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What is Personal Hygiene?

To lead a healthy lifestyle, personal hygiene is a must. Personal hygiene is nothing but keeping your body clean and healthy. This can be achieved by formulating the habit of washing hands, brushing your teeth, and bathing regularly. It is important to cultivate these habits in order to protect yourself from getting and spreading infections through people you interact with daily. Neglecting your personal hygiene will impact your health negatively in the form of contracting diseases. 

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Types of Personal Hygiene

There are multiple different types of hygiene practices that you should look to incorporate into your daily routine. Here’s a quick overview of some of the most important practices. 

Hand Hygiene

Let’s face it. You touch several things with your hands all day, and not every surface is spick and span. However, this isn't the issue. The problem arises when you touch your eyes, nose, mouth, or any wounded areas on your body with these dirty hands. Doing so, allows germs to enter your body, which can end up infecting you and weakening your immunity over time. However, you can prevent all of this by washing your hands thoroughly at regular intervals. By keeping your hands clean, you can drastically lower your chances of contracting illnesses.

 

Now, when you wash your hands, make sure to use soap and water. Scrub your palms, the areas between your fingers and underneath the fingernails. Once you’re done, wash off the soap thoroughly with clean water and dry your hands with a clean towel. It is important that you do this at least four to five times a day at regular intervals.

Nail Hygiene

It is natural for dirt particles to accumulate underneath your fingernails. This dirt can get into your body through your food or when you touch your face. Maintaining proper fingernail hygiene, however, can help you prevent infections and diseases.

 

Clip your nails regularly to avoid dirt accumulation. Also, remember to clean underneath your fingernails when washing your hands. And finally, avoid biting your nails.

Face Hygiene

A huge part of personal hygiene is face hygiene. Face hygiene involves washing your face regularly every day. Avoiding this routine can lead to sweat and dust accumulating on your face, clogging your skin pores. Clogged pores prevent your skin from breathing and can make it dry and rough, leading to skin issues like pimples or rashes. However, you can prevent such things from happening by washing and moisturising your face every day.

 

Wash your face at least twice every day, once when you wake up and once before you sleep. During the day, if you ever notice irritations or itchiness on your face, wash your face immediately with clean water.

Oral Hygiene

The pH levels in our mouth cause the growth of bacteria that further dwell on the food stuck in between our teeth, tongue, and gums. Not maintaining oral hygiene can lead to oral diseases such as tooth decay, cavities, and bad breath.

 

It is vital to brush your teeth twice a day. You can also practise flossing and using an antibacterial mouthwash. Make sure to also clean the surface of your tongue, while you’re at it. Also, make a quick visit to your dentist every 6 months for a routine check-up.

Body Hygiene

Just like your face, your body also gets bombarded with sweat and dust. If you do not take a shower regularly, you could develop skin infections like body acne, body odour, scabies, pimples, etc. Maintaining proper personal hygiene by washing yourself thoroughly allows you to get rid of the unpleasant smells and dirt off your body, allowing the skin to breathe.

 

It is essential to have a bath once or twice a day using shower gel or body soap. Then, dry your body with a clean towel before wearing clothes.

Hair Hygiene

Your hair tends to produce oils that accumulate dust and make it appear greasy. Prolonging your hair wash sessions will only lead to excessive oil release, damaging your scalp and hair structure. It might also lead to dandruff and hair fall issues in most people. Therefore, it is necessary to incorporate proper personal hygiene practices for your hair into your routine.

 

Follow a routine and wash your hair once or twice a week. Massage your scalp with shampoo to get rid of the dead skin cells, excessive oil, and dirt. Then, rinse it off with warm water. Note that hot water can damage your hair structure. 

Ear Hygiene

You must be aware of how ear wax accumulates over time. If not cleaned often, it can cause infections and even hearing loss. Cleaning your ears regularly will help you avoid such issues and maintain your ear hygiene.

