We often mistake ‘personal hygiene’ to mean keeping our skin and clothes clean, our nails clipped, breath fresh and shoes well-polished. While this certainly constitutes good personal hygiene, these are only a part of the larger picture – it encompasses having a clean body inside and out, and living in surroundings that are free of germs and dirt.
However, this is easier said than done. Maintaining good personal hygiene is often a matter of inculcating the right habits. It is not about occasionally spring cleaning the house or washing load upon load of one’s clothes with an antibacterial detergent. Small habits imbibed in daily life can keep a lot of dirt and germs out of your way, thus ensuring that you and your loved ones do not fall ill easily.
Consider the three components that are an integral part of your daily personal hygiene:
1 Hands. Your hands are carriers of multiple germs and bacteria. You often do not realise how dirty and germ-laden your hands are because most of the contamination is microscopic in nature. Most people wash their hands only when there is visible dirt and grime on them. However, you must wash your hands at least four to five times a day using antibacterial soap and water. This habit is useful in deterring the spread of germs and disease-causing bacteria in flu and cold season. A lot of viruses are also killed when the hands are washed often with a good disinfectant soap.
2 Body. Keeping the body clean by removing all traces of dirt, grime, grease and dust from the skin is a must. One’s daily personal hygiene routine must include at least one shower with a good body washing liquid and cold to warm water. The water removes visible dirt and dust, while an antibacterial body wash eliminates germs that can cause skin diseases as well as other infections if they enter the system. Showering also restores the skin’s hydration levels while cleaning it, so that dead skin is removed and the skin’s health is improved.
3 Home. Personal hygiene also includes keeping one’s surroundings clean. This means keeping your house spotless and germ-free. While your home may appear clean to the eyes, germs and bacteria lurk on the floors, walls, kitchen counters, bathrooms, bedroom corners and mattresses, etc. It may not be possible to swab the floors every day, but it is important to disinfect the floors thoroughly at least once a week. Carpets must be shampooed if there are any spills on them, and vacuumed thoroughly so that all impurities are removed. Also, the wet areas (kitchen and bathrooms) must be thoroughly wiped down using an antibacterial spray or liquid cleaner. Take care to wipe wall tiles, faucets and hand rails thoroughly.