What is personal hygiene ? This means washing your hands, e
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Dr. Atul Chowdhury
What is personal hygiene ?

This means washing your hands, especially, but also your body. Good habits can help control body odour and bad breath. One of the most effective ways we have to protect ourselves and others from illness is good personal hygiene.

Hygiene refers to conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases.

Good personal hygiene is the first step to good health. It not only protects you from poor health, but also shields those around you from suffering illnesses that arise from poor personal habits.

Habits such as washing your hands, bathing, brushing, flossing, may all look monotonous and boring, but they all come under important personal hygiene. They make you feel good about yourself and keep you free of bacteria, viruses, and illnesses. In this post we give you 20 tips for personal hygiene that you must follow routinely.

Personal hygiene is the first step to good grooming and good health. Elementary cleanliness is common knowledge. Neglect causes problems that you may not even be aware of. Many people with bad breath are blissfully unaware of it. Some problems may not be your fault at all, but improving standards of hygiene will control these conditions. Dandruff is a case in point. More often than you know, good looks are the result of careful and continuous grooming.
Every external part of the body demands a basic amount of attention on a regular basis. Here are some grooming routines and some complaints associated with neglect.

Taking Care Yourself

1.Hand washing

Most infections, especially colds and gastroenteritis, are caught when we put our unwashed hands, which have germs on them, to our mouth. Some infections are caught when other people’s dirty hands touch the food we eat. Hands and wrists should be washed with clean soap and water, using a brush if your fingernails are dirty. Dry your hands with something clean, such as paper towels or hot air dryers. You should always wash your hands:
• After using the toilet
• Before making or eating food
• After handling dogs or other animals
• If you have been around someone who is coughing or has a cold.

2.Shower daily

This is the best way to get rid of any dirt, sweat, and/or germs that your body may have accumulated throughout the day, and prevents hygiene-related diseases. As a plus, showering daily helps you feel, look, and smell your best throughout the day.

Use a loofah, sponge, or hand towel to gently scrub your entire body, removing dead skin cells and dirt. Remember to replace these items regularly as they can easily harbor bacteria.

If you don't want to wash your hair every day, then invest in a shower cap and wash your body with soap and water.

If you don't have time to shower, then use a hand towel to rinse your face and underarms at the end of the day.

3.Hair

Shampooing your hair and massaging your scalp will wash away dirt, oil buildup and dead skin cells, explains CYWHS. You may need to shampoo more or less often depending on your hair type. Conditioning your hair after shampooing can make it easier to comb out.

4.Choose a daily face cleanser.

Remember that the skin on your face is more sensitive than on other parts of your body. You can either use your face cleanser in the shower or wash your face separately at the sink

• Take your skin type into account when choosing a face cleaner. If you have very dry skin, avoid products that has high alcohol content, as this will further dry out your skin. If you have very sensitive skin, opt for hypo-allergenic products that contain less harsh chemicals.

• If you wear a lot of makeup, find a cleanser that also specializes in removing makeup. Otherwise, buy a separate makeup remover and remove all makeup before washing your face at the end of the day.

5.Brush your teeth every morning and evening.

Regular tooth-brushing helps prevent gum disease, which has been linked to other illnesses elsewhere in the body like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.[2] It is especially important to brush teeth after eating sweets or acidic foods that cause tooth erosion.

• To keep your gums extra strong, carry around a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste and brush your teeth in between meals.

• Floss your teeth every night to prevent the gum disease gingivitis.

6.Wear deodorant.

Antiperspirant helps control excessive sweat, while deodorant covers up unpleasant body odor caused by sweat. Consider using a natural, aluminum-free deodorant to reduce potential health risks associated with conventional deodorants.

• If you choose not to wear deodorant on a daily basis, then consider wearing it on the days when you plan on sweating excessively, or for special occasions. Apply deodorant before playing sports, going to the gym, or attending a formal occasion.

• If you don't wear deodorant, then rinse your underarms with soap and water throughout the day to remove unpleasant odor.

7.Wash your clothes after wearing them.

In general, shirts should be washed after every use, while pants and shorts can be worn a few times before they require washing. Use your best judgment to determine how often to wash your clothes.

• Remove any stains from your clothing before wearing them.

• Iron out wrinkles, and use a lint-remover to remove unwanted lint and hair from clothing.

8.Hands and Feet

Washing your hands throughout the day with soap and water can help ward off the spread of bacteria and viruses. Always cleanse your hands before preparing food and eating meals and after using the bathroom, coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

Washing your feet at least once day is also important to good personal hygiene. Dry your feet thoroughly, especially in the bacteria-prone area between your toes.

9.Grooming

Good grooming practices are vital to personal hygiene. It's easy for socks and underclothes to collect dead skin cells and sweat because they sit up against your skin, according to CYWHS. Change your underwear and put on a fresh pair of socks every day. Putting on clean clothes can make you look and feel good about yourself.

10.Sleep

Poor sleep hygiene is a widespread problem in the United States, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Establishing a set bedtime and awakening time may help improve sleep hygiene. Resisting the urge to take naps or keeping them brief and avoiding alcohol and caffeine for a minimum of four hours before going to be bed may promote higher quality sleep.

11.Travelling hygiene

When travelling overseas, take special care if you’re not sure whether the water is safe. Suggestions include:
• Drink only bottled water.
• Don’t use tap water to clean your teeth.
• When you wash your hands, make sure they are totally dry before you touch any food.
• Don’t wash fruit or vegetables in unsafe water.
• If you have no other water source, make sure the water is boiled before you drink it by holding it at a rolling boil for one minute.
• Make sure any dishes, cups or other utensils are totally dry after they are washed.
Dr Atul Chowdhury
Rapid Action Force
General Medicine
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