Personal Hygiene and You Dr. Shambhu N. Gupta City Hospital 45 Model Colony SRI GANGANAGAR
According to the World Health Organization, health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
The definition of hygiene is healthy habits that include bathing, keeping the mouth clean, keeping the skin protected from the sun and washing hands frequently before handling edibles to insure the safe delivery of food.
The term "hygiene" is a reference to Hygieía oder Hygeía, the Greek goddess of health , cleanliness and sanitation (Roman equivalent: Salus).
Hygiene is also a science that deals with the promotion and preservation of health.
Elaborate codes of hygiene can be found in several Hindu texts such as the Manusmriti and the Vishnu Purana .
Bathing is one of the five Nitya karmas (daily duties) in Hinduism, not performing which leads to sin according to some scriptures.
Personal grooming / grooming means to enhance one's physical appearance or appeal for others, by removing obvious imperfections in one's appearance or improving one's hygiene.
Keeping your body clean is an important part of keeping you healthy and helping you to feel good about yourself.
Caring about the way you look is important to your self esteem (what you think about yourself).
By the way, you don't need to wear the latest designer clothing to look good. There are other things you can do which are much more important for your "image".
One of the most effective ways we have to protect ourselves and others from illness is good personal hygiene. This means washing your hands, especially, but also your body.
It has many aspects:-
Good Personal Hygiene
Good hygiene is important in taking care of yourself physically as well as emotionally.
People often have infections because they don’t take good care of themselves physically, which can lead to emotional difficulties as well.
Proper living habits, cleanliness of body and clothing, healthful diet, a balanced regimen of rest and exercise .
Sanitary preparation of food, cleanliness, and ventilation of the home.
Maintain good food and cooking hygiene to prevent food poisoning
Cleaning of food preparation areas and equipment for example using designated cutting boards for preparing raw meats and vegetables.
Thorough cooking of meats
Institutional dish sanitizing .
Washing of hands after touching uncooked food when preparing meals .
Not using the same utensils to prepare different foods.
Non-sharing of cutlery when eating.
Not licking fingers or hands while or after eating.
Proper storage of food so as to prevent contamination .
Refrigeration of foods (and avoidance of specific foods in environments where refrigeration is or was not feasible).
Disposal of uneaten food and packaging.
Supervision of water and food supply, containment of communicable disease, disposal of garbage and sewage, control of air and water pollution .
measures that minimize occupational disease and accident.
recognition of mental and emotional factors in healthful living.
When traveling overseas, take special care if you’re not sure whether the water is safe. Suggestions include:
Drink only bottled water.
Don’t use tap water to clean your teeth.
When you wash your hands, make sure they are totally dry before you touch any food.
Don’t wash fruit or vegetables in unsafe water.
If you have no other water source, make sure the water is boiled before you drink it by holding it at a rolling boil for one minute.
Make sure any dishes, cups or other utensils are totally dry after they are washed.
Good and Bad Hygiene
The difference between good and bad hygiene is:
Good hygiene keep you protected from things, like germs and dangerous UV rays from the sun, in the environment that can hurt you
Bad hygiene allows these things to affect your body and probably make you sick
The Benefits of Good Hygiene
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, addressing the spread of germs in schools is essential to the health of our youth, our schools, and our nation
Good hygiene prevents the spread of germs
It also helps to give a good first impression to others
Personal hygiene is the first step to good grooming and good health. Elementary cleanliness is common knowledge.
Neglect causes problems that you may not even be aware of.
Many people with bad breath are blissfully unaware of it.
Some problems may not be your fault at all, but improving standards of hygiene will control these conditions.
More often than you know, good looks are the result of careful and continuous grooming.
Every external part of the body demands a basic amount of attention on a regular basis. Here are some grooming routines and some complaints associated with neglect.
washing of the body and hair.
frequent washing of hands and/or face.
Oral hygiene —Daily brushing and flossing teeth and avoidance of bad breath by use of breath mints , chewing gums and other breath fresheners.
Daily application of deodorant .
Cleaning of the clothes and living area .
General avoidance of bodily fluids such as feces , urine , vomit .
Not touching animals before eating.
Holding a tissue over the mouth or using the upper arm/elbow region when coughing or sneezing , not a bare hand. Alternatively, washing hands afterwards.
Suppression of habits such as nose-picking , touching the face etc.
Not licking fingers before picking up sheets of paper.
Not biting nails
The world around us swarms with micro-organisms. Some bacteria are found on our bodies.
In countries where food is eaten and prepared with bare hands extra attention has to be paid to the cleanliness of hands. Besides, a permanent layer of dust or grime reduces the sensitivity of the hands.
Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after every meal and after visiting the toilet.