 

Maintaining proper ear hygiene is an effortless task. You can start by cleaning your ears using a soft, cotton cloth after each bath. If you experience pain in your ears when cleaning, get in touch with a doctor immediately. Avoid using earbuds or Q-tips to clean your ears as it can push the ear wax deeper and can even lead to an injury.

Importance and Benefits of Personal Hygiene

The importance of personal hygiene in our lives is indisputable; yet many are unaware of it. So, we’ve put together everything you must know about personal hygiene. Let this be your guide to a healthy and hygienic life as you recognise the importance of personal hygiene. Maintaining good personal hygiene helps you in the following ways:

 

  • It protects you from infections or diseases that could weaken your immune system.

  • It prevents you from spreading the infection to your loved ones and people you interact with daily.

  • It helps maintain your skin’s pH levels, making it healthy and glowing over time.

  • It helps you avoid getting into unpleasant situations wherein people are disgusted by your presence due to foul odour.

  • It helps you regain your confidence, appear attractive, and enhance your appearance.

  • It allows people to believe and entrust responsibilities to you, which could involve planning a safe and hygienic event for everyone.

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How to Maintain Good Personal Hygiene?

Although it might seem like it, maintaining good personal hygiene is not a very arduous task. In fact, once you establish a routine, it becomes extremely easy. Here are some tips that you can follow to ensure that you maintain proper hygiene. 

Dental Hygiene

To ensure that your oral health is on point, you should ensure that you brush your teeth at least twice a day for a minimum of 2 minutes. Always brush your teeth once before consuming your breakfast and once before you get into bed. In addition to brushing, you should also floss your teeth at least once daily. 

 

Also, make sure that the toothpaste you use contains fluoride, which is a key ingredient for killing bacteria and other germs in your mouth. It is advisable to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. 

Nail Hygiene 

When it comes to personal hygiene, nails are often the most overlooked parts of the body. Always keep your nails well trimmed to prevent the accumulation of dirt. That said, make sure to use sanitised tools to trim your nails. Consider using a dedicated nail brush to scrub the underside of your nails to remove accumulated dirt. 

Hand Hygiene

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has outlined a five-step process for hand washing. Although this might seem very elaborate in nature, following this religiously can help you stay away from infections and diseases. Here’s the five-step process that you would have to follow to maintain proper personal hygiene. 

 

Step 1: Place your hands under clean, running water to wet them and then apply soap.

 

Step 2: Rub your hands together to lather the soap.

 

Step 3: Scrub your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. Make sure to cover the backs of your hands, under the nails and the spaces between your fingers. 

 

Step 4: Rinse off the soap by placing your hands under clean, running water once again. 

 

Step 5: Air-dry your hands or wipe them with a clean towel. 

Body Hygiene 

To keep your body clean from sweat and dirt, it is important to shower or bathe every day. If you’re living in hot and humid climates, it is recommended to bathe at least 2 times a day. When bathing, make sure to use soap to wash away dead skin cells, bacteria and oils. Make sure to scrub your armpits, the spaces between your toes and the groin region thoroughly before washing the soap off. 

Menstrual Hygiene

One of the most important parts of personal hygiene is maintaining proper menstrual and hygiene. Always remember to change sanitary products at regular intervals. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after you deal with sanitary products. 

Personal Hygiene for Children

Personal hygiene practices for children are different from that of adults. Hence, inculcating healthy living habits in your children from a young age will help them build self-awareness and ward off diseases. Below, we have enlisted some hygienic activities for children and how parents can introduce them. 

Brushing

Parents can start brushing their child’s teeth and gums right when the first tooth pops out. After the age of 3 years, your child can start brushing their teeth. However, as parents, you must ensure that they are brushing properly every day. You can even set the session to a short song so that your little one knows how long they have to brush for.

Bathing

While you will be giving your child daily baths, they should be able to bathe by themselves by the age of five. Initially, you can supervise their bath time and take this opportunity to teach them about washing the different body parts properly. These include the armpits, private areas, neck, belly, knees, elbows, back, and feet. 

