Why Is Personal Hygiene Important?
Personal hygiene is important because it helps to ward off pesky infections that spread through contacts and make our appearance pleasant.
Personal hygiene is important because it helps to ward off pesky infections that spread through contacts and make our appearance pleasant. By maintaining personal hygiene, you can look fresh, stay healthy, and be a welcome addition to any social gathering or place.
Illnesses that are or may be caused by inadequate hygiene are as follows:
- Bacterial, food-borne infections such as typhoid and gastroenteritis
- Respiratory infections
- Fungal infections such as tinea pedis (athlete’s foot)
- Tinea corporis (ringworm)
- Viral infections such as cold and COVID-19
- Tooth decay and dental cavities
- Worm infestation (most common is threadworm)
- Head lice
- Body lice
Here are how you should maintain good personal hygiene.
Brush your teeth daily:
Doctors recommend maintaining teeth hygiene by brushing them with fluoride-based toothpaste twice a day—after getting up in the morning (before breakfast) and before going to bed at night. This helps clear the trapped food particles in the mouth and prevents tooth decay and dental cavities. This should be followed by proper flossing.
Wash your hands:
Always wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer to rub in between your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Before and after preparing or eating food.
- After shaking hands with people, especially those who are sick.
- After coming from the washroom.
- After changing baby’s nappies or diapers.
- After cleaning vomit or other fluids of a person who is sick.
- After blowing your nose.
- After cleaning the floor (or other dirty things).
- After touching the dustbin.
- After handling pets or farm animals.
- Before and after cleaning wounds.
- Before and after inserting a tampon.
- Before washing your face (avoid touching your face frequently).
After washing your hands, dry them with a clean towel or air dry them.
Wash your genitals:
Men with uncircumcised penises should clean their penises by pulling the foreskin back and washing underneath them with water.
During periods, women should change their tampons every 3-4 hours. If they wear tampons for more than 8 hours, they may get toxic shock syndrome. Toxic shock syndrome is a rare bacterial infection that is more common in menstruating women. It may result in diarrhea, fever, dizziness, among many other signs and symptoms. Sanitary pads must also be regularly changed in 3-4 hours.
Take shower daily:
Wash your body daily with soap or body wash to get rid of the dead skin cells, dirt, germs, and body odor. Do not forget your underarms, genitals, the area in between the toes, and groins while washing your body. Always take a shower after you perform activities that cause you to sweat a lot such as after a heavy workout. If there is no tap water, you can always sponge your body with a wet cloth.
Always make use of a handkerchief to cover your mouth while sneezing or coughing. Alternatively, you can cough or sneeze into your bent forearms by turning sideways. This helps prevent the transfer of the microorganisms (virus and bacteria) into the air and can easily infect others.
Ward off body odor:
If you are prone to bad body odor due to excessive sweating, remember to apply a body deodorant into your armpits. If it does not go away, consider consulting a doctor.
Trim your nails:
Overgrown nails are places that can easily harbor dirt and germs. It is necessary to trim the nails and always maintain them short.
Following hygiene while preparing food:
Wash your hands before handling vegetables or other foodstuffs and while preparing food. This prevents germs from passing food from your hands into the food.