Personal hygiene refers to caring for your body by adopting practices such as bathing, washing hands, brushing teeth, and more.
Every day, you come into contact with millions of germs, bacteria, and viruses that can easily make you sick. However, developing and adopting a personal hygiene routine can protect yourself and others from getting sick.
Note: Make sure to distinguish general hygiene practices, such as using automatic air freshener spray in any space, with a personal hygiene routine, as it is solely focused on yourself.
Keep reading our article to learn more about why personal hygiene is important, its types, the side effects of neglecting it, and how to create a personal hygiene routine for yourself.
Types of personal hygiene
Below are the main types of personal hygiene.
- Toilet Hygiene
Always remember to wash your hands after using the bathroom/toilet. Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap or liquid hand wash for at least 20 to 30 seconds. Rinse with running and clean water and dry with a towel or tissue paper.
If water and soap aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that eliminates 99.9% germs and bacteria.
- Shower Hygiene
Although it’s more about personal preference regarding how often you wish to shower, most people will benefit from showering at least once per day. Showering with soap helps rinse away dead skin cells, bacteria, and oils.
- Nail Hygiene
Trim your nails regularly to keep them short and clean. Adopting effective nail hygiene will prevent germs and bacteria from build-up under your nails and spreading into your mouth and other body openings.
- Teeth Hygiene
Good teeth hygiene is about more than just keeping your teeth white. Brush twice a day for at least 2 minutes. Aim to brush before going to bed and after you wake up. Floss between your teeth daily, and ask your dentist about using an antibacterial mouthwash.
These two steps can help prevent tooth decay and eliminate pockets where bacteria and germs can build up.
- Hand Hygiene
Germs and bacteria residing on your hands can easily transfer into your body through your mouth, nose, eyes, and ears. To prevent this from happening, you must:
Wash your hands regularly with antibacterial soap or liquid hand wash, especially:
- Before and after handling food items
- Before and after consuming food or drinks
- After tackling garbage
- After coughing or sneezing
- Handling pets
- After using the bathroom or toilet
- After returning home from outside
Creating a personal hygiene routine
The following strategies have proved to be helpful if you wish to improve your hygiene:
- Setting reminders
If you can’t remember to shower, brush your teeth, clip your nails, etc., set up a reminder on your phone. The cue will push you to the activity, and you’ll develop a habit over time.
- Using signs
Put up signs in the bathroom or kitchen that alert you to wash your hands after using the toilet or before preparing or consuming food. These signs can help jog your memory and improve your habits. They can help both you and your children.
- Practice makes perfect
It takes time to learn a new habit. Start with a new habit at the beginning of the week. Practice it for a week or two. Add a new one. Over time, you’ll establish habits.
Side effects of poor personal hygiene
Poor personal hygiene lead to more illnesses and diseases. Some of the minor side effects of personal hygiene include body odor, greasy skin, etc.
If you don’t wash your hands regularly, germs and bacteria can easily transfer to your body from your mouth, nose, and eyes.
Poor dental care and hygiene can result in various teeth issues, such as plaque buildup, and contribute largely towards serious health issues, including heart diseases.
Other medical conditions that can be prevented by practicing good personal hygiene include:
- Public lice
- Head lice
- Body lice
- Athlete’s foot
Developing a good personal hygiene routine requires a lifetime of learning and honing. However, caring for yourself in these manners will benefit your physical and mental health. Talk with your doctor or dentist if you find it difficult to adapt to these practices.