Would you shower or bathe every day

Shower: Not too often and not too hot

From a hygienic point of view, you don't have to shower every day or use the shower bath every time. Frequent washing can even be harmful to health. But how do you take a shower properly?

© dpa

From a hygienic point of view, you only need to shower two to three times a week.

One swears by drinking coffee, the other by showering and quite a few by both: These are rituals to really wake up in the morning after getting up and to awaken your spirits.
Many people often start the new day by letting plenty of water patter on their bodies and making extensive use of soap or shower gel. But it doesn't have to be daily for personal hygiene. "It is enough to shower two to three times a week during normal activity," explains Prof. Cord Sunderkötter from the Clinic and Polyclinic for Skin Diseases at the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster.

Bathing and showering damage the skin flora

Whether you are bathing or showering, the water rinses bacteria from your skin every time. These tiny creatures cavort in abundance on the surface of the body. "There are over 10,000 types of bacteria on the skin," says the Munich dermatologist Christoph Liebich. Bacteria are part of the natural skin flora - and are extremely useful: They ward off pathogens.
So if you let too much detergent on your body, you may be contributing to the acid film being neutralized too much - with the result that the bacterial balance of the skin is disturbed. Healthy skin can quickly compensate for this. "If the skin is rather dry, however, too frequent showering can lead to eczema," explains Liebich. And showering that is too hot also affects the skin: The hot water damages the protective water-fat film of the skin. The water temperature should therefore be between 32 and 38 degrees.

Infections by germs possible

However, bacteria or germs on the skin, the largest organ in the human body, can also quickly become pests. This is the case when the skin is injured or the immune system is attacked, bacteria, germs and fungi then penetrate deeper layers of the skin. The result is infections.
Sunderkötter therefore advises: "For good body hygiene and supple skin, it is sufficient to clean the areas with the highest density of sweat glands and bacteria with warm water every day." In addition to the armpits, these parts of the body include hands, feet and the genital area. You don't even have to use soap, says Sunderkötter, who is also chairman of the working group for dermatological infectious diseases in the German Dermatological Society (DDG).

Take a shower after exercising

If you work hard physically or play sports and sweat a lot, you should take a shower afterwards, but you don't have to lather up every time. "From a hygienic point of view, it is perfectly fine to purposefully only clean the sweaty areas of the body with water," emphasizes Liebich. He is a member of the Professional Association of German Dermatologists (BVDD).
Anyone who has dry skin but does not want to do without the morning shower should at least occasionally omit soap or shower gel so that the oil content of the skin does not get unnecessarily out of balance.

Soap or shower gel: which is better?

By the way, you shouldn't overdo it with body peeling. It basically makes sense, says Liebich. Especially with flaky skin. She then advises you to do one exfoliation a week, which gently removes excess skin. In addition, the peeling stimulates blood circulation - this ensures healthy-looking skin.
What is better for hygiene - soap or shower gel? “It's often a question of taste,” says Liebich. However, there is a risk that soap or shower gel can trigger allergies due to chemical additives. To rule this out, a mild shower oil without fragrances can be used. "It is also not recommended and also makes no sense to use special antiseptic soaps," adds Sunderkötter.

Apply cream to dry skin after showering

Care after showering is also important; we're talking about applying lotion. "This is often advisable, especially for dry skin," explains Monika Ferdinand from the Federal Association of German Cosmeticians. Because by washing off and then rubbing dry with a towel, moisture is removed from the skin. A body lotion can help make up for this.
However, there is one exception to the recommended frequency of washing: You should wash your hands as often as possible, emphasizes Sunderkötter. According to him, many pathogens get into the body through the hands. If you want to protect yourself from this, you should wash your hands especially after using the toilet and before eating.

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Source: dpa

| Updated: Monday November 4, 2019 10:07 am

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