Bathing every day could increase people’s risk of infections, experts warn.
Showering excessively can reduce skin hydration, causing it to become dry and cracked, which allows germs to enter, according to infectious-disease expert Dr Elaine Larson from Columbia University.
She adds most people bathe in the belief it will reduce their risk of illness, however, it actually does little more than remove body odour.
Dr C Brandon Mitchell, assistant professor of dermatology at George Washington University, adds washing strips the skin of its natural oils, which can disrupt ‘good’ bacteria that supports people’s immune systems.
According to Dr Mitchell, bathing just once or twice a week is usually sufficient for most, adding: ‘A daily shower isn’t necessary.’
‘Most people over-bathe’
Dr Mitchell toldTIME: ‘Your body is naturally a well-oiled machine. I think most people over-bathe.’
He urges people who wish to shower daily to only do so if their skin feels healthy and hydrated.
Dr Mitchell also recommends people do not lather their entire bodies with soap but just focus on smelly areas, such as their armpits or feet.
He even adds those with dry hair only need to wash it every few weeks, while people with scalp issues, like dandruff, may benefit from shampooing a couple of times a week.
Dr Larson says people should focus on washing their hands frequently, as well as cleaning their clothes, which collect dead skin cells, to reduce their risk of illness.
Cleaning destroys ‘good’ bacteria that support immune systems
A study released in January last year suggested over-cleaning can damage the healthy bacteria, viruses and other ‘bugs’ that live in and on people’s bodies.
Researchers from the University of Utah analysed the residents of a remote village in the Amazon.
Results suggest such people have ‘the highest diversity of bacteria and genetic functions ever reported in a human group’.
The scientists concluded westerners are overly clean, which affects their populations of microbes.
They did not comment on how often people should be bathing.
AVERAGE WORKER COMES INTO CONTACT WITH 10 MILLION DISEASE-CAUSING BACTERIA
Millions of us spend our days slaving over a keyboard. But lurking between the keys, hidden on the mouse and nestled in your phone lies more than 10 million bacteria – 400 times more than on the average toilet seat.
Unhygienic working conditions are a ‘key contributor’ to the 131 million working days lost each year in the UK and millions more around the world, to illnesses including colds and flu.
Bacteria and viruses can multiply on hard surfaces, remaining infectious for up to 24 hours, hygiene expert and visiting professor at the University of Salford, Dr Lisa Ackerley told MailOnline.
She said the average desk is a prime breeding ground for infections, before urging people to disinfect their desks, telephones, keyboards and computer mice.
She added that better cleaning and hygiene measures could result in ‘significantly fewer sick days’.
Now, a new infographic lays bare the stark reality of how important it is to detox your desk.
It shows one in five workers fail to clean their workspace before eating, while two in three eat lunch at their desk.
Twenty per cent of people never clean their computer mouse, while around 80 per cent of common infections are transmitted by touch.