Hygiene is a series of practices performed to preserve health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "Hygiene refers to conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases." Personal hygiene refers to maintaining the body's cleanliness. Hygiene activities can be grouped into the following: home and everyday hygiene, personal hygiene, medical hygiene, sleep hygiene and food hygiene. Home and every day hygiene includes hand washing, respiratory hygiene, food hygiene at home, hygiene in the kitchen, hygiene in the bathroom, laundry hygiene and medical hygiene at home.
Many people equate hygiene with 'cleanliness,' but hygiene is a broad term. It includes such personal habit choices as how frequently to take a shower or bath, wash hands, trim fingernails, and wash clothes. It also includes attention to keeping surfaces in the home and workplace clean, including bathroom facilities. Some regular hygiene practices may be considered good habits by the society, while the neglect of hygiene can be considered disgusting, disrespectful, or threatening.
Hygiene is a practice related to lifestyle, cleanliness, health and medicine. In medicine and everyday life, hygiene practices are employed as preventive measures to reduce the incidence and spreading of germs leading to disease.
Hygiene practices vary from one culture to another.
In the manufacturing of food,pharmaceutical, cosmetic and other products, good hygiene is a critical component of quality assurance.
The terms cleanliness and hygiene are often used interchangeably, which can cause confusion. In general, hygiene refers to practices that prevent spread of disease-causing organisms. Cleaning processes (e.g., handwashing) remove infectious microbes as well as dirt and soil, and are thus often the means to achieve hygiene.
Other uses of the term are as follows: body hygiene, personal hygiene, sleep hygiene, mental hygiene, dental hygiene, and occupational hygiene, used in connection with public health.
What is personal hygiene?
Good personal hygiene is one of the best ways to protect yourself from getting gastro or infectious diseases such as COVID-19, colds and flu. Washing your hands with soap removes germs that can make you ill. Maintaining good personal hygiene will also help prevent you from spreading diseases to other people.
Personal hygiene includes:
cleaning your body every day
washing your hands with soap after going to the toilet
brushing your teeth twice a day
covering your mouth and nose with a tissue (or your sleeve) when sneezing or coughing
washing your hands after handling pets and other animals
To slow the spread of COVID-19, you should:
wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitisers
avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
clean and disinfect surfaces you use often such as benchtops, desks and doorknobs
increase the amount of fresh air by opening windows or changing air conditioning
Why is personal hygiene important?
Good hygiene is vital because it helps prevent you and your children from getting or spreading germs and infectious diseases. The germs that cause many diseases can be passed on through touching other people, getting faeces (poo) on your hands, handling contaminated food, or coming into contact with dirty surfaces or objects.
Conditions that you can develop if you have poor personal hygiene include:
COVID-19 and other infectious diseases
diarrhoea, especially gastroenteritis
respiratory infections, including colds and flu
worm-related conditions, such as threadworms
trachoma, an eye infection which can lead to blindness
Men who are uncircumcised can clean their penis by gently pulling back the foreskin and washing underneath it with warm water or soap. See more here about penis care.
Women can gently wash the delicate skin around the vulva with a soap-free wash, salt water or plain water. Avoid perfumed soap and bath products since these may irritate the sensitive skin of the vulva. Do not douche, because it upsets the healthy bacteria in the vagina.
During menstruation (your periods), wash your vulva as usual. Tampons can be changed every 3 to 4 hours. To avoid toxic shock syndrome, do not leave a tampon in for a long time, and never insert more than one tampon at a time. Change sanitary pads several times a day. Wash your hands before and after changing tampons or pads.
Preventing body odour
After washing, apply deodorant to your armpits. Put on clean, dry clothing. Wash sweaty or dirty garments well and, if possible, hang them outdoors to dry. If you have a problem with excessive sweating, make an appointment to see your doctor.
Handling food safely
Wash your hands before and after preparing food. This will stop you contaminating food and will also protect you from getting ill or passing on bacteria from foodstuffs, such as raw meat. Find out more here about food safety.
Preventing bad breath
Bad breath can be caused by poor oral hygiene. Brush and floss your teeth twice a day since this reduces gum disease and the chances of future tooth decay. Use these dental care tips and make an appointment with a dentist for a check-up if you have further symptoms.
