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Just how, where and when do you take a bath? Are you convinced that the way you take your bath is safe and effective? Let us explore together the gross faults that we do when we are taking a bath.

  • Too much bathing: Majority think that spending too much time in the bathroom or visiting it frequently immunizes them against diseases. Under contrary, this act predisposes them even more to illnesses especially skin disorders. It is recommended that you take a bath at least once in a day. Option to take subsequent baths within a given day should only be warranted by circumstances that are contaminating.

One should not take forever to take a bath. It should be as brief as possible provided that all body parts will be exposed to enough water and scrubbing. Kindly note that too much scrubbing can be injurious to your skin and can also enhance entry of microbes (disease-causing microorganism).

Although it is very debatable, bathing at alternate days is something that should be adopted to achieve a healthy skin.

  • Taking a bath with hot water. Most of us detest cold baths forgetful of the fact that they are more therapeutic when compared to hot baths. These are the negative effects that should make you reconsider bathing with hot water.
  1.   The potential danger of scalds (blisters from burns).
  2.   Reduced sperm production.
  3.   Drying of the skin since hot water tends to widen skin pores.
  4.   Recurrent facial acne.
  • Continuous Use of Antiseptic Soaps. I want to dispute the notion that the more you bath with medicated soaps the cleaner you become. Unfortunately, research has continuously shown that these soaps have a negative effect on the skin’s normal flora (nonpathogenic bacteria) and oils. Antibacterial soap should only be used under Doctor’s instructions to overcome antibiotic resistance which subsequently leads to colonization of the body by pathogenic organisms (disease-causing bacteria) .
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It is high time you embrace the use of traditional soaps which are equally beneficial and affordable comparatively.

  • The poor technique of bathing. People always ask me if there is a particular technique of taking a bath? Let us analyze this scenario in an African set up. You have a bucket of water in the bathroom. You start to shower by washing your buttocks and the genitalia and finally you finish with your face. What is your take on the above methodology of taking a shower?

I will not prescribe for you a certain procedure of bathing. However, there are principles that should guide you whenever you are taking a bath. They include the following:

  1.   Always start with the less dirty/contaminated body areas and finish with the dirtiest parts.
  2.   Women should have a separate bathing and drying towel for the genital region to prevent cross-transmission of pathogens from other body parts.
  3.   Always finish bathing one particular part of your body before proceeding to others to avoid cleaning an area that is already clean and foregoing others.
  4.   Always rinse yourself with enough water.
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  • Sharing bathing consumable. This may include scrubbers, drying towels, bathing barrels and soaps. Click here to read more on the implications of sharing personal effects.

Let us purpose to take a bath regularly.

Author:Eliud K Maina ; Registered Nurse, HTC Counsellor

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