How of­ten should YOU SHOWER?

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Lisa An­tao lisa. an­tao@ dnain­dia. net

We’re all fa­mil­iar with the adage, clean­li­ness is next to God­li­ness. And we’ve al­ways poked am­ple fun at that rel­a­tive or a friend who’s not a fan of tak­ing a daily shower. Also, we’re im­pressed by those who shower twice or even thrice a day. But what’s the ideal num­ber of times are we sup­posed to shower daily or shower daily af­ter all?

Some ex­perts say that most of us shower more than needed. Dr Elaine Lar­son, an in­fec­tious dis­ease ex­pert at Columbia Uni­ver­sity School of Nursing, US, says, “I think show­er­ing is mostly for aes­thetic rea­sons. Peo­ple think they’re show­er­ing for hy­giene or to be cleaner, but bac­te­ri­o­log­i­cally, that’s not the case.” She added that though wash­ing is re­quired to get rid of odours of per­spi­ra­tion or af­ter work­ing out, it doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily pro­vide pro­tec­tion from ill­ness. She ad­vises wash­ing hands should be enough un­less one rolls around in the mud reg­u­larly.

There’s ev­i­dence which sug­gests that reg­u­lar bathing it in fact dries up the skin, open­ing gaps for germs to enter your pores. Dr C Bran­don Mitchell, as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor of Der­ma­tol­ogy at Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­sity, US, says, “Your body is nat­u­rally a well- oiled ma­chine. A daily shower isn’t nec­es­sary.” He found in stud­ies that bathing too fre­quently strips away nat­u­ral oils and dis­rupts the skin’s process of fight­ing bac­te­ria. show­er­ing is not nec­es­sary but gives a valid point for dis­agree­ing with them say­ing, “It speaks noth­ing of the sur­round­ing fac­tors around us which are very dif­fer­ent in a hot hu­mid place like Mumbai. So, I do not agree that talk­ing shower daily is un­nec­es­sary, for cos­metic rea­sons, hy­gience, ac­tiv­ity as well as med­i­cal rea­sons. For the hu­mid parts of In­dia, twice a day dur­ing sum­mer would be good for most of us and once is a must.” She says that peo­ple who are out­doors, work­ing in sales or are sportsper­sons, can shower twice a day. How­ever, re­frain from us­ing too much soap and if need be just use soap on your body folds and wash the re­main­ing body with just plain wa­ter.

Does she agree that the body is a well- oiled ma­chine and so fre­quent wash­ing is un­nec­es­sary? “Well I do agree that body se­cretes nat­u­ral oils. I also agree that fre­quent wash­ing will strip away the nat­u­ral oils. But it has to be con­sid­ered that th­ese body oils do at­tract dust, grime, bac­te­ria, fun­gus, etc. So we can’t just de­pend on the nat­u­ral oils of the skin. Once we wash the skin, it needs to be mois­turised again so that blocked pores are cleansed and we can get rid of the im­pu­ri­ties, pol­lu­tion and dust as well. I would have agreed to the said the­ory, if we were liv­ing in a per­fect world with no dust, pol­lu­tion, etc., around us. But un­for­tu­nately, that is not the case. And on top of that the smok­ing, stress, hor­mones, etc. add to the skin in­sult,” she ex­plains. re­duces stress,” ad­vises Dr Bha­tia and cau­tions about go­ing overboard adding, “Bathing twice a day is hy­gienic but over bathing can lead to loss of skin’s es­sen­tial oils end­ing up giv­ing you dry, cracked skin. It can cause se­ri­ous skin is­sues and skin in­fec­tions.” Agrees Dr Goel that show­er­ing af­ter ex­er­cis­ing is es­sen­tial, “I def­i­nitely feel those who gym reg­u­larly must bathe twice a day. The skin is a dy­namic or­gan and is mul­ti­ply­ing and shed­ding con­stantly. If you shower twice a day, your skin will not fall off.” While bathing fre­quently strips the skin of its nat­u­ral oils how­ever, wa­ter is not the cul­prit here. Dr Goel ex­plains, “The pH level of wa­ter is neu­tral. The prob­lem is when one uses abra­sives like a scrub which ex­fo­li­ates the skin and strips it off its nat­u­ral oils. The cul­prit are most soaps and shower gels, which add to the pH lev­els of the skin. Liq­uid shower gels have lower pH lev­els than most soaps, so the for­mer is bet­ter. But don’t use a shower gel ev­ery time you bath­eas it dis­rupts the pH skin bar­rier mak­ing the skin sen­si­tive and prone to in­fec­tions.”

She points out other mis­takes that many peo­ple com­mit. The tem­per­a­ture of wa­ter is im­por­tant. Don’t shower for long hours in hot wa­ter. Take small show­ers with luke­warm wa­ter. An­other thing that peo­ple do is rub and dry them­selves ag­gres­sively us­ing a towel. Gen­tly, dab your­self with the towel. Also, it is im­po­rant to mois­turise the skin im­me­di­ately af­ter a shower. If one is in a hurry and doesn’t have have the time to mois­turise the skin af­ter dry­ing them­self, then us­ing an in­shower con­di­tioner. Be­gin by hold­ing a dumb­bell in each hand, by your sides, with straight arms and have a slight bend in your knees. Now lower the dumb­bells to­wards the floor. En­sure to keep your back straight. Your chest should be par­al­lel with the floor. Now straighten your torso so you have a straight body align­ment. Do three sets, con­sist­ing of 12 reps each set. Rest for 30 sec­onds to a minute in be­tween sets.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.