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Excessive washing can damage the bacteria

In the 1800s washed away many people in Sweden only once a year. Today showers most almost every day. But what is best for the health?

Anders Sönnerborg is professor at the department of infectious diseases and dermatology at Karolinska institutet. He believes that today there are different opinions within the läkarskrået about how often you should wash, but highlights the positive effects increased hygiene has received on society.

– It is difficult to isolate the question of ablution and see exactly what the consequences have been for our health. During the 1900s, society has evolved in many ways that contribute to better health, including the separate sewer and water pipes, the reduction of overcrowding, effective medications and vaccination. But with that being said, has also increased bodily hygiene led to medical progress.

if the Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis who, in the mid-1800s, discovered that the number of deaths from puerperal fever could be drastically reduced if healthcare workers washed their hands.

– It is well documented that bacteria and viruses are often transferred through the hands. So if we wash hands a few times a day, we reduce the transmission of diseases. Helkroppstvagningen do not have the same clear benefits, but it includes, of course, genitalia, anal, face, nose and hands, where there is a lot of bacteria of not always kind to nature, reason Anders Sönnerborg.

Have wounds on the body and is dirty increases the risk of diseases such as, for example, little owl and tetanus – if you are not vaccinated. It would be enough with the laundry once a year to reduce the risk of infection doubt he is, but to wash as often as we do in the day can also be unhealthy.

" We must think of bacteria as our friends. We actually carry several pounds of bacteria that live in symbiosis with us. They are important for the body's development and function. Excessive washing can damage the bacterial flora.

recent studies that associated increased allergy and asthma in the western world with an increase in cleanliness.

– There is a tendency today that the people wash themselves several times a day and think that it is more hygienic then, which one is not. It affects the skin's bacterial flora negative and has a drying effect. When the skin becomes more brittle increasing the risk of cracking, which in turn can lead to infections and eczema. But it varies a lot from person to person.

Anders Sönnerborg do not want to say how often one should take a shower, but see it as a balance between the body's well-being and a functioning social life.

– When it comes to helkroppstvätt I do not see that it is particularly important from a medical perspective, if you disregard the previously mentioned regions. However, it is of course associated with psychological well-being and enhanced quality of life for many. Of course, there is a social norm to relate to if you want to have a rich social life.

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