15 Bad Hygiene Habits That Are Way Worse Than You Thought

Olu Ojo
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Good hygiene is crucial for health and well-being, but sometimes, common hygiene practices are neglected or overlooked. Here, we explore 15 bad hygiene habits that are more harmful than many people realize.

Neglecting Oral Hygiene

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Irregular brushing or flossing can lead to swollen and bleeding gums, bad breath, and cavities. Dr. Natasha Lee, DDS, warns of the progression to gum disease, which is linked to heart disease and diabetes. Untreated cavities can necessitate root canals.

Infrequent Showering or Bathing

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Janine Frances, CME, LMT, emphasizes that skipping showers can cause bacterial growth, leading to acne, rashes, and potentially serious infections. Conditions like dermatitis neglecta, characterized by thick patches of brown plaque, can develop.

Sleeping with Makeup On

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Not removing makeup before bed can clog pores, causing blackheads and pimples. Eye makeup left on can lead to styes and serious skin infections, potentially risking blindness.

Overwearing Contact Lenses

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Ophthalmologist Dr. Alan Mendelsohn warns against wearing contact lenses for extended periods without proper cleaning. This can lead to severe eye infections, corneal ulcers, and in extreme cases, necessitate a cornea transplant.

Sharing Personal Grooming Items

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Using someone else’s toothbrush, razor, or hairbrush can spread infections. The American Dental Association advises against sharing toothbrushes due to the risk of oral infections, which are linked to serious health conditions.

Reusing Towels Excessively

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Using the same towel repeatedly, especially in a gym environment, can facilitate the spread of bacteria and infections like staph, which can be fatal. Towels can also transmit skin conditions such as warts and scabies.

Walking Barefoot in Public Showers

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Doing so increases the risk of contracting fungal infections like athlete’s foot and ringworm. These conditions can be challenging to treat and, in the case of athlete’s foot, lead to secondary infections.

Not Regularly Cleaning Water Bottles

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Continuously refilling water bottles without proper cleaning can lead to bacterial growth, including E. coli. Chemicals from dirty plastic bottles have been linked to conditions like PCOS and endometriosis.

Not Washing Produce

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Unwashed fruits and vegetables can harbor bacteria, leading to food poisoning. Consuming pesticides on these foods has been linked to serious health issues, including respiratory illness and unconsciousness.

Neglecting Eyelash Extension Care

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Dr. Mendelsohn warns of the risks associated with eyelash extensions. The glue can cause mild to severe vision impairment, keratitis, and inflammation of the cornea.

Never Washing Hair

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While overwashing hair can be damaging, never washing it can lead to scalp odor, bacterial accumulation, and potentially stop hair growth due to clogged follicles and infections.

Ignoring Basic Skin Care

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Skipping basic skin care routines can lead to a buildup of dead skin cells, exacerbating conditions like eczema and leading to dermatitis neglecta. Regular washing is essential for skin health.

Using Blunt Shaving Razors

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Dull razors can cause irritation, increase the risk of cuts, and facilitate the spread of bacteria, potentially causing infections.

Not Changing Bedding Regularly

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Dirty bedding can accumulate skin cells, oils, and sweat, providing a breeding ground for bacteria and dust mites, which can exacerbate allergies and skin conditions.

Poor Hand Hygiene

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Not washing hands properly or frequently can spread germs and lead to illnesses. Effective hand hygiene involves washing with soap for at least 20 seconds, covering all parts of the hands.

These habits may seem benign, but their long-term effects on health can be severe. Addressing them can prevent a range of health issues and improve overall hygiene and well-being.

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  • Olu Ojo

    My name is Olu. I am a passionate entrepreneur who loves to write about Pets, Home Improvement Hacks & Products, Fitness, and Travel Lifestyle. I have two bachelor's degrees in Veterinary Medicine and Applied Accounting with a CPA designation. I currently shuffle time between completing a Master of Business Administration Degree Education, Professional Practice, and Content writing. I have freelanced lifestyle content and posts for many top authority websites like MSN, and Wealth of Geeks.

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