On Personal Hygiene

Context

I am trying to improve my personal hygiene after numerous infections I have faced in the recent months, being hygienic is definitely costly but it’s worth it if it will protect me from dangerous germs and infections. This study is part of the initial efforts from me to improve my personal hygiene. I hope to use the information gathered here in my day to day life.

Current situation

Currently, I am trying to regularly use hand washers before and after I go to wash or before I eat anything. This will obviously take a great amount of discipline and practice but I must do this due to the current conditions I am facing. (Regularly getting infected etc).

Introduction

We constantly get in contact with millions of germs in our day to day life. When these germs get in contact and enter our body through openings / wounds on our skin, they start making us sick. In order to protect ourselves from diseases and infections, good personal hygiene is a must. Personal Hygiene is the practice of keeping your body clean and safe from germs and parasites by breaking the transmission cycles of communicable diseases and killing germs. Good personal hygiene not only makes you healthy and more immune to diseases and infections, it also improves your mental health, keeps bad body odor at bay and protects people around you from communicable diseases and infections.

Maintaining good personal hygiene

Here are some habits to maintain good personal hygiene:

  • Bathing at-least once daily.
  • During water shortage, wiping your body with a wet sponge or cloth.
  • Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice daily.
  • It is advisable to clean your teeth after every meal if possible.
  • It is also advisable to clean your teeth before going to bed.
  • Using an antibacterial mouth wash.
  • Turn away from people and cover your nose before coughing or sneezing
  • Washing / sanitizing (sanitizer should have at least 60% alcohol) your hands for at least 20-30 seconds in the following circumstances:
    • Before eating
    • Before and after using the toilet
    • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
    • Before & after touching animals, animal food or animal waste
    • After handling rubbish
    • After changing a nappy or helping a child use the toilet
    • Before and after touching a sick or an injured person
    • Before and after visiting a hospital ward
    • Before, during and after preparing for food
    • Especially before you plan to touch raw meat, chicken, eggs or fish – Before and after treating a cut or a wound – Before changing contact lenses
    • Before taking medication (pills, eye drops, eye drops etc)
    • Before and after utilizing public transportation, especially if you hold on to railings or buses
    • After handling money or receipts
    • After coming in contact with visible dirty surfaces or when you feel like your hands are dirty
  • Washing your hair with soap or shampoo at least once a week
  • Wearing clean clothes
  • Change your clothes if they are wet either due to water or sweat
  • Hanging your clothes outside under sun will kill some disease causing germs and parasites via sun’s rays
  • Wearing a shower cap helps protect your hair from moisture (avoids frizzy hair) and also prevents water from entering your ear (water or moisture inside ear can cause infections)
  • Trip your nails and avoid biting them.
  • For uncircumcised men, gently pull back the foreskin when you are in the shower and clean up any build up of secretions with water.
  • For women:
    • Vagina is generally able to clean itself so no special care is needed other than washing the external genitalia.
    • Do not put any object into the vagina as the delicate skin may be damaged.
    • Urinating after sexual intercourse can help flush out any bacteria in urethra or bladder.
    • Change your sanitary napkins regularly and wash your genitals regularly
    • Use mild soap and unperformed toilet paper.
    • Avoid tight, synthetic underwear
    • Prefer cotton underwear
  • Drink only bottled water if you are traveling.
  • Don’t use tap water to clean your teeth.
  • Don’t wash fruits or vegetables in unsafe water.
  • When in doubt of water quality, boil the water for about a minute and then drink it (after it cools down).
  • Make sure dishes are totally dry after they are washed.
  • Overcrowding:
    • Staying in a public or an overly crowded place (indoors or outdoors) increases our likelihood of catching disease-causing germs and parasites. – Sneezing or coughing in an over crowded area makes it easier for germs to spread.
    • Each house is designed to allow a particular number of people to live there comfortable. If the number of people exceeds the intended population, the place will not be able to cope properly.
  • Sleep at least 8 to 10 hours a day.
  • Sleep helps keep your body’s defenses strong.

Sources

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