There is no better feeling like taking a morning shower and stepping out of the bathroom, feeling clean and fresh!
A person who maintains tip-top hygiene is always particular about how he looks, smells, and feels. By washing our hands frequently, and taking care of all the other hygiene principles, we get oodles of energy and positivity.
It is somehow easier to go on with the daily routine if everything about and around you is clean!
Growing up, my mother (like every other mum) used to be very strict about adopting basic hygiene habits. She never let me sleep without brushing my teeth, kept my nails trimmed, and made sure my hair stays lice free. She also taught us how to disinfect the house.
Back in those days, I had little sense to understand how beneficial these habits are going to be for me. I always followed her cleanliness advice. But it was more out of fear and guilt rather than for the sake of it, until one day, I grew up to learn about the health benefits of hygiene.
Both scientifically proven and as a matter of fact, good hygiene and wholesomeness go hand in hand. WebMD suggests washing hands frequently to get rid of potentially harmful bacteria. They state that it is the best way to protect ourselves from several types of illnesses.
Here are some health advantages to staying clean.
1. Ward off both bacterial and viral diseases
For many who were not cleanliness freaks, the Covid-19 pandemic must have been an eye-opener. Hygiene is now more important than it was ever before, and we all know how it is the first line of defense against all sorts of harmful viruses and bacteria.
Epidemics and pandemics of the past were deadlier in terms of mortality rate. Also, all the other infectious diseases (diarrhea being one of them) had a higher death rate earlier.
The reason for the reduction in the numbers now is the better accessibility of standard sanitation resources like clean water, soaps, and toilets, and hygiene awareness. A well-known fact estimated by WHO is that washing hands with soap and water could reduce the number of deaths associated with diarrhea by 50 %. For poor countries, sadly, there is still a long way to go.
Just a simple habit of washing one’s hands frequently can save so many lives, and get rid of several types of bacterial and viral diseases. When a hand washing facility is not available, you can use an alcohol-based sanitizer, which will also serve the purpose well. One more study by PubMed proves that hand washing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16%.
Some common diseases which can be prevented by adopting a good cleanliness routine are:
- Hepatitis A
- Cold, flu
2. Eliminates body odor
A lot can be perceived about you just by the way you smell. If you are causing discomfort to anyone who is within a close distance to you, then you need to improve your personal hygiene.
Regular bathing, changing into clean clothes afterward, and the use of good quality deodorant will help you smell fresh for the whole day. You can also resort to natural methods like alum to curb odor-causing bacteria.
If you are facing the body odor problem, then you must know what level of the embarrassment it causes during social interactions. Getting even a bit near to someone causes anxiety.
According to Mayo Clinic, if you regularly take a bath, the number of bacteria on your skin will keep in check. As a result, odor-causing bacteria will not be able to linger on.
3. Lesser susceptibility to pubic area infections
Intimate hygiene keeps infections down there at bay. Washing your pubic area regularly, drying it up afterward, and using clean undergarments daily, will save you from some annoying itches and irritations.
As per the Tommy John survey, keeping your underwear for more than a year can lead to UTIs, yeast, bacterial, and skin infections. Wearing clean boxer briefs or any other type of moisture-wicking undergarments will reduce the risk of these nasty infections in the groins.
4. Keeps skin diseases at bay
Skin health and hygiene go hand in hand. Failing to do so may give you issues as little as zits popping out from improper facial hygiene, to skin diseases such as scabies, pubic, head or body lice.
A study published in the Research gate was conducted among primary school children in India. It found a significant association between hygiene and skin diseases. Children, therefore, should be taught basic hygiene principles from the beginning to strengthen their habits. It will eventually help them stay away from several types of skin diseases, even in adulthood.
Habitual cleanliness also prevents other diseases like the Athlete’s foot and the Hot tub Rash.
5. Oral hygiene; A million-dollar smile, and prevention of several oral diseases
Oral hygiene is highly important. Not only it gives you a confident smile, but it will also ward off all sorts of diseases in the oral cavity. If you are not yet aware, oral diseases are a leading cause of school and work hour loss due to the discomfort they cause.
Dental caries, more commonly known as cavities, are one such condition caused by poor oral hygiene. A person who flosses and properly brushes their teeth will less likely fall victim to cavities.
6. Keeping your surroundings clean keeps you and your family free from various illnesses
To help keep the health of all your family in check, you should keep your surroundings clean and disinfected. A clean home will never be a breeding ground for germs. Hence the chances of anyone falling sick are minimum.
Cleaning the toilet, getting rid of rubbish, washing clothes and bedding frequently, and storing food properly are a few habits that will lessen the transmission of any disease in your household.
In the current scenario, the spread of the coronavirus can be curbed if you properly disinfect all the surfaces with a bleach solution or a disinfectant.
7. Psychological benefits of good hygiene
Maintaining good hygiene has profound benefits on your mental health. When you stay clean, you will naturally feel positive and safe. It will also help you stay socially confident. Hygiene practices, thus, play an imperative role in building self-esteem and improve our self-perception.
Mental health is of utmost importance besides general health. Several mental conditions, like depression and anxiety, cause a person to neglect his personal hygiene as well.
Alongside therapies and other forms of treatment, the patient must be encouraged to stay clean to catalyze the healing process. The relaxation and confidence as a result of personal hygiene will help them feel better about themselves.
Lailah Gifty Akita, author of Think Great: Be Great, said, “good hygiene enhances sound well-being”
One can’t disagree with the above quote. The benefits of following good hygiene are evident from the points mentioned above. It’s high time that we realize how maintaining a hygiene routine will protect us and how poor hygiene puts us in the high-risk group.
Let us pledge to change our habits if they don’t comply with the required hygiene standards and make us and our loved ones safe and healthy.