Common shower and bath mistakes

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Bathing too often

Bathing too often can flush oil and healthy bacteria from your skin, which can cause skin problems.

Showering every day can be a habit, but unless you’re filthy or sweaty, you might not need to bathe more than a few times a week. Washing removes healthy sebum and bacteria from your skin, so bathing too often can cause dry, itchy skin and allow bad bacteria to penetrate through cracked skin. When you expose your body to dirt and normal bacteria, it actually helps boost your immune system. Plus, showering too often wastes water.

Using the wrong soap

Using the wrong soap, such as antibacterial or scented soaps, can cause skin problems in some people.

Antibacterial soaps can kill too many bacteria, including the good ones. This can allow the bad bacteria resistant to antibiotics to move around. Harsh soaps can dry out your skin, so use mild soaps with added oils, mild cleansers, or shower gels with added moisturizers. If you have eczema or sensitive skin, scented soaps can irritate your skin. Instead, use scent-free soaps.

Not washing your towel often enough

Change or wash your towel at least once a week to prevent nail fungus, itching, athlete's foot, and warts.

Damp towels are a breeding ground for bacteria, yeasts, molds and viruses. A dirty towel can cause nail fungus, itching, athlete’s feet, and warts. Yikes! To avoid this, change or wash your towel at least once a week and make sure it dries between uses. Hang it on a towel bar rather than a hook to help it dry faster. Wash towels more often when you are sick and your home is humid, such as in the summer.

Don’t clean your Loofah

Clean your loofah once a week by soaking it in diluted bleach and rinsing it well.

Loofahs are great for cleaning, but their corners are the perfect hiding place for germs. You should clean your loofah weekly by soaking it in diluted bleach for five minutes and rinsing it well. While it is convenient to store your loofah in the shower, it is safer to shake it up and hang it in a cool place where it dries faster. You should replace a natural loofah at least every 3-4 weeks and a plastic one every 2 months.

Hot water jet

A hot shower removes the natural oils from your skin and can leave you feeling dry and itchy.

A long hot shower is so nice, especially in the winter, but the hot water washes away the natural oils from your skin and can leave you dry and itchy. Protect your skin by sticking it with lukewarm water and keeping your shower for 5 to 10 minutes. This is especially important if you have a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis.

Washing your hair too often

Don't wash your hair too often.  Try to go longer between washes and see how you feel.

Unless you have an oily scalp, you probably don’t need to wash your hair every day. If you have curly, coarse, or chemically treated hair, wash your hair less often to prevent it from drying out too much. Try to go longer between washes and see how you feel. Even if you exercise or sweat every day, it’s best to keep a regular schedule of washing your hair. As you get older, you don’t need to shampoo as often because your scalp produces less oil.

Do not install a grab bar

Install a grab bar in your shower to prevent slips and falls.

Tens of thousands of people in the United States fall and injure themselves each year while bathing or getting in or out of the tub or shower. A grab bar can help prevent falls. It’s also a good idea to put non-slip mats in tubs and showers.

Don’t clean your shower head

By cleaning your shower head, you can eliminate bacteria that get into the air you breathe.

Your shower head is an ideal home for bacteria, which love to thrive in its dark, damp little holes. When water is flowing, bacteria can get into the air you breathe. It’s hard to avoid, but you can remove and clean the shower head with boiling water to help kill bacteria. It also helps to run hot water for a minute before you shower and to drain as much water as possible from the shower head when you are finished bathing.

Do not moisturize right after

The best time to apply moisturizer is right after a bath or shower.

Lotion, cream, or any other moisturizer works by trapping moisture in your skin. The best time to put it on is right after a bath. Apply moisturizer a few minutes after drying.

Use soap where you shouldn’t

In the bath or shower, limit soap to armpits, groin, feet, hands and face

Not all areas of your body need soap to cleanse themselves. Limit soap to armpits, groin, feet, hands, and face, and stick to warm water for the rest of your body. This will help prevent your skin from getting too dry. Using soap on your vagina could irritate it and disrupt the balance of natural bacteria, which can lead to bacterial vaginosis.

Keep minor cuts covered

Do not cover minor cuts while showering.  Clean it daily with soap and lukewarm water.

There is no need to keep minor cuts dry or cover them for the shower. If you have a minor injury, it’s best to remove the bandage and clean it daily with soap and hot water, and the shower is a great place to do this. Put on a new bandage after drying yourself off. Your doctor will tell you how to treat more serious wounds.

Do not run the bathroom fan

Turn on the bathroom fan or ventilation every time you take a bath or shower.

The bathroom can get extremely humid during a bath or shower, and over time, the humidity in the air can damage your woodwork and drywall. It is also a welcome hotbed for the growth of mold and bacteria. Turn on the bathroom fan or ventilation whenever you bathe to help control humidity, and leave it on until the humidity decreases after showering.

Don’t clean your shower curtain

Regularly clean your shower curtain to remove soap scum and bacteria.

Shower curtains can be a sneaky place for bacteria. For most people, the soap scum that builds up is just plain disgusting, but if your immune system is compromised it could be a problem. Clean or change your shower curtain regularly to stay safe.

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