I see many patients in my dermatology practice whose skin problems started because of the wrong bathing practices. The way you bathe is really important to your skin’s health, especially after 50 when skin oil production and skin barrier integrity both decrease. I frequently tell patients:
Bathing, when done correctly, can deeply hydrate skin to prevent eczemas. It also washes germs off the skin. However, when bathing is done “incorrectly,” it can dry skin out, which can lead to eczema, allergic skin reactions, and skin infections that can be inconvenient or even dangerous.
The wrong bathing or showering habits start a cascade of events that go something like this:
- The skin gets dried out.
- The barrier is compromised because the skin is dry.
- Eczema-like rashes start, which itch and hurt.
- Allergens get into the skin, and you become allergic, which can become a big problem.
- Germs get in and you get skin infections, which can make you sick.
The 5-part drama all starts with the wrong bathing or showering habits! In the exam room, I explain the following information to patients regarding good bathing and showering habits to keep skin healthy:
- How to bathe and shower in a way that makes it therapeutic and good for your skin
- How to keep shower sponges and razors infection free
- Why you need to take special precautions to prevent athlete’s foot and nail fungus on the shower