most attention, but as far as the other body parts go, they don’t need that much care.
“Your body is naturally a well-oiled machine,” said Dr. C. Brandon Mitchell, a dermatology assistant professor from George Washington University.
“A daily shower isn’t necessary.”