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Is It Really Necessary to Shower Every Day?

In ancient Rome, elaborate public baths opened around lunchtime, stayed open until dusk, and were accessible to all, rich or poor. But a daily bath regimen has not been the norm in every historical time period. In the 14th century, for example, experts at the Sorbonne in Paris claimed that warm water opened the pores and increased the risk of bubonic plague, creating a fear of bathing that lasted nearly 500 years. For centuries, many societies considered a weekly bath to be sufficient for cleanliness. Today, however, many people won’t leave home without a daily wash. Is it too much? Many dermatologists and other health experts think that people tend to over-bathe, stripping their skin and hair of essential oils. A bath or shower once or twice a week really is enough, they say.

Your skin will thank you:

  • Too much bathing can lead to dry, cracked skin that can create gaps for infection-causing germs to enter your body. It’s especially a problem as you get older and your skin gets thinner.

  • Dr. C. Brandon Mitchell, a dermatologist and professor at George Washington University, says that using antibacterial cleansers can disrupt the skin’s population of immune-supporting bacteria.

  • “I tell patients who shower daily not to lather their whole bodies,” Mitchell says. He suggests that people concentrate on their armpits, rear, and groin -- the areas that produce smelly secretions.

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More Info: Time magazine

Discuss this Article

anon999420
Post 4

During WW2 US forces in the UK suffered skin problems, it was put down to their daily showering robbing their bodies of protective body oils in the UK climate.

anon999419
Post 3

I don't shower or wash my hair every day because it's very drying. If you need refreshing in between use some of those body cleansing cloths/wipes. We're all human.

dimchild
Post 2

Bathe once a week! I don't believe any serious person can recommend that today.

anon999417
Post 1

Thank you. I'm 79, and shower 2 - 3 times a week, clean especially the areas mentioned. As I wash my hands many times a day, I get cracked skin, SO I have to rub a cream my dermatologist prescribed. Sometimes, I still get cracks, so I use the new skin, a type glue for skin cuts, to try to fix.

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