Is Personal Hygiene Important?
We can`t overemphasize the importance of personal hygiene because it is beneficial to physical and mental health. Good personal hygiene entails keeping all parts of the external body clean and healthy. People with poor personal hygiene breed an environment for germs to grow, thereby being vulnerable to infections. Let`s take a look at the various types of personal hygiene.
Types of Personal Hygiene
There are millions of sweat glands that cover the human body. Bacteria break down sweat and cause body odor. Proper washing of the body will prevent skin irritation and remove the bacteria that cause body odor. You`re advised to wash your hair to remove oil and keep it looking clean and fresh.
Regular hand washing is effective at avoiding the spread of communicable diseases. You are advised to wash your hands before, during, and after preparing food, before eating,
before and after looking after someone who is vomiting or suffers diarrhea, and before and after treating a cut or wound. You should also wash your hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or cleaning up a child who used the toilet.
There are some seemingly negligible acts like blowing your nose, sneezing, coughing, touching garbage or dirty surfaces and objects. Endeavor to wash your hands after doing these, or at least sanitizing them if you don`t have access to soap and water.
Fingernails harbor dirt and germs and as a result, lead to the spread of bacteria. This is why it is healthy to keep your nails short and clean to help reduce the risk of spreading infections.
How to Maintain Good Personal Hygiene
Knowing how to maintain good personal hygiene makes it easier to build a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips on maintaining good hygiene.
Maintaining Dental Hygiene
To have a healthy mouth and smile, you should brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice each day — once before breakfast and once before bed. Using the right toothpaste will particularly enhance your dental health. You may use ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste and change your toothbrush every three months and whenever you recover from an illness. Flossing daily is also pertinent to oral hygiene.
How to Maintain Body Hygiene
You are advised to bathe daily, using soap and water. Pay special attention to your armpits, between the toes, the groin area, and other areas that accumulate sweat. You should also wash your hair with shampoo at least once a week. Applying deodorant regularly will help prevent body odors.
How to Wash your Hands
Here are five simple steps for effective handwashing:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water, then turn off the tap and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap, reaching the back of your hands, under the nails, and between the fingers.
- Scrub the hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Rinse the hands properly under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands with a clean towel.
How to Keep your Nails Healthy
Use sanitized tools to trim your nails and ensure that there is no dirt underneath them. You should also scrub the underside of your nails with a nailbrush.
Menstrual and Genital Hygiene
It is healthy to change your sanitary products regularly. You should also wash your hands before and after changing pads, tampons, and other sanitary products. Note also that vaginas are self-cleaning, so it is not necessary to use soap to clean the vagina because it can cause an imbalance of its natural bacteria and lead to infections. You should also clean the vulva once a day with mild soap and water. If you have an uncircumcised penis, you should clean it by gently pulling back the foreskin and washing underneath it with warm water or soap.
Hygiene Facts you Should Know
- “Hygiene” comes from “Hygieia,” the Greek goddess of health and cleanliness.
- The human body harbors about 1,000 species of bacteria.
- There are more germs on your body than people in the United States.
- The average person comes in contact with 300 surfaces every 30 minutes, exposing them to about 840,000 germs.
- Only about 5% of people wash their hands correctly.
- There is a fecal matter on 10% of credit cards, 14% of banknotes, and 16% of cellphones.
- About 40% of people don’t wash their hands after sneezing, coughing, or after blowing their nose.
- Elevator buttons harbor 25% more bacteria than toilet seats.
- Handwashing rates are higher in the mornings than evenings.
- Poor handwashing hygiene causes about 50% of all foodborne illness outbreaks.
- About 33% of people don’t use soap when washing their hands.
- About 80% of communicable diseases are transferred by touch.
- Proper handwashing can reduce the risk of diarrhea by 40%, and respiratory infections by about 20%.
- Most bacteria on the hands are on the fingertips and under the nails.
- The number of bacteria on the fingertips doubles after using the bathroom.
- A number of people only wash the palms of their hands.
- Damp hands are 1,000 times more likely to spread bacteria than dry hands.
- Only about 20% of people dry their hands after washing them.
- Touching food with contaminated hands spreads foodborne illnesses like E. Coli, Staph, Salmonella, and diarrheal infection.
- Proper handwashing can reduce diarrhea rates by 40%.
- Diarrhea is the second most common cause of childhood death.
- Touching the face with contaminated hands spreads illnesses like the cold, pneumonia, and the flu.
- Proper handwashing reduces respiratory infections by 20%.
- Every time one flushes a toilet with the lid up, a fine mist containing bacteria such as E. Coli and Staph is spread over an area of 6 square meters.
- The area around sinks in public bathrooms is 90% covered in bacteria.
- For every 15 seconds spent washing the hands, about 10 times more bacteria is removed.
- The average person spends less than 10 seconds washing their hands.
- Re-usable cloth towels harbor millions of bacteria; disposable paper towels remain the most sanitary means of drying the hands.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can kill up to 90% of germs.
- Ash and mud can be used as a soap substitute.
- Cooking foods above 165⁰F destroys the most harmful bacteria and other pathogens.
- It is only a myth that anti-bacterial soap is better than regular soap.
- It is also a myth that hand blow dryers are more hygienic than paper towels.
- You should always wash uncooked foods like fruits or vegetables thoroughly before consuming them.
- Avoid eating raw or undercooked meats of any type.
- The four major types of germs are bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa. These germs are found in all sorts of places all over the world.
- A clean mouth has between 1,000 and 100,000 bacteria on each tooth.
- An office desk has 400 times more bacteria than the average loo.
- Did you know that whenever you wear headphones for an hour, you increase the bacteria in your ear by 700 times?
- Bacteria are only visible to the human eyes with powerful microscopes because they are the smallest among cells.
- Bacteria are regarded as the most abundant forms of life.
- Bacteria live on land, in water, in the air, and inside the bodies of other living organisms.
- Some bacteria are useful, while others could cause diseases.
- The presence of bacteria in the mouth makes a human being’s bite one of the most poisonous in the world.