Soaping and rinsing should cover the areas between fingers, nails and back of the hand.
Hands should be dried with a clean towel after wash. The towel at the wash stand has to be washed and changed everyday.
While cooking, especially when packing lunches, you can prevent food from spoilage and minimize contamination by keeping your hands clean.
While handling food avoid scratching, or touching the ears, nose, mouth or other body orifices. If you need to use a handkerchief or tissue, wash your hands after that. Keep your nails short.
Nail Polish users should see that it does not chip off into the food.
Most infections, especially colds and gastroenteritis, are caught when we put our unwashed hands, which have germs on them, to our mouth. Some infections are caught when other people’s dirty hands touch the food we eat. Hands and wrists should be washed with clean soap and water, using a brush if your fingernails are dirty.
Dry your hands with something clean, such as paper towels or hot air dryers.
You should always wash your hands:
After using the toilet
Before making or eating food
After handling dogs or other animals
If you have been around someone who is coughing or has a cold.
How to Wash Your Hands
Use warm running water
Scrub hands together and under nails for at least 15-20 seconds
Dry hands on a clean cloth or paper towel or use an automatic hand dryer if possible
Healthy Teeth and Gums
The health and cleanliness of your mouth is important, if you don’t brush and floss…
Cavities (holes in your teeth) may form
Your breath will probably smell bad
You may be at higher risk for serious disease later in life, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes
Good dental hygiene includes regular brushing and flossing. Bad breath can be caused by diseases of the teeth, gums and mouth, such as infections.
Most people have bad breath first thing in the morning because saliva is not made while you’re asleep.
Some foods that can cause bad breath include garlic and onion.
Mouth washes, mouth sprays and flavoured chewing gum can make your breath smell better for a while, .
Foods to Avoid
Bacteria in your mouth grow on sugar
Try to eat as little “junk food” as possible
=candy, chocolate, and other sweets
Avoid drinking soda and sweet tea
If you do eat these things, you may want to brush immediately afterwards
. It means being careful not to cough or sneeze on others.
cleaning things that you touch if you are unwell, putting items such as tissues (that may have germs) into a bin, and using protection (like gloves or condoms) when you might be at risk of catching an infection.
Personal hygiene for women
The vagina is able to clean itself no special care is needed, other than washing the external genitals.
Do not put anything like douches into the vagina, as the delicate skin can be damaged.
Here are some personal hygiene suggestions for women:
wash your body, including your genital area, in the same way as you always do. Change tampons and sanitary napkins regularly, at least four to five times a day. Always wash your hands before and after handling a tampon or pad.
is an infection of the bladder. This is a common condition for sexually active young women. Urinating after sexual intercourse can help to flush out any bacteria that may be in the urethra and bladder.
some soaps and detergents can irritate the skin of the vagina, and make thrush infections more likely.
Some people find that they often get thrush when they use antibiotics. Use mild soap and unperfumed toilet paper.
Avoid tight, synthetic underwear. Try cotton underwear, and change regularly.
There is medical treatment for thrush, so talk to your doctor .
Protection From the Sun
Cancer researchers believe childhood sunburns may increase a person's risk of developing melanoma, the most serious skin cancer.
Most of the more than 1 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer diagnosed yearly in the United States are considered to be sun-related.
Protection From the Sun
80% of the average person's lifetime sun exposure happens before age 18.
Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. It accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the United States.
How to Protect Yourself
Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Seek shade: Look for shade, especially in the middle of the day when the sun's rays are strongest.
Cover your head with a wide-brimmed hat, shading your face, ears, and neck.
How to Protect Yourself
Cover up with protective clothing to guard as much skin as possible when you are out in the sun. Choose comfortable clothes made of tightly woven fabrics that you cannot see through when held up to a light.
Reapply after swimming, toweling dry, or perspiring.
Reapply every two hours
Use sunscreen even on hazy or overcast days.
More time in the sun!
If you could spend 10 minutes in the sun without sunscreen and you apply SPF 15… Now you can stay in the sun for 2 hours!
If you do get a sunburn, use a lotion or aloe vera on the skin.
Things to remember
Good personal hygiene is one of the most effective ways to protect ourselves and others from many illnesses, such as gastroenteritis.
Wash your hands regularly, especially before preparing or eating food and after going to the toilet.
Hair Skin Teeth Hands Nails Feet Menstrual Hygiene
It is your crowning glory.
Perhaps because a good head of hair can add that much to sex appeal.
If you are blessed with hair, it is easy enough to maintain it. Keep it at a length and style at which you can maintain it.
Wash your hair at least once a week using soap or mild shampoo. Rinse well. This is more important than working up a head load of lather.
Dry your hair after a wash.
