Poor Personal Hygiene and Harms on Your Health

Practicing good personal hygiene is essential for maintaining a good health and to make you aesthetically presentable to the society. As a good and responsible citizen you are obligated to practice personal hygiene in order to prevent diseases from developing and spreading. Personal hygiene involves basic habits to keep your body clean such as taking a bath regularly, washing your hands, brushing your teeth twice a day, etc. Sometimes people with certain psychiatric disorders can be identified from their lack of personal hygiene and grooming.

Effects of Poor Personal Hygiene on Your Health

Effect of not brushing your teeth everyday

Mouth provides a portal for the entry of not only food but also germs and infectious organisms. Brushing twice a day is mandatory for maintaining good oral and overall physical health. Failing to brush your teeth can lead to numerous health problems.

  • Gingivitis is characterized by infection of the gums, leading to inflammation and bleeding. This is caused by bacteria present in the plaque that is deposited between your gums and teeth. Brushing your teeth regularly will inhibit plaque buildup and prevent gum disease. Occurrence of gum disease and cavities can also lead to tooth loss by middle age. One of the effects of poor personal hygiene is occurrence of gum disease.
  • Not brushing your teeth regularly also leads to bad breath, also called halitosis. It occurs when food particles linger for a long time in your mouth leading to buildup of bad odor producing bacteria.
  • Bad dental hygiene can also result in mouth ulcers. Helicobacter pyroli is a causative agent for ulcers, which can grow in the plaques and lead to ulcers.
  • Gum disease and other dental issues can also increase the risk of oral cancer.
  • Extremely bad dental hygiene can make you prone to developing brain abscesses, pneumonia, insulin resistance and chronic kidney disease.

Effect of not taking enough shower

Showering helps you kick start your day feeling fresh and clean. More importantly, showering also helps maintain your general health and keep diseases away.

  • Bad body odor is a major consequence. Sweat produced by your body is normally odorless. The odor in your sweat is caused by bacteria growing in it. Bad odor is therefore considered very unhealthy and taking a shower or bath to prevent it becomes mandatory.
  • Not taking a shower can also mess up your skin, leading to acne, pimples and clogged pores. Bathing regularly removes the microbes lodged in your skin. If you don’t shower regularly these microbes can enter your nose and mouth and lead to stomach infections and flu. They can also cause skin infections.
  • Not taking a shower for a long time can lead to a condition called Dermatitis neglecta in which thick brown plaques appear on your skin. This results from prolonged accumulation of dirt on the skin due to a failure to scrub, which you do while taking a bath.
  • If you have a skin condition called eczema it gets worse if you do not shower. One of the effects of poor personal hygiene is skin infections. If your hair is left unwashed it leads to accumulation of oil and sweat on the scalp leading to bacterial growth and bad odor.  

Effect of not washing your hands frequently

Washing your hands is the best strategy to prevent infections. Your hands come in contact with surfaces that harbor bacteria, toilets, sick people, etc. Washing your hands will prevent ingestion of these infectious microbes.

  • Salmonella infection can occur if you do not wash your hands after touching uncooked eggs or raw poultry. If you touch raw chicken and then touch vegetables to make salad, you will spread the salmonella from the chicken to the vegetables. The salmonella in the chicken will be killed while the chicken is being cooked. However, you will ingest salmonella when you eat the salad and you may end up having stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
  • You can also get E. coli infection when you do not wash your hands. E. coli spreads from the stools of infected persons. If you use the restroom and do not wash your hands, E.coli that is present on the toilet surfaces and counter surfaces can get into your mouth and cause stomach infections. One of the effects of poor personal hygiene is stomach infections.
  • You can also get infected with flu and cold virus if you do not wash your hands regularly. If you shake hands with an infected person and then touch your face or mouth without washing your hands you may get infected and end up with a viral fever.
  • Hepatitis A, Giardiasis and Shigellosis can occur if you do not wash your hands after using the rest room. Virus and bacteria can survive for at least 48 hrs in the environment, making you prone to infections if you do not develop the habit of washing hands regularly.

Effect of not maintaining good nail hygiene

Fungi are anaerobic organisms and they survive best in an environment that has no oxygen. Fungi tend to survive under your nails. The crevices of the nails provide a favorable environment for fungi to grow. Nails thicken and become discolored when they develop a fungal infection. Always trim your nails regularly. While washing your hands take care to wash under your nails as well.

Effect of not washing clothes and bedding

When you wear clothes, you shed your skin, sweat, oil and germs on clothes.  Clothes end up harboring a lot of microbes that can easily cause infections. It’s important that you wash your clothes and wear clean clothes. It is recommended that you wash tight fitting clothes after wearing it once. In case of lose fitting clothes you can wear them about 6 times before washing. If you wear unwashed clothes with body oil accumulated on them, then you may end up getting skin infections such as dermatitis. It is also important that you should wash your clothes even if you have just bought them from the store as they can still harbor infectious agents on them.

Your bed sheets are also breeding ground for infectious microbes. It is important that you regularly wash your bed sheets and pillow covers. While you sleep you transfer your sweat, saliva, bacteria from your body and body oils onto the sheets. If left unwashed, infectious microbes can breed on the bedding sheets and when you sleep on them they can cause infections. Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that can spread from these sheets, which can cause wound infections, urinary tract infections and pneumonia. What are the effects of poor personal hygiene? You can also develop fungal and yeast infections if you do not clean your sheets regularly.

Bedding that has not been washed regularly can be a breeding ground for dust mites, which can cause allergies, bronchitis and asthma. It is recommended that you wash your bedding at a temperature of 60 degrees and higher.