Having a shower is one of the simple joys of life. It rejuvenates the skin and mind and provides a host of additional health benefits, such as increasing blood flow. Opinion is divided about whether you should shower day day, however. Drawing on research, This Morning’s Dr Chris highlighted the health risks posed by daily showering.
“It can be harmful because the skin is densely populated with friendly bacteria,” he said.
As Dr Chris explained, friendly bacteria helps to maintain a healthy skin.
“Having a shower every day can remove friendly bacteria,” he warned.
Why is this a cause for concern?
Normally, healthy skin maintains a layer of oil and a balance of friendly bacteria and other microorganisms.
“Washing and scrubbing removes these, especially if the water is hot,” explains Harvard Health.
This can trigger a number of complications.
One follows on from the skin becoming dry, irritated, or itchy.
Harvard Health explains: “Dry, cracked skin may allow bacteria and allergens to breach the barrier skin is supposed to provide, allowing skin infections and allergic reactions to occur.”
What’s more, antibacterial soaps can actually kill off normal bacteria.
“This upsets the balance of microorganisms on the skin and encourages the emergence of hardier, less friendly organisms that are more resistant to antibiotics,” warns Harvard Health.
What does the research say?
An article review published in the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal reviewed evidence for the relationship between skin hygiene and infection, the effects of washing on skin integrity, and recommendations for skin care practices.
According to the review, widespread use of antimicrobial products has prompted concern about emergence of resistance to antiseptics and damage to the skin barrier associated with frequent washing.
The review looked at studies on handwashing, which found that nurses with skin damage on their hands due to frequent washing and wearing gloves harbored more infectious agents than other nurses.
The researchers concluded that when the frequency of washing leads to skin damage, it is counterproductive.
Not everyone shares the view that showering daily causes ill-health.
Speaking to health body Cleveland Clinic, Dermatologist Shilpi Khetarpal, MD, emphasised the benefits of showering daily.