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How Does Good Hygiene Impact Overall Health?

How Does Good Hygiene Impact Overall Health?

What is personal hygiene and why is it important? Personal hygiene is something that we assume to be instinctive. However, according to some reports, hygiene was conceptualized by a man named Ignaz Semmelweis. He is an Austrian-Hungarian physician who discovered the concept in 1858 when infections were being controlled.

Although personal hygiene practices today have most likely changed from when it was first conceptualized, the goal remains the same. But if you are still confused as to what personal hygiene is and why is it important, learn about the basics here.

What is Personal Hygiene and Why is it Important?

Personal hygiene is the principle of keeping the external body clean and properly groomed. Personal hygiene involves a few tasks, but the main goal is to keep you clean and minimize risk for contracting an illness.

Your typical personal hygiene practices that you should do daily are the following:

  1. Wash your hands often.
  2. Bathe regularly.
  3. Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
  4. Floss your teeth after brushing your teeth.
  5. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  6. Keep your nails clean.
  7. Wear fresh, clean clothes.
  8. Use deodorant to prevent body odor.

There are many more examples of good hygiene practices.

Personal Hygiene for Health and Wellbeing

If you want to look decent, smell great, and feel fresh, then yes, personal hygiene is important. As a matter of fact, personal hygiene is so important that it can affect the personal, psychological, and social state of a person.

Some people are conscious about their personal hygiene because of one or more of the following reasons:

  • They have been bullied at school for matters that could have been solved by personal hygiene. A few examples are body odor, head lice, and tooth plaque.
  • They are well aware of the possible illnesses that a person can get from poor personal hygiene.
  • They know looking and smelling clean is a great way to attract a mate.

Practicing good hygiene influences a person’s body image. If someone has poor hygiene, they most likely will develop low self-esteem due to bullying. Being well-kempt and neat also helps you with psychological issues. If you have not noticed, looking clean and presentable is vital to every little success in life. Whether it is in relationships or at work, hygiene is a crucial element that plays a big part in forming relationships.

7 Types of Hygiene

Other than the basics of personal hygiene like taking a bath and brushing your teeth, there are actually seven types of personal hygiene.

Shower Hygiene

Your lifestyle highly influences this hygiene. If you have a lot of free time, you can shower as much as you like and you can even take bubble baths. But if you think you are too busy, keep in mind that it is good to get a rinse at least once in a day.

When it comes to hair and scalp care, you can use any shampoo you like. You may also have your hair washed at least twice a week.

Teeth Hygiene

This is a very important part of good hygiene that should be taken seriously. To minimize the chances of developing cavities or gum disease, make sure to brush your teeth at least twice in one day. Also, it is advisable to brush your teeth for at least two minutes. Consider using dental floss to remove food from the small crevices of the teeth. After that, gargle with a mouthwash.

Hands Hygiene

The hands are most exposed to germs and viruses. If you touch items that are contaminated and put your hands to your face, mouth, nose, or ears, the germs and viruses will enter your body and may cause sickness.

As for hand hygiene, remember to wash your hands during these instances:

  • Before and after you handle food
  • Before and after eating
  • After you take out the garbage
  • When you pet an animal
  • When you sneeze
  • Before touching your face

Other than that, you may also want to wash your hands before and after cleaning a wound, changing a baby’s diaper, or after you use the comfort room.

Ear Hygiene

The ear canal can be home to earwax. This can be cleaned by using cotton sticks, but be very careful when doing it. Learn how to properly and safely clean your ears.

Sickness Hygiene

This is the hygiene to follow if you are sick. This will prevent you from spreading germs and viruses. Simply make sure that:

  • You cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze.
  • You do not share utensils or items of any kind to other people.
  • You throw away any used tissue you use.

Nail Hygiene

The nails come in contact with everything we touch, so it is just right that we take good care of them. To do this, make sure they are always clean and short. When bathing, do not forget to brush the undersides of your nails to remove germs and dirt buildup.

Toilet Hygiene

Always wash your hands whenever you use the restroom. Whether it is the comfort room at home or in a public bathroom, make sure that your hands are free from germs and bacteria.

What Happens If You Do Not Practice Personal Hygiene?

There are a lot of risks associated with poor hygiene. You may contract colds, flu, infection, and food poisoning and other diseases caused by poor personal hygiene.

Poor hygiene may not only lead to sickness and disease, but it can also greatly affect one’s overall wellbeing, from social interactions, relationships, and self-esteem.

Fortunately, you can easily make adjustments and immediately adopt good hygiene practices to vastly improve your health and quality of life.

When it comes to educating children about good hygiene, parents must take the time to teach and supervise their children to ensure that they learn proper hygiene. It can never be too early to teach your kids. Of course, adults must also become good role models for their kids.

what is personal hygiene and why is it important

Key Takeaways

What is personal hygiene and why is it important? In gist, personal hygiene is about taking care of your physical health and wellbeing through good cleaning habits. Personal hygiene is very important because it affects the way we approach people in our daily lives and build relationships. It also contributes to healthy and positive self-esteem. Most importantly, good hygiene helps to ensure good health.

Learn more about Healthy Habits here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Tracey Romero Updated Jul 06
Medically reviewed by Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, M.D.