Health & Fitness

This Is A List Of 15 Bad Hygiene Habits That Are More Harmful Than You Imagined

Flossing Or Brushing Your Teeth Irregularly

When you abandon your toothbrush and dental floss, you’ll experience swelling, bleeding gums, bad breath, and cavities, says Natasha Lee, DDS, president of the California Dental Association. Cavities that go untreated will cause root canals to be necessary, while debris in your mouth may cause gum disease, an unavoidable condition that eventually results in tooth loss.

In fact, gum disease is associated with other health problems such as heart disease and diabetes, according to a growing body of research.

Rarely Taking A Shower Or Bath

Keeping your body clean is more important than just keeping it odor-free, says Janine Frances, CME, LMT, a skin care expert. Soap and water aren’t just gross: They can prevent rashes, acne, and serious infections. According to Frances, bacteria on your skin can cause itching, irritation, and inflammation when they have a lot of dead skin cells to feed on. Not showering regularly can worsen skin conditions such as eczema.”

It is possible to develop dermatitis neglecta if you do not shower at all, says Frances. The skin will show thick patches of brown plaque, which can lead to secondary infections. Fortunately, dermatitis neglecta can usually be treated with regular washing. In severe cases, topical medication might be needed to dissolve the plaque.

Wearing Makeup To Bed

You might be tempted to sleep without washing off your makeup at the end of a long day, but makeup artists and skin care professionals will tell you this is the worst hygiene mistake you can make. It is possible to get blackheads and pimples if you don’t wash your face every day, says Frances, and it can also lead to uneven skin color due to an overgrowth of skin cells.

Not only that, but neglecting to wash off your mascara, eyeliner, and other eye makeup can cause serious eye damage. Infections caused by makeup can eventually lead to blindness if left untreated. Despite being able to migrate under your eyelids, bacteria can cause styes, inflamed lashes, and severe skin infections.

Washing Your Bedding Infrequently

It’s easy to avoid laundry like the plague, but if you actually do, you’re setting yourself up for trouble. Bed sheets that haven’t been washed in a while (or longer) become a breeding ground for bacteria, fungus, dust mites, and more-and this problem gets worse exponentially as bacteria multiply quickly, says Frances. The worst-case scenario is that unwashed bed sheets—as well as pajamas and clothing—will result in staph infections. Staph infections can escalate to more serious conditions like septicemia or toxic shock syndrome if they reach the bloodstream.

Contact Lenses Left In For Days

In his experience as an ophthalmologist and eye surgeon, Alan Mendelsohn, MD, overwearing contact lenses that are never cleaned properly or at all is among the most poor hygiene habits. Infections of the eyes, including corneal ulcers, are exponentially increased if you wear a contact lens for more than a week, according to Dr. Mendelsohn, who compares wearing dirty underwear to wearing a contact lens every day.

It’s not uncommon for people to cringe when they hear the word corneal ulcer. A corneal ulcer is a sore that causes pain, redness, discharge, and blurry vision on the cornea. A corneal ulcer can usually be treated with eye drops that are antibacterial, antifungal or antiviral, but sometimes it is necessary to have the cornea transplanted.

Underwear Or Bras That Are Not Regularly Washed

The untreated urinary tract infection can cause kidney failure, potentially resulting in death, while the untreated yeast infection can lead to infertility and internal scarring.

It is also common for people not to wash their bras after every wear. Just like unwashed clothing, dirty bras trap oils and bacteria, which can lead to acne, rashes, and other skin problems.

Also Read: World Mental Health Day 2022: Mental Health Disorders Are More Common Among Women In The 21st Century.

Brush, Razor, And Hairbrush Sharing

It’s okay to be selfish from time to time, and personal grooming products are a great example of a situation in which sharing doesn’t necessarily mean caring. Poor oral hygiene habits, for instance, are bad enough. You certainly don’t want the bacteria from someone else’s mouth to infect yours. According to the American Dental Association, using someone else’s toothbrush can result in the spread of infections. Oral infections can lead to gum disease, heart disease, and diabetes, all of which can be fatal.