Soap and water are essential for keeping the skin clean. A good bath once or twice a day is recommended, especially in tropical countries like India. Those who are involved in active sports or work out to a sweat would do well to take a bath after the activity.
A mild soap will do the job adequately. Germicidal or antiseptic soaps are not essential for the daily bath.
The genitals and the anus need to be cleaned well because of the natural secretions of these areas, in unhygienic conditions, can cause irritation and infection.
Wash off well after soaping. Drying with a clean towel is important. Avoid sharing soaps and towels.
Change into clean underwear after bath.
Around middle age the skin tends to go dry a bit. A moisturising oil or cream can be used. It is better to use this at night, because if you go out in the sun or commute on dusty roads when the skin is wet, dust sticks to it and oils may also give you a tan.
Grow nails only if you can keep them clean. Short nails make less trouble.
Clip nails short, along their shape. Don't cut them so close that it pinches the skin.
A healthy body ensures healthy nails. Brittle or discolored nails show up deficiencies or disease conditions.
Do not keep your nails painted continuously. It causes the keratin, of which nails are made, to split.
Pamper your hands and nails once every three weeks with a manicure. This requires soaking your hands in warm water for ten minutes, massaging of hands, thorough cleaning and shaping of nails.
Give your feet a good scrub with a sponge or foot scrubber that is not made of very abrasive material when having a bath. Dry after bath between toes. Keep toenails clipped.
In many Indian households it is mandatory to wash feet as you enter the house. This is fine, but make sure that your skin does not become dry due to washing too often.
Those who use shoes constantly need to slip them off now and then. This airs the socks a bit and makes them less smelly. Wear cotton socks. Wear a clean pair everyday. Powder your feet before wearing socks. Many people have sweaty feet, and socks and shoes can get quite smelly. If possible do not wear the same pair of shoes every day. Keep at least one more pair and use it alternatively. Go for a pedicure once in three weeks.
Give importance to wearing comfort in the choice of footwear. For those who go barefoot indoors, door mats must be cleaned or changed frequently. Extra foot care is required for diabetics.
Conditions that can be controlled by improving personal hygiene.
Head Lice Dandruff Bad Breath Ear Wax Body Odour Perspiration Urinary Infection Pinworms Athletes Foot
Lice are tiny insects that live on the human scalp and suck blood to nourish themselves. Lice make a pinprick like puncture on the scalp, emit an anti clotting substance and feed on the blood
Lice thrive on unclean hair. Children are especially prone to lice infestation. Lice spread from one head to another when there is close contact as in school environments. Lice eggs are wrapped in a shiny white sheath and these show up on the upper layers of hair as the infestation increases. They make the scalp itchy and are a cause of annoyance and embarrassment. In infants they may cause disturbed sleep and bouts of crying. Unchecked, they can produce scalp infection.
Anti lice lotions are available in the market, but in persistent cases a doctor's advice can be sought. Nit picking is painstaking and requires patience. A fine toothed comb and regular monitoring can get rid of the problem. Usually when a child in given an anti lice shampoo, all members of the family are advised to use it too.
Dead skin on the scalp comes off in tiny flakes.
This is associated with some disturbance in the tiny glands of the skin called the sebaceous glands. They excrete oil, or sebum. When there is too little oil the skin becomes flaky and dry. When there is too much oil also dandruff is possible. It may have a slight yellow colour.
Hair wash twice or thrice a week might be necessary. Combs and brushes must be washed as well.
Hair should be brushed regularly. A wholesome diet and overall cleanliness will help.
Massage the scalp everyday to improve circulation.
Poor oral hygiene and infection of gums often results in a bad odour emanating from the mouth. This is called halitosis . Smoking can make this worse. Proper brushing of the teeth and oral care can get rid of bad breath.
There can be other reasons for bad breath. Colds, sinuses, throat infections or tonsils can cause bad breath.
Diseases of the stomach, liver, intestines or uncontrolled diabetes are also possible causes. Therefore, if bad breath persists despite good dental care, you need to see a doctor.
Cerumen or ear wax accumulates in the ear canal that leads from the outer ear to the ear drum. As the secretion comes out of the ear it collects dust particles which might have got in from outside.
Daily wash with soap and water is enough to keep the outer ear clean. Do not reach farther than you can with your little finger into your ear. Nature has not provided for it. Putting in hairpins, safety pins or blunt edged things for cleaning purposes might harm the ear. If you feel wax has accumulated and is plugging your ears and interfering with hearing, consult your doctor.
The body has nearly two million sweat glands. These glands produce three quarts to one pint of sweat in a day. In tropical countries, naturally, more sweat is produced. The perspiration level increases with an increase in physical exertion or nervous tension.
