How Bad Bathing Habits Can Harm Your Skin
The wrong bathing or showering habits start a cascade of events that go something like this:Bathing, when done correctly, can deeply hydrate skin to prevent eczemas. It also washes germs off the skin. However, when bathing is done "incorrectly," it can dry skin out, which can lead to eczema, allergic skin reactions, and skin infections that can be inconvenient or even dangerous. - Dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey
- The skin gets dried out.
- The barrier is compromised because the skin is dry.
- Eczema-like rashes start, which itch and hurt.
- Allergens get into the skin, and you become allergic, which can become a big problem.
- Germs get in and you get skin infections, which can make you sick.
The 5-part drama all starts with the wrong bathing or showering habits! In the exam room, I explain the following information to patients regarding good bathing and showering habits to keep skin healthy:
- How to bathe and shower in a way that makes it therapeutic and good for your skin
- How to keep shower sponges and razors infection free
- Why you need to take special precautions to prevent athlete’s foot and nail fungus on the shower
Whether you prefer a bath or a shower is not the issue; it’s how you take it that’s important. Follow these steps to do it right and keep your skin safe and healthy:
Dermatologist Advice for Best Bathing Habits to Prevent Harming Your Skin
- Always avoid really hot water and harsh soaps if your skin is at all prone to dryness.
- Always choose hypoallergenic and fragrance-free shower soap or cleanser such as my Naturally Best Bar Soap, and body moisturizer to limit allergen exposure such as my Natural Body Lotion.
- Always moisturize with a really hydrating skin cream within three minutes of toweling skin dry.
- Always wear sandals or disinfect a shower or bath that is used by someone with skin fungus infections, or you might get the infection too.
- Always be sure that your shower sponges, such as the Salux Cloth, and razors dry out. Discard them when they look worn, as the nooks and crannies will hold water and invite organisms to grow.
Keep your bathroom mats, shower floor and bathroom floor clean to help reduce the risk of getting a bacterial or fungal skin infection
Understand that damp bathroom and shower mats harbor germs - egads! Nasty germs like bacteria, fungi, and yeasts that would ordinarily die in a dry environment live fat and happy in a damp and humid bathroom. It's so thoughtful of you to help them survive, but they may show their appreciation by moving onto your skin! This means that, if your bathroom and its "accessories" don't dry out, you and your family are at greater risk for the following unpleasant infections.
What are the skin infections you can get from bad bathing habits?
The more common skin infections you can get from bathing and showering include:
- Staph aureus infection (that can cause skin infections like impetigo, folliculitis, and worse)
- Candida yeast infections, like shaving folliculitis, skin fold "pimples," and rash
- Nail, foot, and groin fungus
- Nail infections from other molds that normally don't infect skin, but will when you so generously give them a chance
Bottom line about bad bathing habits that can cause skin infection:
Make your bathroom, shower sponges and other accessories a bad host to these germs; be certain your bathroom and its accessories dry out every day.
BONUS TIP FOR GOOD BATHING HABITS: Why do I recommend only hypoallergenic skin care soaps, cleansers, and moisturizing creams and lotions?
The reason is that you can develop a lifelong allergy to the most common allergens. The allergic reaction will definitely harm your skin.
Common allergens in bathing products include fragrances and preservatives. These are ubiquitous and it is best to prevent becoming allergic to them by avoiding unnecessary contact in your bathing routine. - Dr. Bailey
Developing an allergy to common skin care product ingredients can be a big problem and inconvenience. Once a rash develops from allergy or dryness, your skin barrier is broken and you become prone to skin infections. To add to the "drama," contact with contaminated shower sponges and bathroom surfaces are the perfect places for infecting germs to hide.
Dermatologist-recommended hypoallergenic fragrance-free bathing products to keep your skin healthy.
Natural Face and Body Butter
Natural Face and Body Lotion
Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Normal to Dry Skin
Naturally Best Bar Soap
Natural Shower Gel