Hand Washing | Image: GettyImages
Against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, we cannot understate the need for proper personal hygiene. A pandemic need not remind us to take care of our own body.
Every day, you come into contact with millions of outside germs and viruses. They can stay on your body, and in some cases, make you sick. Personal hygiene practices can help you and the people around you prevent illnesses. A good personal hygiene routine gives you and those around you a better chance of staying healthy.
Taking care of your body is essentially taking care of “you”. A healthy body makes you feel good about yourself, which is an integral part of your mental health and your overall health. Poor hygiene habits can also affect your self-esteem. Looking and feeling presentable can give you a confidence boost and a sense of pride in your appearance.
To maintain good health here is some basic personal hygiene you should;
Bathing is important as it prevents dead skin cells on the skin. When you don’t bathe properly, it causes hyperpigmentation. Bathing is essential as it helps wash away bacteria, oil and dirt from your body. Remember to wash the back of your ears, your feet, your armpits, your privates to prevent unpleasant lasting odour.
Woman brushing her teeth | Image: iStock
Nobody is comfortable with bad breath, not the person whose mouth it comes from nor those whose nose has to bear it. This is why it is important to keep your mouth free from germs and other oral diseases. Medical practitioners advise that you brush your teeth two times a day; once in the morning when you wake up and once at night before you go to bed. You should also brush after your meal to prevent food particles from sticking in your gums and teeth.
“Wash your hands regularly” is probably one of the most repeated instructions as the world battles the pandemic. The World Health Organization recommends washing hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, before and after caring for any sick person; before, during, and after preparing food; before eating; after using the toilet; after blowing one’s nose or coughing or sneezing; after touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste; after touching garbage.
Hand washing has many health benefits, including minimizing the spread of influenza, coronavirus, and other infectious diseases; preventing infectious causes of diarrhoea; decreasing respiratory infections; and reducing infant mortality rate at home birth deliveries.
Handwashing with soap is the single most effective and inexpensive way to prevent diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections.
Good toilet hygiene reduces the risk of illness, germs and bacteria. Wash your hands with soap properly when you use the toilet. We should be mindful of our restroom behaviours, such as spending long hours in the toilet cubicle to prevent bile or contracting infections. It is important to stop touching doors and toilet surfaces after washing your hands. Always keep your toilet clean to avoid toilet infections.
Man clipping his fingernails | Image: Men’s Health
Take Care Of Your Nails
Trimming your nails regularly prevents germs from sticking into your fingers, making it look dirty. Keeping long nails stores germs in it, and when germs get into your mouth, it could cause illness. It is also advised that you avoid biting your nails.
Menstrual And Genital Hygiene
It is important to change sanitary products regularly and to wash the hands before and after changing tampons, pads, or any other sanitary products.
As vaginas are self-cleaning, using soap to clean the vagina can cause an imbalance of its natural bacteria leading to infections. The vulva (the external part of the vagina) only needs cleaning once a day using mild, unperfumed soap and water. People with an uncircumcised penis can clean it by gently pulling back the foreskin and washing underneath it with warm water or soap.
Make it a priority to take proper care of yourself as this not only prevents you from contracting diseases and infections, it also improves your standing in society. Few people would want to associate with someone with dishevelled hair and clothes, body odour and bad breath.