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10 Common Personal Hygiene Mistakes We Make

Right from when we were kids, we have been taught the basic personal hygiene procedures like brushing daily, bathing daily among others, building them up as habits and as we grow and our need to look, feel and be healthier increase, we improve on these things and include more things we may have learnt.

Some of these habits however are often done the wrong way or should be avoided all together. Some of these things may or may not seem significant but trust that the small changes make a huge difference.

Try switching up and changing some of these habits and see how effective it boosts our help and reduces the rate at which we become ill. Some common personal hygiene mistakes we make are:

1. Cotton swabs to clean the ear

9 out of 10 people make it a frequent habit of cleaning the ear with cotton swabs/buds to be hygienic and stay clean. You know that dark brownish substance that comes off on the cotton swab after we clean our ears, which we refer to as ‘dirt’? that substance is called ear wax.

And it does a lot of good to our ears by being there. Ear wax helps prevent infections and germs, as well as prevent dirt and small insects from entering the ear canal, keeping the ear healthy and protecting vital organs in the skull. Getting rid of this ear wax therefore actually does more harm than good.

Also, pushing in the cotton swab forces the wax deep into our ear canal and may damage the ear drum. A piece of the cotton swab may also get stuck. Therefore, its best to keep the cotton swab away from the ear canal and restrict it to only the outside part of your ear. If you have excess ear wax, get it removed in the hospital by the doctor.

2. Excessive bathing and washing

Bathing is a necessity to get rid of dirt and germs from our body. But too much bathing causes more harm than good. Bathing too often or bathing for too long can rid your skin of moisture, causing it to dry up. This could lead to irritations, bacteria growth, and wrinkles.

3. Not taking good care of your toothbrush

Brushing our teeth everyday removes germs and bacteria that may cause plaque, bad breath and other oral conditions. But what happens if we do not take good care of our brushes. What is the difference if we clean our teeth with a dirty brush?

We mostly just rinse our brushes after use and put them away. Damp brushes attract more germs and bacteria. After brushing, rinse your brush, shake off the extra water to make it a bit dry and store it in a brush cup with a cover that lets air pass through.

Some dentists recommend leaving your brush our in the sun from time to time to dry it properly and maybe kill some germs. Keep your brush as far as at least 6 feet from your toilet and remember to change your brushes 2-3 times a month.

4. Not washing your hands after using the rest room

This is one hygiene habit many people ignore. Washing your hands after using the rest room is very important as it is bound to come in contact with many germs and bacteria in the bath room.

Washing it prevents these germs and bacteria from getting spread to our things and also keeps the hand clean and healthy. Wash your hands with a mild soap and rinse well with water. It is better to not use an anti-bacterial soap as this causes more harm than good.

5. Not washing your hands before using the rest room

This is one hygiene tip many people are unaware of and is a very important one. It is probably more important than washing after. Your hands come in contact with lots of things daily.

As a result, it packs so many germs and bacteria that could cause problems when they come in contact with our internal body. Our private parts are very sensitive and can attract lots of germs and bacteria if not well cared for.

If they come in contact with dirty hands, there will be transfer of these germs and bacteria and could lead to diseases and irritation. It is therefore very important to make sure your hands are clean before they come in contact with our privates.

6. Avoiding post work out showering

Exercising is a very healthy habit. Not bathing after is not. Besides making you feel fresh and making your body smell nice by removing all the sweat, post workout showering will take care of all the perspiration left on your skin that could lead to rashes and breakouts by helping bacteria growth.

Also, a nice warm bath after your workout will improve blood flow, improving skin tone and alleviating muscle soreness.

7. Not cleaning commonly used objects

Objects we come in contact with everyday carry lots of germs and these germs are passed to us in contact with them. Objects such as door knobs, car keys, phones, car steering’s wheels, our laptops, etc.

Try making a habit of cleaning these things from time to time as best as you can. Use a clean cloth dipped in antiseptic to clean the things that are safe to be cleaned such way.

8. Exfoliating your face every day

The skin on the face is a lot more tender and sensitive than that on the body. Exfoliating every day could wear and tear the skin and cause wrinkles and acne. Dermatologists advise us to exfoliate not more than two times a week as anything more could cause more harm than good.

9. Using cotton pillowcases

The fabric damages your hair, adds wrinkles to your face and dries up your skin, making you look older. Use a silk pillow case instead.

10. Using fluoride filled toothpaste

Fluoride can damage the teeth. It adds white spots on children’s teeth and could cause incorrect teeth development. It could also contribute to Alzheimer’s disease by increasing the absorption of aluminum in the brain.

These points may not seem like much, but it’s the little changes that make the difference. Try to make a change today in your routines and your body will thank you for it.

Asmau Mohammed
I am a medical student and I love discussing all things health related. I also love being a health or lifestyle coach.

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