Is it really necessary to bathe every day? These Doctors’ Responses May Surprise You


Personal hygiene habits are, generally speaking, exactly that: personal. While some bathe intermittently, others can’t start the day or go to bed without at least a quick bath.

Most people think they have a pretty good idea of ​​how many times we should bathe and how. But are there really specific medical recommendations on how to clean yourself and how often?

We turned to two experts to find out.

How often should we bathe?

The thing is this: there is no scientific evidence that indicates that you should bathe with a specific frequency. It’s a matter of personal preference, explains Dr. Angela Lamb, practice director at Westside Mount Sinai School of Dermatology.

Dr. Mary Stevenson, a dermatologic surgeon and associate professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Health, shares a similar opinion, adding that how often one should bathe It depends on several factors, such as skin, age, and level of physical activity..

In general, it specifies that people “should bathe or cleanse themselves every two or three days.” Although, if they exercise or participate in an activity where they sweat a lot, they may need to do it more often.

So what is the biggest risk of not bathing enough? The bad smell. According to Lamb, some people don’t give off as much body odor as others, so socially they may go longer without grooming.

Others may simply not feel the need to wash at the first foul odor. “A lot of how much we immerse ourselves in modern society and culture is really cultural,” he adds.

In addition, Stevenson says that the thick layer of fat in the skin can predispose to folliculitis, an infection of the hair follicles, part of the skin that gives hair growth.

How do you know if you bathe too much?

Although bathing too frequently can also cause some problems. According to Lamb, this can dry out the skin and disrupt the skin barrier.

“In fact, if you bathe excessively, you may be more prone to infections, because the skin is protected with natural bacteria and other elements that take care of it and that should be preserved,” he explains.

Therefore, bathing several times a day is not a good idea.

How exactly is it recommended to wash the body?

When it comes to how to bathe, you may be surprised to learn that you don’t actually need to wash all of your parts.

“What people tend to do is lather all over their body, which isn’t really necessary,” Stevenson says. “In fact You only need soap on your armpits, groin and feet. “Places that can stink.”

Soap is a detergent that helps remove the top layer of oil from the skin. By lathering all over, you remove some of these oils, making you more prone to dry, sensitive skin, especially in the colder winter months, Stevenson adds.

Of course, there are rare occasions when it may be necessary to scrub other areas of the body, such as when hiking or children jumping in mud puddles, but in most cases it is not necessary to soap your legs, arms, etc. or the abdomen.

Long, very hot baths are unnecessary

Another common mistake? Bathe for long periods of time and with a lot of steam. “We like to recommend that they don’t bathe for more than three minutes, and that the water be warm,” Stevenson says.

Because bathing can be so hard on your skin, both experts agree that you should focus on using moisturizing products.

“Using gentler products can be very helpful,” says Stevenson. “One trick is to look for products for sensitive skin and babies, because normally the products for them are formulated for that type of skin. It is also a good idea to talk to a dermatologist about ingredients that may irritate, and always look at ingredient lists.”

According to Stevenson, you should opt for products without fragrances or dyes.