One of the most effective ways of protecting ourselves and others from infections and illnesses is good personal hygiene. This entails washing your hands regularly, having a good bath, being careful not to cough or sneeze on others, putting items that may have germs such as used tissues into a bin, and a whole lot more.
A good personal hygiene also removes the risk of having a body odour. Body smells are caused by several factors working in combination. These factors include chemicals in sweats, unwashed clothes such as socks and underwear, the action of bacteria that live on the skin and feed on dead cells and sweats, etc.
Now, let’s take a look at how to observe good personal hygiene in different situations.
PERSONAL HYGIENE FOR WOMEN
The vagina can clean itself no special care is needed. Do not put anything such as douches into the vagina, as the delicate skin can be damaged. Here are some personal hygiene tips:
- Menstruation: wash your body including your genital area, in the same way, that you always do. Change tampons or sanitary pads regularly. Always wash your hands before and after handling a tampon or sanitary towel.
- Thrush: some soaps and detergent can irritate the skin of the vagina and make thrush infections more likely. Use mild soaps to wash your genitals and avoid using perfumed toilet paper. Avoid tight, synthetic underwear. Try cotton underwear, and change regularly. There is a medical treatment for thrush so visit your doctor.
- Cystitis: is an affection of the bladder. This is common for sexually active young women. Urinating after sexual intercourse can help flush out any bacteria that may be in the urethra or bladder.
PERSONAL HYGIENE FOR MEN
Men usually sweat a lot even without having to do strenuous exercise. This implies that you must have a good bath twice daily to avoid body smells. Also, a build-up of secretions called smegma can form under the foreskin of uncircumcised men implying that such men must pay close attention to washing their genitals while having their baths. Make sure to put on clean underwear too.
Bad breath can be caused by diseases of the teeth, gums, mouth, etc. Most people have bad breath after waking up in the morning because saliva isn’t made while we are asleep. Consumption of some foods such as garlic and onion can also cause bad breath. Mouthwashes, mouth sprays, and mint chewing gums can give you fresh breath and make your breath smell better in addition to making sure you have a good mouth wash daily. However, if you have a health problem in your mouth such as an infection, you should see your dentist.
When traveling to a new environment, you need to take special care if you are not sure of the safety of their water. Suggestions include:
- Drink only bottled water. If it isn’t affordable, make sure you boil any water before drinking it.
- Don’t use tap water to clean your teeth
- When you wash your hands, make sure they are dry, before touching anything edible.
- Don’t wash fruits and vegetables in unsafe water.
- Make sure you dry your cups and dishes very well after washing them.
Most infections are caught when we put unwashed hands to our mouths or using our unwashed hands to touch the foods we eat. Hands and wrists should be washed with soap and clean water. You should make use of a brush if your nails are dirty. Make sure to dry your hands with something clean. You should always wash your hands:
- After using the toilet
- Before cooking or eating food
- After handling animals.
- If you have been around someone who has a cold.
- Each time you return home from work, school, market, etc.
You determine how wealthy you are by maintaining good personal hygiene- as you know health is wealth. Keep your body clean and healthy.