Did you know that poor personal hygiene has both health and social implications? Two of the more socially unacceptable consequences of poor personal hygiene are body odor and halitosis (bad breath).
Sweating, is your body’s natural way of cooling itself; when you sweat, the sweat settles on your skin and cools as it comes in contact with air. . The groin, underarms and feet contain more sweat glands than other areas and excrete higher amounts of oils. These areas usually remain covered and away from the air, so bacteria are able to breed in the moist sweaty environment. Breeding bacteria produce a bad smell – body odor. Being overweight increases the chance of having excess folds of skin in which bacteria can multiply.
The cheapest and best way to keep the body free from germs and body odor is by having a bath either once or twice daily, usually in the morning and/or at night after all of the day’s activity. Be sure to dry your skin properly so as not to provide a reservoir for bacteria to breed in.
You can also limit body odor by keeping your clothes fresh. Clean underwear and socks etc. are essential daily, not just because of odor, but to help reduce risks of infection or soreness. In hot climates, try not to wear clothing more than twice before washing. Dirty clothes should be washed with soap before wearing them again. Dry your clothes in the sun because the sun’s rays will kill some disease-causing germs and parasites.
Using an anti-perspirant deodorant after bathing, will limit excessive sweating of the underarms. Rock Alum sold locally in markets is a chemical-free natural deodorant used by first wetting the alum then rubbing it under the arms immediately after bathing.
BAD BREATH:Bad breath or halitosis is a very common complaint and can affect people of all ages. It can be socially embarrassing, though many sufferers are unaware that they have bad breath until someone mentions it. Bad breath can be attributed to:
- Poor dental hygiene: the technique used when brushing teeth is just as important as the frequency with which we brush. People often omit the flossing in their dental hygiene, which helps remove food debris that gets trapped between the teeth.
- Eating highly aromatic foods such as garlic or onions. These smells linger on your breath and sometimes not even effective cleaning can remove them immediately.
- Drinking alcohol
Halitosis can usually be resolved by:
- Brushing twice a day – after breakfast and before you go to bed or after each meal
- Flossing should be carried out after the teeth have been cleaned.
- Keeping well hydrated is not only good for overall health; it can help avoid bad breath and will help in the removal of oral debris.
- Stop smoking and avoid excessive drinking,
- Change your tooth brush regularly and ensure dentist appointments are made and kept when due.
- Mouthwashes, breath sprays and mints all provide temporary relief from bad breath, (good for meeting people, job interviews etc), but will not solve the problem.
Remember: there is no substitute for good personal hygiene