According to some, tell-tale for a healthy body, you have to maintain good hygiene. The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has made the maintenance of personal hygiene essential. In this blog, let’s understand the importance of personal hygiene and how we can take care of it?
Personal hygiene is the set of daily practices for maintaining your body clean. Building good personal hygiene habits is one of the best ways to protect you and your family from many illnesses such as cold, flu, gastrointestinal infection, and even COVID-19. Good personal hygiene habits also prevent disease transmission to other people. Various practices included in the good personal hygiene habits are:
- Daily washing and cleaning of your body: Bathing or showering every day with soap or body wash removes dirt and germs from your body. Sensitive areas like armpits, genital areas, and anus are more prone to infection and germs growth. We should pay more attention to cleaning these areas. Even If you cannot take a bath, sponging with antiseptic solutions is sufficient.
- Washing your hand: Washing your hands properly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is necessary to get rid of germs. If soap and water are not accessible, clean your hand with hand sanitizer. Sanitizer kills germs from your hands. Always try to wash hands:
- Before and after preparing food
- Before and after eating
- After changing babies’ diaper
- After blowing your nose
- After coming from outside
- After touching or coming in contact with an infected and sick person
- After touching infected and dirty objects
- Before and after handling wounds
- After touching pets
- Brushing teeth: Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day improves oral hygiene.
- Cleaning private parts (genitals): Clean your private parts gently with a soap-free wash or plain water. Proper cleaning of genitals daily is essential for both men and women.
- If you are suffering from a cold and cough, cover your mouth and nose with tissue or sleeve at elbow level before sneezing and coughing.
- Nails hygiene: Trimming your nails frequently to keep them clean and short is a good hygiene habit. The nail beds and the under part of nails should not have any dirt or buildup to prevent infection.
- Encourage your kids to adopt good personal hygiene habits to their schedule. Parents should teach and reinforce good personal hygiene habits in their children. The development of good personal hygiene habits in childhood continues throughout their lifetime. Good personal hygiene will help your children stay healthy and develop a strong immunity. Some basic hygiene steps you should teach your children are:
- The correct method of tooth brushing and doing it twice a day
- An ideal way to wash their body and private areas
- A habit of washing hands after going washroom, coming from outside, before and after eating food, and contacting any contaminated surface
Importance of personal hygiene
Maintaining good personal hygiene is not just about cleaning our bodies, but it includes abandoning all practices that lead to bad health. Embracing good personal hygiene habits in your daily routine not only improves your health but improves the quality of your life.
Practices like keeping the body clean, drinking clean water, washing hands, dumping garbage in the garbage bin, not urinating or defecating in the open, and many more, prevent the spread of many diseases. We know that many diseases spread from vectors like houseflies and mosquitoes. Garbage and feces in the open area are the breeding ground for these vectors. Open waste can spread typhoid, cholera, amoebiasis (food poisoning), malaria, chikungunya, and other infections.
Good personal hygiene boosts our immunity, as a clean body and hands keep us free from germs.
Having good personal hygiene can also boost your self-confidence.
How to create a personal hygiene routine?
If you want to improve your hygiene habits and want to build better hygiene habits in your children, you should try the following methods:
- Set reminders for some basic practices like clipping nails, washing hair, regular exercises, toilet training for your toddlers, and brushing before going to bed
- Put signs for you and your child, such as signs for washing your hands after using the washroom, or in the kitchen to wash your hands before and after eating, or at the keys stand to wash hands after coming from outside.
When we include any new habit in our schedule, it takes time to come into our daily routine. Good hygiene habits can keep diseases at bay and boost your immunity. So, keep practicing good personal hygiene habits.
Dr. Gaurav Jain, Consultant – Internal Medicine, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Delhi