BODY HYGIENE AND THE IMPORTANCE OF PERSONAL HYGIENE
With the global pandemic encompassing all parts of society, an emphasis on cleanliness and the importance of personal hygiene have emerged as key parts of getting through the hardships of COVID-19. It has become essential that every person plays their part in maintaining their health in order to help maintain the health of others. The Center of Hyperhidrosis has always valued personal hygiene and any means of improving the health and happiness of yourself and those around you. That is why, in a time like this, it is more important than ever to see the benefits of personal hygiene and understand the importance of personal hygiene. The Center of Hyperhidrosis has laid out everything you need to know about body hygiene so that we can all do our part in getting the world back to a better state.
WHAT IS PERSONAL HYGIENE?
Personal hygiene deals with the continued cleanliness of one’s body, clothing, and overall being in order to preserve and maintain your health. Every day we are exposed to millions of germs, viruses, bacteria, and more and it is each of our responsibilities to maintain proper personal and body hygiene so that we can limit our exposure, thus protecting our health and the health of others. It is clear that practices like these are more important than ever. Understanding the different ways to maintain good personal hygiene can make a far-reaching difference in our personal lives, the lives of our families of friends, and the lives of everyone around us who are currently experiencing the same hardships we are. That is why The Center of Hyperhidrosis has compiled some tips to help maintain good body hygiene.
Personal hygiene varies from person to person, but there are some fundamental pieces that hold importance to each of us.
Hand washing is arguably one of the most important personal hygiene practices that we can carry out. It should be done often and well in order to protect ourselves and so many others. Hand washing should be done after using the restroom, before and after making or eating food, before or after we have touched high populated surfaces, before and after we have touched other hands, and any other time you feel it is appropriate. The good thing about handwashing is that it is easy, effective, and there is no such thing as overdoing it!
Shower hygiene greatly contributes to each person’s overall body hygiene. It is everyone’s prerogative as to how often they shower, but less is not necessarily more in this case. Good shower hygiene will help to rinse off dead skin cells, oils, dirt, and especially help protect from any viruses and bacteria that you may have picked up along the day. Included in shower hygiene is washing your hair, which can also contain build-ups of unwanted substances. Whatever your shower routine is, it is important to remember to thoroughly wash all parts of the body so that you can be fresh and clean each day.
We have been taught from a young age to brush our teeth twice and day- and don’t forget to floss! This isn’t for nothing though. Maintaining proper teeth hygiene is a huge part in preserving overall body hygiene. Caring for your teeth and gums helps eliminate germs and bacteria and can prevent a number of different diseases.
Nails are often an overlooked part of good body hygiene but are just as important to maintain as anything else. Trimming your nails semi-regularly will help to keep them at appropriate lengths so that unwanted dirt and germs do not build under them. It is important to note that biting your nails should be avoided at all costs. Not only is it a tricky habit to shake, but it is also a direct way to expose harmful germs, bacteria, and viruses to your face and mouth.
OVERALL HYGIENE TIPS
While each of the sectors of hygiene listed above are important, they are not all-inclusive. There are some additional hygiene practices that should be followed in order to properly maintain personal health and the health of others.
Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
Wipe down popularly touched surfaces like doorknobs, toilet and sink handles, etc.
Don’t forget to clean personal items that you frequently use like your phone, your keys, your watch, even your credit cards.
Getting a full night’s sleep is another commonly overlooked part of personal hygiene. Getting ample rest will help to keep your immune system healthy and active.
BENEFITS OF PERSONAL HYGIENE
Building proper personal hygiene habits takes repetition and time. If done right, however, it can truly help your physical, emotional, and mental health, not to mention do the same for those around you. Another benefit of personal hygiene is the feeling of confidence that you will experience when you know you have taken care of yourself and are groomed physically and mentally. Additionally, a sense of comfort from those around you can be a benefit of personal hygiene. If people see that you take care of yourself and are responsible with your health, they are more likely to trust you. It can also be extremely off-putting to meet someone who may be smelly, dirty, or rude by coughing or sneezing without following any rules of care.
Finally, potentially the largest benefit of personal hygiene is disease prevention. We are currently all living through the impacts of COVID-19, and the hardships are more trying than anyone could have imagined. Good hygiene can help to slow the progression of the virus down, stop it’s spread, and hopefully prevent something like this from ever happening again.
IMPORTANCE OF PERSONAL HYGIENE
Why is good hygiene important? The importance of personal hygiene is more far-reaching than ever before. Each person’s personal hygiene can play a direct role in the personal hygiene of others, and the overall state of our world’s well-being. Following the personal hygiene recommendations above can help you to be healthier and happier, and can help others do the same. Ultimately, in uncertain times like this, we have to be united. The best way each of us can do that is to follow proper health standards and maintain personal hygiene expectations. That way, we can each do our part in getting ourselves, and the world, in better health.