Health is a matter of utmost concern today, especially with the covid-19 pandemic. As people look for ways to keep themselves and their loved ones safe from bacteria and germs, the focus on personal hygiene has been paramount.
Also, not only is personal hygiene good for your body, it is great for your self esteem too. This article details about the types of personal hygiene, how to maintain personal hygiene and why it is important to do so.
What Is Personal Hygiene & Why Is It So Important?
Personal hygiene is defined as the way you take care of your body. It includes regular bathing, brushing your teeth, washing your clothes and keeping yourself clean.
Every day, your body is bombarded by outside germs, viruses and bacteria. These can enter your body through your dirty hands or mouth and make you sick. Basic personal hygiene can reduce your chances of getting attacked by outside pathogens. In times when safeguarding your health is important, personal hygiene plays a key role in doing so.
Types Of Personal Hygiene & How To Maintain It?
1. Oral Hygiene
Keeping your mouth clean and free from diseases forms the basis of oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene involves more than just brushing your teeth. A healthy routine will also keep you away from issues like gum diseases and cavities. It will also prevent bad breath. 
How To Maintain Oral Hygiene
- Brush in the morning and also before going to bed.
- Use a tongue cleaner at least once a day.
- Use floss to clean in between the teeth.
- Try to use mouthwash after you eat anything
- Get a dental checkup done regularly
2. Body Hygiene 
There are many sweat glands in your body. When outside bacteria mixes with sweat, it creates bad body odour. Washing your body will not only help you fight the odour but also remove the pollutants from your skin.
Bathing every day will keep your skin protected from outside bacteria. It will also reduce the chances of skin irritation. Also, scrubbing your body parts will get rid of the dead skin cells, making your skin smooth and glowing.
How To Maintain Body Hygiene
- Shower with soap or cleansing gel every day. Using a product like SkinKraft’s Restorative Freshwater Body wash can be refreshing.
- Scrub your body parts like face, legs, back, arms at least once a week.
- Clean your hair with shampoo at least once a week.
- Wear clean clothes every day.
- Rinse your face, hands and feet every time you come home from outside.
3. Hand Washing
We use our hands to touch various surfaces, and also our face and mouth. This allows bacteria, virus, and germs to enter our body easily. Hand washing is thus one of the most important aspects of personal hygiene, especially in today’s times. Simple hand washing can prevent you from major diseases. 
How To Maintain Hand Hygiene
- Wash your hands before and after making food.
- Clean your hands before you eat anything.
- Use soap to wash your hands after using the toilet.
- If you are treating anyone who is vomiting, suffering from diarrhoea or is sick, make sure to clean your hands properly.
- Always wash your hands after you handle your pets.
- If you change your baby's diaper, do not forget to clean your hands. This will help both you and your baby.
- As there is an ongoing pandemic, try to wash your hands whenever you touch objects like parcels, vegetables and food packets that come from outside.
Dirty fingernails can spread germs quite easily. People with long nails are more susceptible to infections. When you scratch acne or bumps with your nails, germs from your fingernails transfer to your skin. This can worsen the acne or bump. Even a small cut or wound may get septic due to fingernails. Hence, it is extremely important to keep your nails clean.
How To Maintain Clean Nails
- Trim your fingernails often and keep them short.
- Wash your nails with soap and water. You can also use a nail brush to clean them.
- Clean your nail cleaning tools in warm soapy water after every use.
5. Genital Hygiene
Your genitals are a delicate part of your body and need special attention. If you don’t clean the area, you may end up with serious conditions like urinary tract infections.
How To Maintain Genital Hygiene
- Wash your genitals every time you go to the toilet.
- Dry up the area with a soft towel as damp skin can become irritable.
- Try to avoid public toilets as much as possible.
- Change your undergarments every day.
6. Menstrual Hygiene
Menstrual hygiene  is vital for every woman. During the menstruation cycle, every woman needs to follow a routine to keep herself clean and safe from infections and many deadly diseases.
How To Maintain Menstrual Hygiene
- Use sanitary napkins instead of cloth.
- Do not use the same sanitary pad for more than 4 to 5 hours.
- Wash your hands before and after changing pads or tampons.
- Always wrap your used sanitary pads before disposing them off.
Personal Hygiene Mistakes You Need To Stop Immediately
1. Biting fingernails can be harmful. This directly transfers germs from your fingernails into your mouth.
2. Using cotton ear buds to clean your earwax is a mistake too. You may think that these clean your ear, but ear buds just push the wax inside. 
3. Many people forget to wash their hands after using the bathroom. This makes it easier for bacteria and viruses to attack your body.
4. Using the same toothbrush for a long time can be dangerous. An old toothbrush becomes a home for bacteria and germs. This will cause more harm than good to your teeth.
5. Not cleaning objects of everyday use can cause problems. Regular things like your bed sheet, pillow cover, curtains, clothes, and towel need to be cleaned on a regular basis.
Which Diseases Can Result From Poor Hygiene?
Maintaining good personal hygiene improves your overall health. People with poor hygiene may suffer from minor to major health conditions. The minor side effects are body odour, bad breath and dull skin.
Major health issues can be life threatening, as you may get affected by many bacteria and viruses. You may also get severe stomach pain, pink eyes or other health problems from dirty hands.
Lack of oral hygiene, will lead to your teeth building up plaque and creating a wide range of health issues including heart diseases. Other health conditions associated with poor hygiene are:
1. Athlete’s foot
3. Skin rashes
6. Body & hair lice
7. Chronic diarrhoea
8. Tooth decay
How To Create Your Personal Hygiene Routine?
1. Try to habituate basic personal hygiene regularly. That way it will become a regular part of you. Practice until personal hygiene becomes your second nature.
2. If you are forgetful, set reminders on your phone.
3. Keep rewards for yourself for maintaining personal hygiene tasks. This method can help your kids learn personal hygiene even more enthusiastically.
4. Invest in personal hygiene products, Buy products that can offer you great benefits and also leave you feeling and smelling good.
Maintaining personal hygiene will not only keep you safe from bacteria and germs but also boost your self-esteem. A clean appearance impacts your personality, social life as well as your mental health. Personal hygiene is very easy if you just make it a habit. The above tips and suggestions will help you in developing and maintaining your personal hygiene routine.
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