How Often Should You Shower?

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What happens if you don’t shower enough?

Just as you can shower too much, you can also shower too little. So, although fewer showers may improve skin health, you should still keep your personal hygiene in mind.

Sweat glands cover much of your body, and they produce sweat when you’re overheated, stressed, hormonal, or physically active. Sweat in itself is odorless — until it combines with bacteria that’s normally present on the skin.

A skipped shower here or there probably won’t trigger body odor, especially if you haven’t been exercising. However, body odor is inevitable the longer you go without a shower, particularly in your armpits and groin.

Of course, the risk of body odor isn’t the only reason to shower or bathe regularly. Poor hygiene or infrequent showers can cause a buildup of dead skin cells, dirt, and sweat on your skin. This can trigger acne, and possibly exacerbate conditions like psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.

Showering too little can also trigger an imbalance of good and bad bacteria on your skin. Too much bad bacteria on your skin also puts you at risk for skin infections. This may lead to dermatitis neglecta, where patches of plaque develop on the skin due to inadequate cleansing.

Bathing also removes dead skin cells. When you don’t bathe enough, these cells can stick to your skin and cause hyperpigmentation. Resuming good hygiene can correct this condition.

IF YOU DON’T BATHE ENOUGH

If you go too long between showers you may experience:

  • increased body odor
  • acne
  • flare-ups of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis
  • skin infections
  • areas of dark or discolored skin
  • in extreme cases, dermatitis neglecta, thick patches of scaly skin

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