Hand Washing

When they reach the potty training age, make washing hands an integral part of the entire process. You can sing and teach them the ABC song to help them know how long they have to keep washing. Besides, teach them to wash their hands during and after meals, after petting animals, playtime, and visiting sick relatives or friends.

Nail Hygiene

You will certainly clip your child’s nails when they are young; but as they grow up, you can help them understand the importance of maintaining nail hygiene. Besides, encourage them to wash their nails during bath time. Also, teach them to trim their nails and to do it once a week after a bath.

Negative Effects of Poor Personal Hygiene

As stated earlier, along with weakening your immune system and lowering your overall self-confidence, poor hygiene can also lead to major health concerns. Avoiding good hygienic practices will severely impact your health. You may fall sick often and could even spread the illness to others.

Some health implications of having poor hygiene include - 

  • Skin infections

  • Tooth decay

  • Diarrhoea

  • Ringworm

This will mean that you have to visit a doctor or seek extensive care in extreme cases. In worst-case scenarios, you might need continuous medical attention that can drain your life savings and lead to financial crises, especially if you do not have a health insurance plan in place. So, it is essential to practice good personal hygiene starting today.

How to Follow a Healthy Personal Hygiene Routine?

Creating a hygiene routine is the easiest way to protect yourself and stay safe from infections and diseases. 

 

  • Small habits, like a 20-second hand wash routine, or keeping your workplace shoes out can protect you from diseases.

  • If you are forgetful, you can take the help of reminder apps.

  • Using products with refreshing fragrances can encourage household members to maintain good personal hygiene.

How to Create a Personal Hygiene Routine?

Here are a few tips that would help you develop and maintain a personal hygiene routine: 

Set Reminders

If you often forget to take a shower, clip your nails, wash your hair, etc., set a reminder on your phone. This will ensure you remember the little but important things amid a busy schedule.

Use Signs

Signs can help you jog your memory and instil good habits. If you or your child have the habit of having meals without washing hands, you can set a small sign on the dining table reminding you to wash your hands.

Start Small

Instead of trying to make multiple changes, start with one new habit. Once you get accustomed to one habit, go for the next one. You know, how sometimes our hands automatically switch off the light or the fan even when someone’s there in the room? That’s because we have been practising it since childhood. Similarly, the habits you want to have will come naturally to you with time.

Conclusion

Maintaining good personal hygiene is undoubtedly necessary for a healthy lifestyle. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that our health can degrade without prior warning. It is best to have health insurance to protect yourself and your family against medical emergencies during these times.

 

With the health insurance plans on Bajaj Markets, you can benefit from features such as cashless claim settlements, reinstatement benefits, tax benefits, extensive coverage, and more. If you wonder how much the policy will cost you, use the health insurance premium calculator to determine the same before purchasing one. 

 

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FAQs

  • ✔️Why is handwashing important?

    Germs can spread easily from surfaces to people. Washing your hands thoroughly can protect you from diseases contracted via germs, bacteria, and viruses. 

  • ✔️What are the types of personal hygiene?

    Here are a few important types of personal hygiene. 

    • Hand hygiene

    • Hair hygiene

    • Oral hygiene

    • Nail hygiene

    • Ear hygiene

  • ✔️What are some personaal hygiene habits that I must teach my kids?

    Here are a few personal hygiene habits you must teach your kids

    • Taking a shower every day

    • Brushing teeth twice daily

    • Wearing clean clothes

    • Washing hands with soap after pooping

    • Cutting nails regularly

  • ✔️Why should I follow good personal hygiene?

    Great personal hygiene can ensure good health by protecting you from infections and diseases. 

  • ✔️What are the ill effects of poor personal hygiene?

    Poor personal hygiene can lead to various health conditions. For example, not washing your hands before having a meal can cause stomach infections and poor hair hygiene could cause dandruff and skin conditions.

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