“To shower or not to shower?” That’s the question most people ask every morning after waking up.
If there’s still time to fix up before heading to work, then it’s a resounding “yes”. However, for those running late, stepping inside the bathroom is the last thing they want to do. But since we’re talking about hygiene, is taking a shower really that important? Don’t drop the soap now because you’ll be surprised when you find out the truth behind the curtain.
Dr. Joshua Zeichner from New York and Dr. Ranella Hirsch from Boston say that Americans bathe more often than they should. These dermatologists share the same sentiment that a “shower” is more of a cultural and societal norm than anything else. For them, it’s just the result of good advertising.
Katherine Ashenburg, author of The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History, supports this claim, and her findings even date back after the Civil War when the focus of the people shifted on cleanliness. Most Americans a that time left their farms and worked in factories, and the cultural norm became all about bathing because of the type of work they go to every day.
More importantly, the dermatologists said that taking a nice bath daily does more harm than good. One finding is that it dries out the skin, which may lead to irritation. Another, showering too often washes away the good bacteria on the outer layer of the skin. This increases the risk of infection. This is why the doctors advocate to parents not to bathe their babies daily. If one can’t help but to step inside the bathroom before going to the office, a soapy washcloth would do. And parts like the face, underarms, and genitals should be washed. Of course, clean undergarments are to wear after very bath.