Fresh perspiration, when allowed to evaporate does not cause body odour. An offensive smell is caused when bacteria that are present on the skin get to work on the sweat and decompose it. This is specially so in the groin, underarms, feet or in clothing that has absorbed sweat. Diet influences the odor too.
Two baths a day, with liberal lathering and change of clothes in close contact with the body should take care of the problem. Talcum powders, of the non medicated kind, can be used under the armpits. Deodorants or antiperspirants can be used.
Deodorant soaps do not interfere with sweat secretion, but contain hexachlorophene which destroys the bacteria that causes body odour.
The body perspires to keep the body temperature from rising. Sweat is 99% water. It has a small quantity of urea, salt and some other compounds. If the body perspires more, in hot weather, a slight increase in the intake of common salt is advised, to make good what is lost through perspiration.
Excessive perspiration can lead to the scaling of the skin or inflammation ( Dermatitis ). Usually this is no cause for worry.
Some people sweat more, some less due to hereditary and body composition factors.
Excessive perspiration is also a symptom of diabetes, anaemia and hyperthyroidism.
Women are especially prone to this infection. This happens when bacteria travel up the urethra and start breeding there.
Chances of urinary infection are higher during pregnancy and after major surgery. This infection causes pain or a burning sensation during urination. Sometimes the urine is discoloured.
Itching, frequent urination, fever and chills can also result from urinary infection. Though not a serious problem it can be rather an irritating and an awkward one.
It is easy to catch this infection when toilets are not clean or when too many people share toilet facilities.
To avoid this infection improve overall standards of hygiene: both, regarding toilets and personal parts.
Do not wear tight fitting synthetic underwear.
Drink plenty of water. Do not hold back when you have the tendency to urinate.
Pinworms are about a quarter of an inch long. And they can cause plenty of discomfort. The worms come out of the anal opening to lay eggs at night. This leads to intense itching in the area. Disturbed sleep, mild pain and diarrhoea are possible consequences.
Children are especially prone to this complaint. The urge is to scratch this area. When scratching, eggs stick to the hand, and under the nails and infect anything the person touches.
A doctor has to be consulted to rid the worm infestation. Bed clothes, undergarments and nightwear of the infected person must be washed thoroughly, if possible in hot water. Sometimes all member of the family are advised to take deworming medication when one member is affected. Scrubbing hands well with soap before eating should check the problem.
The skin becomes scaly. There are sores or blisters between toes. Often it spreads to the soles.
This infection is caused by a fungus. This breeds in warm wet places. This is a minor irritation and often disappears by itself. But sometimes these cracks and sores become the site for other infections.
Proper foot care can alleviate the condition. Rub off peelings gently.
Wash feet well and apply powder. A mild fungicidal ointment at bedtime will help. Keep feet exposed.
If you have to wear shoes, wear cotton socks.
The hair follicles [which the hair grows from] produce oil which keeps the hair smooth. You also have sweat glands in your scalp, and dead skin cells come off the scalp. The oil, sweat and dead cells all add together and can make the hair greasy and look dirty unless you wash it regularly.
To keep your hair clean:
wash regularly with shampoo (cheap ones are often as good as very expensive ones).
massage your scalp well.
This will remove dead skin cells, excess oil and dirt.
rinse well with clear water. conditioner is helpful if you have longer hair as it makes the hair smoother and easier to comb, but hair doesn't need to have conditioner.
use a wide toothed comb for wet hair as it is easier to pull through.
If you have to wear a uniform then take it off as soon as you get home and hang it up to air before you wear it the next day.
Ask your family not to smoke in the house or the car. Besides being unhealthy for them and you, the smoke clings to your clothes and makes them smelly. Of course, you wouldn't smoke either, would you?
Change underclothes often.
Underclothes are right next to your skin and collect dead skin cells, sweat and possibly other unmentionable stains.
Overnight bacteria start to work on these stains so your clothes do not smell as nice on the second day of wearing. Stay away from cigarette smoke as the smell will get into your clothes and hair.
You spend a lot of time on your feet and your shoes are very close to the place where the largest collection of sweat glands live - your feet! Sweat gets into your shoes and then bacteria arrive which love the moist leather or fabric so much that they tell all their friends to come round and party!
If you have one pair of shoes for Your work then try to get them off as soon as you get home so that they can air and dry out overnight.
If you have more than one pair then use them on alternate days to give them a better chance of drying out.
Dry them carefully, especially between the toes where more bacteria collect than anywhere else on your skin. If the towel is too thick to get in between your little toes, then use a dry face washer (keep it for your feet only).
"Personal hygiene is very important because no-one likes to be close to a person who stinks and is dirty.
So, whoever you are and wherever you go remember: Wash your hands before you eat and your feet before you sleep."