A shared razor is no better, as it does not only spread skin infections, but also hepatitis and HIV viruses. It can also lead to lice and rashes on the skin.

Using Towels Again

When you use a towel more than a few times—or if you use it once at the gym—you should wash it immediately. However, towels that have been used more than a few times—or that have been used once at the gym—should be laundered immediately. Moreover, they shouldn’t be shared, as they can harbor bacteria and body secretions easily.

Infections, such as staph, can be fatal if you share sweaty towels. Need more reasons to avoid sharing towels? What about warts and scabies—or more serious conditions like meningitis, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia? Although chlamydia is highly curable, it can cause pelvic inflammation and even infertility if left untreated.

Taking Public Showers Barefoot

Flip-flops and water shoes are made for a reason: Shower floors can harbor bacteria, fungi and mold when sweat, hair and urine accumulate. To name a few notoriously difficult-to-treat conditions, walking barefoot can lead to ringworm, athlete’s foot, and nail fungus.

Athlete’s foot may cause secondary infections that can lead to fevers and other complications of the lymphatic system. Unlike ringworm, which is a fungal infection of the skin, athlete’s foot can be far more persistent. You will lose your nails on a regular basis if you have a toenail fungus infection, and it is hard to treat: Even oral antifungals can’t reliably treat the condition, which eventually results in permanent nail and nail bed deformities. Fungus-infected nails need to be permanently removed in extreme cases.

Using A Water Bottle Without Washing It

Refilling your disposable plastic water bottles too often or refilling your reusable water bottles without washing them thoroughly could be just as unhygienic as licking your dog’s toys if you don’t wash them thoroughly. Water bottles with squeeze-tops and screw-tops were found to contain large amounts of bacteria—including the food-poisoning bug E. coli. It is possible that dirty plastic bottles can lead to PCOS, endometriosis, breast cancer over time due to chemicals leaching out.

Leaving Your Produce Unwashed

When you buy apples from the fruit stand, how important is it to rinse them? The bacteria on unwashed fruits and vegetables can cause you to get food poisoning, and pesticides on some of these foods can cause serious health problems. In mild cases, pesticides can cause diarrhea and insomnia; in severe cases, pesticides can lead to increased heart rates, respiratory illnesses, reflex loss, unconsciousness, and even death. It goes without saying that a good scrub is well worth it.

Taking Care Of Eyelash Extensions Improperly

Eyelash extensions are the most common makeup-related reason that a patient visits Dr. Mendelsohn’s office, according to him. “Glues are toxic to different degrees when they get into the eyes.” He confirms that glue in the eye can cause mild to moderate vision impairment, but in the worst-case scenario, glue can become embedded in the cornea and cause “keratitis, or inflammation of the cornea, which is acutely painful and does not usually resolve on its own.”

Tampons Left In Too Long

When you don’t change your tampon regularly, toxic shock syndrome, an infection that can be life-threatening, is the most common consequence. The symptoms start with fever, vomiting, diarrhea and headaches. If left untreated, it can eventually lead to kidney failure or death. Luckily, it’s very rare. If you forget to remove a tampon completely, surgical removal will be required.

Leaving Your Hair Unwashed

In the opinion of some hair experts, frequent washing and shampooing can damage the hair. What’s even worse is not washing your hair at all—even with water. First, your scalp will smell bad. Eventually, bacteria will start to gather and clog your hair follicles, which could lead to an infection. Oil build-up can cause skin infections, dandruff, and yeast to grow. If you don’t wash your hair at all, your hair may eventually stop growing.

Overusing Your Kitchen Sponge

The sponge is a notorious germ magnet. You might not realize how long you’ve been reusing it, but you might be making yourself sick with the very thing you should be protecting yourself from. A dirty sponge can spread salmonella, E. coli and Staphylococcus, among other nasty substances. To avoid food- and sponge-borne diseases, replace them frequently. The average dirty sponge may be even more toxic than your toilet.

Also Read: What Are The Signs That You Are Eating Too Much Sugar And What Can Be Done About It?

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